November 29, 2017 – Thoughts on Being Busy

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I have recorded my thoughts and emotions as we got rid of all of our possessions, a house, 2 cars, 2 businesses, and tons of STUFF, in order to free ourselves so that we could live a life of travel. From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts, and still am, on certain days where I feel like writing. These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections). My hope is that my writing inspires you to live your dream. You may not want to do it like we have, but whatever that passion is, grab and hold it and don’t let it go! Xo

Today marks our 1 month anniversary of arriving to Playa Matapalo to do our housesitting gig (click here to learn about Housesitting).  It’s hard to believe that it has gone by so quickly.

I won’t lie, the first full day we had here, I actually had a physical tightening in my chest and a panic attack with the thought of “we are in the middle of nowhere, with no car…….what the heck are we going to do all day for two whole months?”  Never mind that we had finally JUST arrived in this place that we had dreamed of for many months.  Never mind that it is on one of the loveliest beaches I have ever seen.  Never mind that it is PARADISE!!

I had just sat down to read a book, something that I hadn’t done in literally months, if not years.  Sure I had books on the go at home, but it would be one quick chapter here and there, quick glimpses in between things to do, where I would quickly try and digest some information, or some parts of a story.  Half the time, by the time I got back to it, I had forgotten what I had read, and had to try and quickly skim the last chapter to figure out what I was missing.

The voice in my mind on that first day was that BUSY-body alter ego that I have that always wants to be busy, always NEEDS to be busy.  The one that invents things to keep her busy.  The one that feels that if she isn’t ‘busy’ then what good is she?  That part of me, lets just call her that, the Busy Body, felt GUILTY for sitting down to enjoy herself.

However, I immediately caught the Busy Body at her tricks and proceeded to lecture her, “Just calm down, you are here to relax, you are here to re-focus, and you are here to heal from the crazy ‘busy’ life that you led.”  I took a few deep breaths, and attempted to put to rest that part of me.  I decided in that moment that I wasn’t going to be that busy girl anymore, I wasn’t going to give the Busy Body what she wanted.  I would spend my time re-focussing my life in a different direction.  Of course, I would spend some time being productive, sure, but there was no need to seek validation from being busy anymore.  There was no need to show others that I was keeping busy, and there was no need to prove to anyone that I was being busy.  That was it.


The first couple weeks was a time of deep reflection, a time to really enjoy ourselves a bit, and a time to try and figure out what we wanted to do next.  While we came on this trip with a general sense of what we wanted to do, it certainly takes some real soul searching and fine tuning to figure it out for sure.  Chris is pretty set on his Tattooing, which he is really making a name for himself in this community we are staying in, and has many bookings coming up.  He’s doing really great at it, and is on cloud nine with the response from the locals.  It seems that they have only ever had one really good tattoo guy here in Matapalo before, he was from Cuba, and was only here for a short time.  Their only other option is to go to Quepos, a near by city, and we have been told that the work isn’t great.  So suddenly, they are all scrambling to find some money, so that they can get their dream tattoos in the next month.  Speaking of busy, I think Chris will definitely be busy this month!  But a good busy, of course!

I, on the other hand, have many different options of things I could do moving forward.  I have an English teaching certification, I have my online art stores, I have my writing, to name a few.  While I would love to make a living at my writing, I have to say that I am quite aware that that could take time to build.  And so, I have recently focused my time and attention on my artwork, and getting my online stores back up and running more smoothly and efficiently.  Only time will tell how successful they will be, but once the initial work is done to get them going, it should be a good passive income if promoted properly.

Getting this stuff going again has certainly kept me busy, although, it too is a good busy, it’s a productive busy.  We have also started to really create a network of friends in this town.  Ex-pats have been arriving for the winter, and we are really getting connected with the locals.  The last couple weeks have certainly been busier than the first two we had here, but it is a good busy.  It is a fulfilling busy.  We are already dreading the day we have to leave, we really like it here, we could stay a while I think.

