Six months after embarking on a nomadic living experiment (turned lifestyle), I made this video, reminiscing about apartment living and stresses of the lifestyle I used to live … while sitting on one of my favorite beaches exploring ideas about what makes a well-lived life.
I think it’ll make you smile and maybe even learn something. Enjoy!
Have you grown accustomed to a bit too much of the same-old-same-old? Routines can provide comfort and stability, but they can also cause your mind – and your life – to go into autopilot.
You don’t have to settle for status quo expectations and life on autopilot.
This doesn’t need to feel mysterious. Apply these simple powerful strategies and you can make your life what you dream it can be. Life so good you can’t wait to get up and out of bed for it in the morning…
Modeled after an 8-day countdown I shared on Facebook as it was happening (in 2017), here’s the highlight reel of my 8-day Nomadic Living Countdown.
To say that there was a lot involved in planning for such a major downsizing, would be an understatement. Going from apartment living, to my boyfriend, dog, and I all moving into a 20 foot RV was no. small. undertaking. (Spoiler alert: One year later, we upsized to a 27′ Airstream.)
The process required very real focus and attention to downsize, organize, pack and prepare for our Nomadic Living Experiment. And we did it all in 60 days!
Here’s the synopsis of my 8-day Nomadic Living Downsizing Countdown:
8 Days From Nomadic Living: A Downsizing Micro-Glimpse
With the downsizing and packing process well underway, I paused to catch my breath. This bag of tea is a micro-glimpse of my process. I went from an abundant tea selection, with many boxes of tea stacked in my kitchen cabinet, to one single consolidated zip-lock bag. With just one week to go, I spent an entire Saturday sorting and clearing “everything kitchen”. Tea was one of so many things I needed to sort through from my kitchen, but bit by bit… it got done.
7 Days From Nomadic Living: Moving Sale
The 7 day count-down! After sorting, sorting and more sorting … I had set aside my final few irreplaceable items for storage (original art, family photo albums, for example). I posted a moving sale sign by the elevator in my building. It listed the last of the things I had yet to sell. (Much of it sold. Whatever was left, I donated.)
6 Days From Nomadic Living: Decision Fatigue
I find that the most difficult decisions to make are often the ones that don’t really matter but that you need to make anyway. Do you agree? I was definitely feeling decision fatigue as I made countless micro-decisions … which pots to pack …. what spices to take … which socks … which kitchen utensils … toiletries … etc.. etc… and, even more daunting for me was deciding where each item I wasn’t taking was going … sell? recycle? donate? … and if for sale, for how much? … where and to whom?
You feel me? I was knackered. I put out a call for some positive juju and energetic support as I sorted through the stuff of downsizing. While super excited to simplify and have less – I won’t sugarcoat it – the process of getting there took a lot out of me.
But, one decision at a time, I did it. And I’m SO glad I did.
5 Days From Nomadic Living: Giving Love Away
With just 5 days remaining, I hit a turning point. I went from battling decision fatigue, to surrendering.
Instead of wanting to sell things, I wished I could just beam it ALL to donation. For starters, I gave ‘Love’ (and a few others items) away. I delighted in doing so, as a metaphor in motion. Really, isn’t that what it’s all about? I literally gave “LOVE” for free and it felt good. 🙂
4 Days From Nomadic Living: Farewell Pistachio!
With a sense of nostalgia, I sold my little Fiat who I had named Pistachio. I bought Pistachio 2.5 years prior, just days after moving to the DC area. Fun to drive and cute as can be, I loved being able park in spaces that no one else could fit in.
One time, a man standing on a nearby curb watched me parallel park and stood on the curb clapping for me after I fit into an incredibly tight parking spot. I bowed when I got out of the car. 🙂
Pistachio and I also took to the highways, on road trips south to Florida and north to Rhode Island. Here I was, just days from Nomadic Living, and it was time we parted. Farewell, Pistachio … and thank you! Maybe I’ll see you on the road.
3 Days From Nomadic Living: We Put The Cart Before The Horse
Here’s a quick story about when Carl and I went to the RV dealership and purchased our “condo on wheels”. While learning about the weight of the unit, the towing info, etc., the sales guy asked, “What do you drive?” and in unison we answered:
“Fiat” “Prius” !
Maybe you had to be there … but it was a funny moment.
Here we were, looking to buy an RV with two vehicles that obviously weren’t going to tow it.
That day, we purchased our (starter) RV travel trailer and drove off – in the Prius.
With a ‘Sold’ sign in the window, our little RV was awaiting our return to pick it up.
In other words, we literally put the cart before the horse! Arguably not a rational logical move but, hey, not all good decisions are rational decisions.
We put into practice what, in coaching with my clients, I refer to as ‘Quantum Leaping a Dream’. By, quite literally, putting the cart before the horse, we took a big ol’ leap of faith. We dove into the deep end and teamed up to do something that neither one of us had done before.
