February 23, 2017 – Laser Focus

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I feel like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of selling, sorting, purging.

We have made roughly $1800 since making the decision to sell everything on January 11th.  And the crazy thing is that we STILL haven’t really sold anything that has any sort of major sentimental value, or feels like we are really separating from something important.  To top it off, we have only sold a couple of things that are near the $100 mark.  Everything else has been bits and pieces, $5, $10, $20 items.  Each day I am either delivering items, or having people pick up items, and quite often I am left at the end of the day with anywhere from $30-$100 in my hand.  So far, I have only been selling on Facebook.  I have been posting things on our local buy/sell pages, but have also created an album right on my personal Facebook Page that lists items and prices.  This has been the most effective amongst my friends.  I actually think that it would be a good idea for EVERYBODY to have something like this on their timeline, so that you can have a constant way to turn things over, and hand them off to friends that need certain things.  Maybe an app idea for someone that is tech savy??

I have adopted the habit of listening to the “The Minimalist” pod cast while I’m sorting through things, and have found that it is very encouraging and really helps me to stay focused while digging through items.  I learned the other day that the average household has on average, $5000 – $15 000 worth of “things” within it’s walls.  They referenced some different websites and wellness coaches that have challenges for people that are looking to pay of debt, or rid themselves of clutter.  For example, one in particular challenges people to raise $20 000 in one year, just by selling things on Kijiji or Craig’s List.

A couple months ago, I would have never thought that this was possible.  But I am here to tell you that your stuff has value!  It is pretty amazing how quickly you can raise a bit of money, by just de-cluttering and putting the time and energy into doing it right.

In fact, the Minimalists advice through this process, in particular to paying off debt, is to have “Laser Focus.”  I have realized that Laser Focus is needed to maintain the momentum.  Even if for one night I start to think that it’s too hard, or that I’m too tired to keep doing this, I start to feel the pull backwards into a place of lethargy and laziness.  It’s too easy to just sink back into that feeling of hopelessness and despair.

And so, we have definitely gotten “laser focused” on getting rid of stuff, NOT spending money, and paying off our debt as fast as possible.  Neither of us have been drinking alcohol, we don’t go out for meals, we don’t grab coffees, or lunches on the go.  We enter a grocery store with a certain amount of cash (usually acquired from selling the ‘stuff’), and don’t spend more than what we have.  All of our purchases are discussed, and everything is done intentionally.

Laser Focus is how we will get this done.  Laser Focus will free us from that which burdens us.  And most importantly, Laser Focus will help us to achieve our dream!



February 12, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

Well, the full scale purge has officially begun.  Unfortunately our big group garage sale was cancelled as we got a ridiculous amount of snow here, and many people couldn’t get out of their driveways.

Our living room was packed and ready to go with boxes holding many goodies that we hoped to sell at the sale.  However, instead of feigning defeat, I decided to go ahead with an idea that I had read about on the Thrifty Nomads website.  To sell all of their stuff to go traveling, she made use of various online avenues, but said that most of what they sold was through Facebook.  She suggested starting a “for sale” photo album, that way family and friends could see what goodies are available, right from the comfort of their homes.

This has been a very successful selling avenue already.  I just started about 3 days ago, and already we have sold more than $400 worth of things.  I am also pumping stuff on our local Facebook selling pages, but I’m keeping the higher valued stuff for these pages, as these items reach a much larger audience then just my friends.

Another thing that was suggested on the Thrifty Nomads’ page, was to have everything out and ready to go with prices on them.  That way if somebody comes to pick up their purchase, you can easily show them what else is available to see if they want anything else.

And so, our living room, which is just inside the front door, has now become a small shop.

I will be adding stuff to this as we go, and continuously selling items on Facebook for the duration.  This has turned into somewhat of a sideline for me.  Most of my days are spent working, listing items to sell, researching prices and then coordinating pick ups and drop offs.  There is not much time in there for any type of fun, which is fine with me.  We are on a one way ticket to our freedom, there will be TONS of time for fun when we get to where we are going!

