Hi there, and welcome! You’ve stumbled upon my small piece of the internet and are considering reading the thoughts that I pour out here- great! If you take a look around the website, you’ll be able to read snippets about us and what we’re about, but I thought to start out with launching my blog, I’d dedicate a post to kind of introducing ourselves, how I arrived at writing a blog that you are now reading, and what we’re all about.
It has been suggested to me a couple of times that maybe I should write. I have always enjoyed getting my thoughts out, and organizing them, in print. A few months ago, Carrie and I were beginning to plan for our next big trip to Costa Rica, and we got to talking: some of our friends and family have shown interest in the past regarding our many travels. They’ve been curious about where we go, why we like going there, and how in the heck we afford it all. And, to be honest, we thought maybe some of our friends wanted us to just shut up and sit down regarding our jet-set life. Fair enough. That’s where the idea for a website came from- a forum where we could share our travels through words, pictures, and video with those who were interested.
From there, the idea just sort of expanded. When we began talking about what really goes into making so much travel possible, there were just certain subjects that kept coming up, namely, minimalism, self-sufficiency, and our relationship as a whole.
Let’s face it: we’re bombarded with advertisements constantly in an attempt to get us to buy things. Capitalism is pretty much built on getting people to consistently part with their hard earned cash, often, on stuff that we don’t really need. We’re taught to believe that we “need” certain things. We’re taught that possessions will make us happy.
The truth is, stuff will never make you happy.
What will? Well, I suppose that answer varies from person to person. For some, it’s accomplishment; a job well done. For others, it’s fulfilling relationships with lots of people. Or maybe with a select few. For some, it’s love. Or maybe freedom. It would be pretty hard to convince me that your PS-whatever or that new pair of shoes that, come on, they pinch your toes and you know it- makes you truly, deeply, happy and satisfied.
Minimalism has helped us kick off some of the old ways and habits that are so easy to fall into; those kind of culturally-universal expectations for middle-class Americans about what we are supposed to have and be and value. And we’re happier because of it. Plus, I’ve always loved bucking the system anyway.
Self Sufficiency and minimalism kind of tie together in this sort of “rope of financial freedom”, if you will. We figured there was no way I could write this blog without mentioning the many things we do around here for ourselves. By being as self-reliant and self-sufficient as possible, we can avoid a lot of things we’ve decided we don’t want, such as unhealthy food because I rely on restaurants to provide our food instead of cooking it for myself. Or non-organic and inhumanely raised foods because I can’t grow or raise it myself. Or settling for an outdated home with lots of stuff that’s half broken because I can’t update it or fix it myself. Doing all of these things yourself not only results in less expense, but a superior end result. Neither Carrie, nor I, were born with the knowledge that we currently have. She didn’t always know how to install plumbing, just like I didn’t always know how to make soap. But we are both naturally curious, enjoy learning, and have a wide range of different, yet complimentary, interests and skills. If you don’t know how to do jack right now, don’t worry. It takes time. The important part is to just start somewhere.
Let’s just put this one out on the table from the get-go: Carrie and I have failed relationships in our pasts. We were not High School sweethearts (we probably would not have liked each other much!), we have not been together forever, we do not think that we have it figured all out. As a matter of fact, as I sit here, writing this at 1am while she snores away, we have been a couple for about… 18 months. That’s all folks. That said, I guess how we think about it is this: we’ve both screwed up before, and at least we have allowed those mistakes to teach us things. Take communication, for example. We’ve both identified a lack or breakdown in communication to have been huge factors in the demise of both of our past relationships. Going forward with each other, we make frequent, honest, and healthy communication a priority. It helps that we love the heck out of each other. Seriously. At the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche, we just think the world of each other. The fact that we are just so completely attracted to everything about each other has simply caused us to deepen our commitment to ensuring that this relationship is protected, nourished, and ultimately, works for both of us. There is just no way I could write this blog without addressing the fantastic teamwork that goes on with the two of us inside this relationship.
Also, I am not a counselor yet, but I am aspiring to be one. I am currently working on my graduate degree in counseling and I think I would like to work with couples and families in the future. I think my personal failures and triumphs along those lines will come in handy and help me relate.
Well, there you have it! That’s what we’re all about and what you can expect to read about on here. I hope you enjoy reading about our journey as much as I enjoy living it.