Our decision to put the cart before the horse, ensured that we would figure out what we needed to figure out, and gallop our way back to hitch our cart. And that’s exactly what we did. We sold our Fiat/Prius. And our little RV got it’s horse.
*** What Quantum Leap are you dreaming up for your own life? What dream is stirring within YOUR heart just waiting for YOU to leap?
Any friend who helps you carry boxes and drop stuff off at Salvation Army, is the real deal.
Just a few weeks after moving to the DC area, while out salsa dancing, I met Laura. We had chatted briefly between songs. When later that night she saw me leaving, she yelled goodbye, waving vigorously at me from a balcony. I knew then and there, we’d be friends. A few weeks later, we went for a 3-hour kayak conversation (much more talking than rowing) and it was a friendship made.
Just 2 days away from nomadic living, Laura came over and helped me move. I gave her the grand tour of our 20′ condo on wheels, and we ate take-out at the dinette table. We also took this “see you later” selfie (no goodbyes).
I’m so glad our paths have crossed. And I know they will again. True friendship transcends time and space.
1 Day From Nomadic Living: How Long Things Take
Carl and I spent our last night in the almost empty apartment after a busy day of too many tasks to name, all on the heels of a late night out dancing (we, too, met on a salsa dance floor). We accomplished a lot that day and sleep felt like a true reward.
After months of planning and preparation, it was exciting to be less than 24 hours away from the kick-off of our nomadic lifestyle. Knowing that by this time tomorrow, we’d be fully moved out of the apartment and starting on our RV living journey, was definitely exhilarating.
Big life changes are rarely made overnight. They take time and they require planning and preparation.
Generally speaking, the bigger the change, the more planning and preparation is needed. But, how long?
How do YOU determine how long things will take?
As a rule of thumb, I find that when it comes to getting big, daunting tasks and projects done …. things take exactly as long as you have for them.
Knowing and learning to trust this, is a bit like having a superpower.
We did it in 60 days. Once the deadline was set, we got to work, trusting that the time we had was exactly the time we needed.
A favorite personal mantras of mine is “Time expands for me.” I tell myself this (on repeat, until I believe it) especially when I’m feeling like the time I have is shorter than the time I need. And, lo and behold, it all gets done.
On the eve of this great new adventure, having certainly wondered and felt concerned about whether we’d pull it off and get everything done and ready to go in time — I went to bed feeling confident, a knowing in my soul: we got this.
What about YOU? How long do things take?
Do you find that things take as long as you have for them?
How do YOU ensure that tasks and projects get done, done well, and efficiently?
In childhood, a messy room was par for the course. It was part teenage rebellion – a response to the high standards and OCD tendencies of my maternal lineage. I judged them as too intense, uptight and unnecessary, so I bucked them.
As an adult, it grew into a pile of papers, a pile of clothes, a pile of half-read books, and numerous notebooks full of random ideas. It’s not that I’ve lived in utter chaos, but a manageable level of chaos had become my norm. It was something I embraced, playfully telling myself that it’s the inevitable by-product of “non-linear genius.” Ha!
Well, perhaps the familial gene ramps up in the 40’s, because something shifted within me. The desire to have Less Stuff and More Order really took hold. One drawer, one notebook, one item of clothing at a time… I began touching and sorting through every single item I own.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
I am now an advocate for order and simplicity. I may even be a bit of a zealot in the making.
Less truly is more. While the process was daunting, and going through every item I owned to determine whether to keep it, sell it, donate it, recycle it, or trash it was exhausting at times … in the end, it feels so goooooood— so gratifying, so clarifying, and so freeing … to have released so much “stuff”. (My ‘8-Day Downsizing Countdown to Nomadic Living’ post goes into this in more detail.)
With every carload of “stuff” I passed along, with every drawer and shelf and closet I sorted, and with every notebook page that got either recycled because it was no longer relevant, or went into a binder organized by category …. I have found that the benefits of order and downsizing go *far beyond* what I would have expected.
It’s about so much more than having a clean desk, or knowing exactly where something is when I’m looking for it. The true benefits are a clearer mind. What it has given me is a terrifically streamlined approach to moving forward (both personally and professionally). I have a deeper sense of inner peace and focus, and I no longer feel the energetic burden of owning things that I don’t need, love, or both.
At one point, while sorting through a trunk of memorabilia, I came across a $10 bill tucked into a card. It was addressed to me in Australia (I studied abroad my junior year of college). It had been sent by my sweet grandmother for “ice cream with a friend”. That envelope had traveled with me, since 1996. While years later, “ice cream with a friend” was indeed how it was spent.
So, today I am celebrating how profoundly and positively efforts to amp up order is impacting my life, my business, my heart, my soul, my mind, and even my body. For me, this is a lifestyle choice.
What about YOU? I want to hear from you. How does order support or inhibit YOU? Do you agree that less is more? Why or why not?