Lately I have also been feeling the wrath of the doubters.  While the majority of people are super excited for us, there are inevitably those who want to give advice, or need to project their own fears onto us.  The whole house selling thing is a biggy.  “What will you have to come back to if you sell it.?”  Yup, I have discussed this before and my answer is still the same.  We don’t know if we are coming back!

There are also questions and concerns about Health Care.  I have to say, this is the least of my concerns, and for this reason; Health Care is super cheap if not FREE, most places in the world!  As Canadians, and North Americans, we have a very warped view of health care being this big expensive thing that will sink our ship if anything goes wrong.  And yes, that IS the case in North America, specifically more so in the US.  Canadians barely dream of crossing the border without some sort of “out of country” top up on our already existing health care plan.  The prices and fees for anything medical related are absolutely out-of-this-world, mind-blowingly expensive!

However, with each naysayer, I am motivated.  It is pushing me along and making me want to prove to everyone that I CAN DO THIS!  I am going to live my dream and nobodies attitudes or opinions is going to get in my way!

We have sold over $1000 worth of stuff now, and we still haven’t scratched the surface.  Nothing has been a hard decision, and I still can’t remember exactly what it is that we have sold.  Just bits and pieces, here and there.  Things, things, things!!

I have completely separated myself from the need to keep anything.  It’s like a switch just clicked and all of a sudden it all didn’t matter anymore.  Every piece of junk that I own, is in my way to living the life I’ve always dreamed of.  It is time to shed some layers!  It is time to peel it all back, be open and vulnerable, and to just SEE what happens next.

I have been following a bunch of different blogs from people who themselves have done something similar to this.  I am fascinated by every detail of how they came to this similar decision, what the straw was that broke the proverbial “camels back.”  I’m so intrigued by these stories and I find myself almost envious that they are doing it already, while I am still back in the grind of normal life, normal routines.

But I rest easy in the knowing that we are on our way!  We are committed, we are excited and we are damn determined!!

February 5, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions. From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing. These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 
Well, as we start to prepare for our first major purging sale next weekend, we are coming face to face with the absolution of letting go of things that we have carried around for so many years.  Much of it has no physical value to us, but it is the emotional value that is difficult.

Like my set of “Boccalino” ceramic kirsch cups, given to me by my parents for my 18th birthday.  Or Chris’ Landscaping and Horticultural “Bible” as it was a gift from a friend who went to school for horticulture, and it was one of his textbooks.  It’s obvious that we aren’t bringing these items with us, but It is hard to let go of, all the same.

To date, I have sold roughly $500 worth of “things” mostly through Facebook.  As people ask me what I have sold so far, I find myself having a hard time of even recalling what it was.  I can pick out the odd thing, but certainly NOT $500 worth.  So strange.

I have also realized through this process so far, that I have done this before.

In my early 20’s, my then boyfriend and I would rent a small, affordable, place wherever we were living at the time, then would work our butts off for about 8 months of the year.  For a few years in a row we would take off each winter for 4 months.  We would pack up our stuff, put it into storage, pair down what we needed to, and let our apartment go, with the plan to return the next year and get set up again.

And you know what???  It was a WONDERFUL life!  Sure, we were young and crazy but we all know how the old saying goes, “may as well do it while you are young.”  And so we did!  We did it in a big way.

I’ve also recently been having people (in reaction to my announcement) that say “you may as well do it while your young.”  I then think to myself “Do they realize that I am 40?”  Not that I think 40 is old, but it is moving into a later phase of life where we are told that we should build a foundation, keep working hard, save for retirement.

I had a discussion with my Cousin the other night on this topic. He, and many others, feel that we should try and keep the house so that A) we have something to come back to and B) it’s a rising market here right now.  Which means a) You will never be able to afford to get back in and b) you are missing out on making a lot of money.

I have retorts to all of these sentiments and they are this:

A) We MAY NOT want to come back! Who knows where this will lead. Having a house to deal with, a Mortgage to Pay, Insurance to Pay, having to deal with tenants……..NO THANK YOU!!  As much as I love my house, it is our largest burden in our lives.  I intend to not be tied down by one for a while.  This is going to be a one way ticket to infinity……..we have NO PLANS which means we can end up anywhere,…….. and everywhere!!