Our remote situation is a blessing, and we are happy to be away from the crowds that seem to linger in nearby towns North and South of us.  On various occasions that we have had to take the bus to go anywhere for supplies, we are definitely happier when we return to our quiet little nook.  We aren’t suffering for anything, and I think as more and more time goes by, we realize just how little we really do NEED to go anywhere.  A fruit and vegetable guy comes by every Friday with a truck full of goodies to buy, and we finally have a line on the local old guy on his bike that sells frozen prawns and fish.  Finding what we need, it seems, is all about networking around here.  It’s a blissful existence.

Looking back, I’m sure we will view these days at Matapalo as a wonderful time of transition.  One of reflection, and inspiration.  One of relaxation, and refocus.

At the end of the day, I’d say it’s pretty much exactly what the doctor ordered!


Thanks for reading! Please know that above all else, I aim to inspire others to just get out and see the world. Traveling is such an enriching experience, and I can’t even comprehend how much it has shaped me as an individual. If you have ANY questions, or need travel advice of ANY kind, PLEASE don’t hesitate to email me at the address below! I will do my very best to help you in any way I can!

Xoxoxo Happy Travels!

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September 7, 2017 – Freedom…..40???


***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.) 


Well, today is the day that I have jumped off of the hamster wheel.

I have been a self-employed house painter (that’s HOUSE painter, not ARTIST painter) for the last 9-10 (11…..12????) years.
I’m one of those weirdos that seriously loves painting.
Now, before you ask yourself these questions (because MANY people do), here are the answers:
YES! I enjoy the monotony!

NO! I don’t mind heights!

NO! I don’t get bored!

YES! I enjoy the repetition! (Is that the same as monotony??) 🙂

YES! It IS hard work!

But, what I enjoy the most with painting, is the transformation of whatever space it is that I am working in.

I enjoy watching my clients witness the change in perspective of how their space has changed.

I enjoy the creative process.

Because of my love of creativity, in the middle of this 10-ish year stint, I mixed in owning a local art gallery for 4 of those years. Meaning I painted very infrequently, but still kept my skills up.

But in 2015 we closed the gallery, and I was back at it painting full time.

It has been good. Through past painting clients, and word of mouth from gallery customers, I have established a good reputation in my town. In all honesty, things were just starting to get comfortable.

However, today I walked away from all of that.

I walked away in order to continue to grow.

I walked away because it was all too much. Too much paperwork, too many insurance policies, too many bills. Just too much “red tape.”

I walked away because I am tired of living a life where I can’t travel.

I walked away because deep, deep, DEEP down, I wasn’t happy.

I have FINALLY realized, at the age of 40, that life is too short to be unhappy, and that what makes me the most happy, is traveling.

Now, I don’t propose that I’m going to retire. I AM NOT the sort of person that just sits on the sidelines and watches the world go by. There will be more work in my future, I have absolutely no doubt. But the work in my future will have meaning. It will have purpose. I will no longer just be a cog in the wheel.

My schedule will be more free, and not one that is stuck in the ways of societal norms.

EVEN THOUGH I have been self employed for all of those years, I have maintained a pretty strict Mon-Fri 9-5 routine. If I took a Monday off, I usually would work a Saturday to balance this out.

My decision to follow this schedule is partly due to societal structures. Clients usually expected this sort of a schedule from me, and I just complied. But another part of  my decision was definitely due to trying to make as much money as I could, so that I could pay my bills. (I’m loving that this is in the past tense right now!!!)

However, it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, even though I was actually enjoying what I was doing, I was not going to get ahead. Which inevitably meant that there would be no traveling.

BUT today I left that all behind! Today I feel like I have FINALLY taken control of my life.

I will no longer be restricted to what society has decided that I “should” do. From now on I will make solid and sound decisions that are guided by my heart, and my instinct.

This feeling is unbelievable!

And I am ecstatic!

All of a sudden I feel like every corner I turn, is the right corner. Every move I am making is sound. The universe seems to be guiding us along, and the more that I just let go and trust what’s going on, the more the miracles fall into place.

One of my latest posts on here was about listing our house for sale. Well…….the house is now sold! It was a magically synchronistic event, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

But, in the meantime, ask yourself; Are you happy? Is what you are doing really full filling you?

It is TIME to be asking these questions. It is TIME to make a change if you need to!

We MUST remember that we are NEVER too old to start living the life we WANT to live.

Life is short!

Let’s get busy!!!


** 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.