house sit

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April 30th, 2017- Costa Rica bound!

Published May 1, 2017 by jillamatt

***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.) 

Wow!  Things seem to be falling into place all around us lately!  We just found out last night that we got a house sitting gig in Costa Rica, just South of Manuel Antonio, from November 1st to December 30th. It’s a very quiet and un-touristy part of Costa Rica, which is perfect for us.

I have been back and forth via email with the owner of the property for the last couple weeks. Initially she contacted us to see if we were available from September 1st to December 30th. I explained to her that we were in the process of selling everything and that we likely wouldn’t be ready by the beginning of September.

She wrote back to tell me that although they prefer to get one set of people for the whole 4 months, they have also split the term up in the past into 2 segments. So I told her that if she could find someone for the first half, we could certainly be available for November/December.

Well, she did just that, and in the blink of an eye, we now have a skeleton of a plan forming, which, in some deep seated way, is comforting to know.

I can’t help but laugh, however, as I read my last “Letting Go Diary” post about Plans and Planning.  In it, I resigned myself to the fact that we really didn’t have any specific plans, and that stressing out and worrying was not going to get me anywhere but to being burnt out.

However, when we secured this house sitting position, it also all-of-a-sudden made this whole scheme that we have concocted, VERY REAL!  Suddenly we DO have a plan, suddenly there ARE goals to achieve.  Suddenly we have something very real and concrete to work towards.  And in some strange way, it has made us super excited, and has brought us both much comfort.

Playa Matapalo

Playa Matapalo

Even though, I must say, I do like the feeling of just heading out, and not really knowing what is around each corner, I am also very aware that this will be a fabulous way to truly unwind from this hectic life that we live, and will give us breathing room when we get there, to figure out our next moves.

It also provides us with a goal, with some structure, and with something to truly look forward to!

PURA VIDA BABY!!!

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PURA VIDA:

Spanish for “pure life.”

The law of the land in Costa Rica. The expression is used in many forms, from a greeting, to a synonym for “excellent.” Ticos follow this lifestyle and are some of the most wonderful people on earth. A synonym of “hakuna matata.” Life is wonderful; enjoy it.

“Pura vida!” (Damn right!)
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YARD SALE!

Another milestone was completed today as we held our first official yard and plant sale.

Plants are halfway down and through the gate. Forgot to take a picture of them!

It was a bright sunny spring day, and lots of people came out. All told we sold approx $1000 worth of stuff, which brings our overall total to just over $7000.

This is some of my random artwork that I have done during the span of 11 years living here.

 

The hoards of people waiting for the sale to begin!

However, there is still lots of stuff to go yet! We haven’t even begun on our kitchen stuff, tools, or garden equipment.

I must say though, although we still have lots of stuff to sell, our shoulders both feel much lighter with the amount that we have sold. It’s like we have been carrying around some kind of burden that we didn’t even know existed, and as those layers peel off, we are seeing and realizing our dream begin to manifest itself in our lives.

Tomorrow officially marks the beginning of the “busy” season for me in the house painting world. I have clients lined up from now until the end of July at least.  Chris has been busy with his Landscaping already with tons of spring pruning to do, but he is also part time working in his tattoo shop.

So our time will be precious, and we will really need to narrow our focus to get our house renovations finished and get it on the market by July, in the meantime continuing to sell as much as we can.

Life is going to be a bit crazy for a bit, but I am aware of what I need to do to “not over do it”, and everyday I am motivated by this amazing life we have to look forward to.

THIS is what I have been wanting!  To live a life that I feel like writing about everyday!  THIS is what has been brewing in the back of my mind for months now!

Finally!  Life is going to get darn exciting!  Pura Vida indeed!

** Thanks for reading!  This is part of a larger group of blog posts about us letting go of all of our possessions to go traveling.  If you would like to read from the beginning, click here.**

To learn about where I have previously traveled, click here.

To see my blog post menu, click here.

To learn about House Sitting opportunities, and how you can house sit as well, please click here.

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February 5, 2017

Published February 6, 2017 by jillamatt

***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.

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

 

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