B)a) See above

B)b) I intend to make  money living my dream.  We have plans, BIG plans.  IF we kept the house, our dreams would get warped and we would truly not be doing what we had originally intended to do.  Our hearts are truly leading us on this one, because the rational thinking definitely creeps in once in a while.

Anyways,  I actually sat down here today to start writing about a journey I went on back in those crazy early 20’s, but I think I will save that for another time.

Instead I’ll talk about the really cool website that we came across the other day.  Well, it was actually recommended by a friend.  It’s an online site where house owners post ads about needing house sitters, and house sitters post their profile for people to see.  House sitters can browse the current listings, and can also be requested by owners directly.

Anyways, we decided to take a look at what was listed before we signed up (it costs $50/year membership.)  We found many listings in Australia, the US, and England.  There were also a few here and there for Canada.  I scrolled and scrolled and then noticed one for Ecaudor.


We were enamored with this idea instantly. We had never considered Ecuador.  We were sort of set on heading to Southern Mexico, Guatemala, or somewhere in Central America.  But Ecaudor really had a nice ring to it.  The only catch, the owner needs us from the  8th of August to September 1st.

“Can we do this by August?”  We were asking ourselves.

In that moment it seemed that yes, sure we could if we put our minds to it.

Ummmmmmm ya sure,  lets just work our asses off like maniacs, pay off all of our debt, sell all of our stuff in a rush panic, just to make sure that we got to our commitment of August 8th.   

Not too mention that I have houses to paint this summer, OUTSIDE, so those would need to be finished before we went.  Is it possible to wrap up my summer work by then?  What if it rains most of the summer, what if I don’t finish, what if what if what if………..?

We even talked about how NICE it will be to just get there and then relax and sleep to recoup from the chaos.  Ya, wouldn’t that be awesome!  We have 3 weeks in Ecuador and we can’t wait to sleep?????  NO THANKS!!

Mind you, it took a couple days for me to come to the realization that I was all of a sudden stressed out about everything.  I was having panic attacks that we wouldn’t be able to sell anything.  I even paced around in the basement, looking for something to sell, and I couldn’t.  (Believe me there are about 4000 things in the basement to sell!)  I came upstairs and pouted to Chris that I couldn’t find anything else to sell………..boo hoo!   Poor me!!

What had happened??

One minute we are pumped about Ecaudor, and the next I’m panicking.  Chris felt it as well.  But when I FINALLY realized that all the heavy feeling anxiety we felt, had to do with this house sitting gig in Ecuador, and the fact that we had somehow put a deadline to all of this, we were able to let it go, and we felt immense relief.  (Never mind the fact that we hadn’t even applied OR been accepted yet. Which makes this all 10 times more ridiculous!)

Arghhhhhhhhhh!!  Why oh why do we do this??

Thankfully we realized it all quite quickly, and we have now made a pact that we will not place unexpected deadlines or anything heavy on ourselves from now on.

This is a process of letting go.

We are not actors in a play where we can just rip off one costume and jump into another one.

This will take time.

That is enough.

“Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things, so we can make room for life’s important things, which really aren’t things at all.”  -The Minimalists


January 24, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

Today I have felt the weight of this decision immensely.  As I clear our stuff, and sell our things, there is a voice in the back of my mind that keeps asking why I am doing this.  It’s a strong voice and it tells me things like “This is all just a phase.  You know what you are like, it’s just another distraction.  You will never be happy even once you get rid of all your stuff.”  It’s kind of like the lingering thought I had  the other night that I talked to Chris about.  The one where I imagined myself somewhere in Central America, crying because I had sold all of my stuff and now I had nothing.

What is this all about????  Why can’t my brain just leave me alone?  Why do I over analyze every thought that comes out of my head?  Why can’t life just be simple and easy?

