Homelessness on purpose is a pretty freaky feeling. We, like you, have always had a lot of stuff. We had a small house that eventually seemed a bit cramped. We moved closer to our good jobs and bought our dream home with the vow never to move again. We bought the house we thought we’d retire in, in a nice neighborhood. It was big enough for us and overnight guests and party gatherings. We filled it with stuff that attracted us. I never threw things away or got rid of very much that I really could have/should have, just in case I might need it later. Then came the epiphany.
This is not where we want to be in 10+ years when we retire. We don’t want to be tied down anymore with debt and a mortgage. We had been thinking about retirement for a few years and what we wanted to do “someday.” We got the freedom bug and the travel bug, and all we’d collected over our 20 years together started to seem a huge anchor around our necks choking the life out of us.
We were getting emails at work about people that retired 1, 2, 3 years ago and now they’re dead – come to the funeral. Is that our future?!! We have living to do! Reading about others that went before us into the world at large inspired us to take action to get out of the “American Dream” system. We took drastic measures to kill off all our debt and stuck to it. We started selling off all our stuff. Hard watching all my beautiful stuff that I paid good money for going out the door for pennies on the dollar, but we had a dream. I was telling everyone about how we were leaving so that I couldn’t chicken out. I didn’t want to be all talk and no do.
Finally the day came when we left the world of having an address where we live. We have almost no personal belongings. I’m a woman; women “nest.” My nest was gone and I must fly free. It’s liberating yet kinda freaky and unsettling. I have to remind myself when I “look down and see the ground far below” that my stuff is now in the bank. That’s my nest egg, if you will. I realized that the only real security in having stuff is that you could sell it if you needed money. We sold it already. That’s the only difference. Now I have pictures of all my stuff if I ever want to look at them – so far, not. Seems that having a lot of stuff is just what we to do to give ourselves the illusion of permanency in the world or having an anchor.
I haven’t regretted any of this except for maybe a few kitchen items that we had to replace with cheaper versions when we got our travel trailer. That’s it. I LOVE BEING HOMELESS! I can make much less money since there’s no bills and no maintenance, other than our vehicle that will soon be gone. Breathing is easier without that “load on my shoulders.” Downsizing to two backpacks is the next step as we head for adventure in the world outside our previous experience. New languages to learn, new food to try, new people and cultures to explore, new friends, new vistas, new sunsets. Nope, not regretting it at all, thank-you-very-much.