I guess a roundabout answer came to me tonight after I attended my friends meditation group gathering. Everyone had left and we were chatting about this and that.  She asked me if it was a secret.  THIS?  This big thing that we are planning to do.  She had sensed that it was something that I wasn’t really okay with sharing and telling people.  Here we go again with the worry about judgment.  We talked about that for a bit and I made some comment about not being sure what the right answer is about what we are doing or planning.  Then she said this:  She said that I don’t fit “the mold”, and that she has never seen me as somebody who just lives an ordinary life.  And, she said that that is what she admires and loves about me!

So is this it?  Is this why life can’t be simple and easy for me? Most times I pride myself on the fact that I don’t like the mundane and ordinary, but there are times where I just wish that it could all be easy.  That I would just be content in my house that I have so lovingly crafted and renovated and gardened and painted so that I could be happy to the end of days.

In general terms, I am a happy person.  I am always happy for friends who are doing well, going on trips and succeeding in life.  I’ve never really compared myself to anyone in particular or wanted to be someone else or have someone else’s life.  I admire people, and sometimes think that it would be nice to be able to do this or that that other people do.  But I’m not jealous or envious per se.

However it’s moments like this that I feel like I will never find true happiness and contentment.  Or maybe this is JUST IT.  Maybe I have been trying to find happiness in all the wrong places.  Maybe I thought that happiness would be having a home and filling it with stuff or creating a business (lord knows I have created dozens already) and being my own boss.  But somehow there always seems to be something better that is just out of reach.

Maybe, just maybe, the letting go of the stuff and the life I have created, will be the answer that I have been looking for.

Maybe, just maybe, I will finally get out in the world and be satisfied with where I am at.

Contentment……that is what I am in search of.

It is out there, I know I can find it.


January 19, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

I have started selling stuff quite voraciously on our local Facebook Swap n shop and Buy/Sell/ Swap pages.  I’m only allowed to sell 3 items at once, so I’m slowly picking up stuff and announcing, “This can go!”, then listing it to sell right away.  This will be a constant for the next few months I can see.  I also was reading a blog lately from a couple who sold everything to travel the world a couple years ago.  What she did, was to make a Facebook album of stuff that is for sale, and the prices, then friends can scroll through whenever they like to see if anything interests them.  Sounds like a plan to me.  I’m still waiting to do an official blog post announcement of our plans, before we go gangbusters with selling stuff.

The stuff we are selling right now is literally stuff that we haven’t used, or even looked at, in probably a year or more.  We are also signed up to be part of a “Treasure Sale” in February.  It will be a group garage sale in a rented hall, with higher end items and art.  So, we are saving all of our valuable treasures for that.

Tonight we walked around the house a bit and mourned over the odd item that we didn’t want to sell, but knew that we had to.  It’s going to be a tough road for both of us, this transition.

I sat on the couch afterward and announced tha t “ I am worried that we will sell all of our stuff, and we will get to wherever we are going, and then I will be sad that I have nothing back home.”

Haha, so weird!  This attachment to stuff is a very strange thing indeed.  Never mind that, the attachment to Canada is just as strange!

Chris assured me that there will be lots of stuff to be found when we get to where we are going.  Which, by-the-way has not been decided yet.  The only thing we know so far is that we are headed south, south to the warmth and south to the Spanish.  Chris wants to learn Spanish, and it certainly can’t hurt me to improve upon mine, so we have agreed to head to Mexico or points south to start.

I’ve browsed some rental pages from specific places I have wanted to go to in the past.  For example, towns on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala have furnished one bedroom apartments for rent for $275/month.  Granted that is likely in US$, but still!  Couple that with eating at local markets and buying food to cook, we can live a pretty good life for about $1000/month I’m thinking!  A far cry from the $4000+/month of bills that we have now!  And that’s just the bills!  Never mind food, cat food, toiletries, entertainment, etc. etc. etc.

It’s moments like this, where I realize that yes, this all makes sense.  I constantly need to remind myself that No, I am NOT crazy, and that things will be fine.

Oh boy, yes, this is going to be challenging for sure!


January 17, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

This morning I woke to some thoughts that are surely run by fear.  It was the “but I love my little house” thoughts.  These thoughts were swept over with a terrible sense of nostalgia for not only the house, but all of my stuff in it.

Sigh…..I can see already that this is going to be a difficult process.

These initial thoughts were followed by an impending dread that I am again following an old pattern.  You see, in the past, I have owned a few different houses.  All of them were in various stages of repair and renovation, and it seemed that as soon as I (we) got them to a state of happy completion, we would sell it and move on to something else, never really enjoying the finished product.

With this house, I VOWED to pick away at it and make it my little dream house and then ENJOY it!  Not sell it!  But, here I am again, planning to do much the same thing.

We have been working our little butts off on this place, improving it, renovating and trying to make it our perfect sanctuary.  Are we really just going to throw that all away?  Will I ever be able to carve out my dream, and then enjoy it?

Or maybe, just maybe, this next adventure is my Dream, and I just need to succumb to the letting go to see what else is out there for me.

Yup, this year is going to be an interesting ride of emotions……..I can see that already.  It has just been a week since we made this decision, and already I think I have hit every emotional spectrum that is possible.  I think the actual selling and letting go of stuff is going to be a monumental triumph for me.

Deep Breath……………….

January 16, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

Well I did it!  After visiting my cousin this morning to tell him, I figured that my parents need to know ASAP before the network expands.  So, I did it.

In true predictable fashion, they had the obvious questions about where we plan to go and live, how we were going to survive, the usual concerns.  But after about 2 minutes of explaining myself, Dad said that he was supportive, and that it was my life and I needed to do whatever it is that makes me happy.  Mom, meanwhile let out a bunch of long sighs, but I know she will come around and be excited for me once this all gets going.  After all, this isn’t the first time I have dropped these kinds of bombs on them.  However, it IS the first time in a long time.

It’s actually no surprise really.  For the most part, over the course of my life, they have supported any hair brained ideas that I have had.  One in particular found me and my ex-husband purchasing a kayak from a Kayak shop in the Florida Keys.  We had never kayaked before, how hard could it be?  We literally bought it and pushed it out into the Florida Evergaldes right behind the store,  to embark on a 4 week journey up to Evergaldes City and back to Flamingo.

We had been working on a boat in Ft. Lauderdale, crewing on it back and forth to the Bahamas when we got sick of that gig.  We made our way down to the Keys, and came up with our cockamamie plan.  My parents just happened to be doing some business in Miami at the time, so they drove down to see what we were up to, and were there the day we filled the kayak with whatever essentials that we thought we needed (mostly stuffed into black garbage bags), and helped to push us off the shore.

A month later we told them that we were shipping the boat to the Bahamas and that we planned to paddle around there for a while.  No idea how long, just a while.  We paddled from Nassau down to Georgetown, following the Exuma chain, and YES making the 23 mile crossing from Rose Island to the tip of the Exumas, Ship Channel Cay.  This meant days and weeks without hearing from us as we moved from place to place looking for a way to call home.  We came across one spot at one point that had had their telecommunications blown out by the last hurricane.  The satellite phone costed $5 per minute, so the conversation went something like this: “Hi Dad, it’s Jill, we are alive but this is costing us $5 per minute so we will call you later when we get to a better phone.”  His response: “Okay Jill, thanks for calling.”  I think at that point they hadn’t heard from us in about 2 weeks, and were fully aware of where we were and what we were up to.  In fact, they seriously urged us not to make the 23 mile open ocean crossing as they knew that many things could go wrong out there.

Little did I know, because when you are 21/22, you don’t really consider your parents are worried to death about you, they were having nightmares about tides coming in and washing our kayak and all of our belongings out into the ocean while we slept, leaving us stranded in the middle of nowhere.  Little did THEY know, we also had a few sleepless nights where the only spot we could find to camp was jammed into a mangrove forest, and we weren’t sure how high the tide would come.  So we would consequently wake up every hour or so and look outside to see what was up.  Thankfully, in one particular spot, it was a dead calm night, and the water came within inches of our tent and then finally started to recede again.

So really, this is a piece of cake to them.  I’m 40 years old, I have a solid head on my shoulders, and I am headed to places on the land to rent a house or apartment.  At least, that is the plan so far.  Who knows what crazy thoughts we will dream up once we get out there!

Okay, deep breath……Chris’ mom next, then we can really start the ball rolling with this.


January 15, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

Well, we told someone!  Not just one person, but 3.  Last night, at a friends house.  Now, I must admit our two friends that live in the house we were visiting, aren’t just your typical couple.  These guys moved here from Mexico (individually they are from Argentina and Columbia,)  last year at about this time.  They are both internationally recognized artists, and they have both traveled extensively.  I think the reason we wanted to tell them first was because we knew that they would get it.  And, in true predicted fashion, they both hugged us and congratulated us and were genuinely excited for us.  Sandra later told me that she initially thought that I was going to tell her that I was pregnant!  HAHA, not a chance of that!  This is much better news!

So, now that we have told people, we really need to tell our parents.  This cat is going to leap out of the bag in no time, and we really need to let them know what we are up to.  We are both hesitant and a little fearful to share this news with them.  I wonder why that is?  Is it because as kids we know that our parents have certain expectations of us?  They want us to build a life and a career and work hard and retire?  I’m not even sure if that’s it.  For me personally, I am hesitant to tell anyone.  I fear for the back lash.  The opinions, the comments, the rumours!??  Will there be rumours?  We live in a small town.  I suppose that anything is possible.  But why the worry?  Why do I care what other people think about the way I have chosen to live my life?

I think it all goes back to a deep rooted childhood pattern that I adopted early on.  When I was quite young, my parents took me travelling a lot.  For many years we would go to the Caribbean for Xmas and New Years.  There were always trips to Hawaii as well, and many other southern destinations.  I used to have students tease me and make fun of me for the amount of travelling I did.  “Where are you going this time Amatt??”  “Oh why don’t you just go get another nice tan?”  In retrospect, I realize that these comments don’t mean anything, but I made it mean that I better stop telling people about any travelling I do, and definitely should not talk about my achievements and accomplishments in life.  It was easier to just not talk about it, and make sure that people liked me for who I was, rather then what I have done in my life.  HA!  The irony of that is…..well……ironic!  Isn’t what we do in our lives what shapes us to be who we are?  Somewhere along the line, I buried it all.  I didn’t want anyone to know what I had done, and I certainly didn’t need anyone to judge it!

And so, here we are.  Yes, I am still afraid of the judging.  But I am realizing (I can’t say I’ve figured this out all the way) that most peoples reactions, are usually just their own fears being projected onto the other person.  If we tell someone who is scared of travelling and doesn’t ever want to leave Canada, then isn’t it predictable that they will spew some sort of garbage about how we are crazy to leave the safety of Canada and that what we are doing is dangerous and reckless?  Yes, I am already envisioning those conversations.  I’m already building my defense armour to be able to tackle back, if first tackled.

But, it has to happen.  We can’t just up and leave and not tell anyone.  We owe it to our loved ones, to let them prepare for this.  To accept this.  Because this is how it is going to be.


January 14, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

Well, the good ol’ fear has set in, and hard.  We are still set on selling everything in the house, but maybe not the house.  Is it silly to let go of our one major asset that may increase in value?  That may get destroyed on an earthquake while we are away?  We do live on the West Coast of Canada, isn’t “The Big One” supposed to arrive someday.  Do we really want to have to come back here to sell it in the future?  Will we ever live here again?

Both of us keep teetering on the brink of wanting to go full throttle with this, but we also have hesitations.  Then there is the stuff that really is super important.  Do we keep a small container of stuff and ship it from place to place as we re-settle in different places?  Do we just put a few things in storage somewhere for future keeping?  That’s a waste of money unless we can find a free garage or something.  But then that is a burden for someone else.   What if they want to sell their house and move and we are way across the world?

In 4 short days, our thought patterns have been roller coaster rides.  It’s all we can think of.  In the middle of anything we are doing, either one of us will blurt out something like “We can rent an apartment for really cheap in Guatemala.” Or “I guess we are going to sell……(fill in the blank with something that seemed important to us months ago, but is now our path to freedom)”.  We both know exactly what each other is talking about, and it shows that we are both thinking about this day and night.

Initially we discussed only starting to tell people about this in June, thinking that at that point, we would have thought about this thouroughly enough that we would know all the answers and be prepared for peoples backlash.  But really, who cares!!?? And why are we so afraid of others’ opinions? This is our decision, and those that can’t be happy and supportive, then I guess they aren’t the kinds of friends we want to have around.  This is for US!  This is NOT for anyone else.  Yes we may be being selfish, yes it is totally self indulging, and yes we don’t want to answer to anyone about our decisions!  We  have no kids (however we do have 2 cats, so that has to be dealt with at some point, and we aren’t sure what the answer to that one is at this point), and we have no legitimate ties to anywhere really.  Either way, 4 days into this decision, we are thinking that maybe we should start telling people now.

It feels, all of a sudden, like time is on fast forward.  Like there is something seriously awesome at the end of this hard working, burnout circuit that we are on.  Like no task is to large if it means that we have this to look forward to at the end.  Like we can tackle ANYTHING!  The power I feel already is immense.  All I can hear in my mind, over and over like a stuck record is “It is time.”  This encompasses so much, I can’t even put it all together right now.  For once in my life, I am so excited about every day, that it’s like time doesn’t exist.

In fact, our plan to sell the house may have just accelerated to this September, as of this afternoon.  It seems that the more time that rolls on, the more eager we are to blow this pop stand!

January 11, 2017

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

Something has been nagging at me for about 6 months now.  My life has started to look very unlike what I had hoped and dreamed for it to be.  I’m making good money, but I’m spending it faster than I am making it, worse, I’m spending more than I am making.  I have started to feel like I’m on the treadmill, always working super hard, but never getting anywhere.  Bills keep piling up, and payments get less and less, later and later.

My partner and I have been developing our property.  The back yard looks like a park land, while the inside keeps getting torn apart, but never quite put back together.  We have grand plans of what we want the house to look like, but will we ever get there? In 4 years we have accumulated a house full of stuff.  Some stuff that has meaning, but mostly the stuff is just that…..STUFF.

In recent months, I have been trying to thin out the unimportant stuff, but the sense of overwhelm stops me in my tracks every time, and more stuff keeps arriving.  We have built a shed, shelves, cupboards and closets to contain the stuff, but the clutter is everywhere you look and closets and cupboards are getting full!

The only thing that I really, really, really  long to do is to travel.  I spent my young life travelling.  Back before responsibilities, property ownership and STUFF.  Life was freer back then.  Can’t it be that way again?  Last year we went on a 6 week journey through Europe (after I realized that I hadn’t really been anywhere significant in 8 long years), with the hope to do it every year.  However, here we sit, drowning in debt, with no hope of going anywhere unless some miracle cash windfall happens to fall on us.

This pattern is familiar to me.  My ex-husband and I did a similar thing.  We accumulated stuff.  We lost sight of what was important.  We stopped travelling.  We fought, we argued, we divorced.  I don’t want the entire story to repeat itself.  It’s time to get on top of this.  It’s time to get rid of the stuff.  It’s time to TRAVEL!

And so, after watching a minimalist documentary, I have come up with a grand plan.  It took about ½ an hour to convince my partner that this was a good idea.  But he agreed, and now we can’t stop thinking about it.  Our plan is to sell everything.  Cut our ties, and head off into the unknown.  We both have skills that will carry us anywhere in the world.  Chris is a tattoo artist, landscaper and excellent cook.  I am a house painter, artist, writer & cook.  Our combined life experience rounds out to include excellent skills that will work for cash jobs around the world.

This is it!  This is the big idea that has been brewing in my mind for the last while!  I have felt it slowly creeping to the surface, getting closer and closer to the light of day.  Every cell in my body could sense the arrival of some thing BIG.  Something life changing, something exciting, adventurous and really worth living for!

The plan is loose right now.  But already we have started to discuss what to sell.  We aren’t in any kind of panic to do this.  It may take a year, it may take a year and a half.  But the seed has been planted, and there is no going back.  Logistics will be worked out over time, and it will manifest itself.  Our intention is laid, and it is time.


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