It’s amazing what selling all your stuff and a little travel can do to help change your outlook on stuff.
My wife and I traveled to Nicaragua back in 2012. It was the start of our journey towards a different lifestyle. It was also our first venture off the beaten path of the all-inclusive resort life.
When you go to an all-inclusive resort, many people tell you “don’t venture off the resort by yourself”. People do though. And they come back in one piece too. And listening to that kind of rhetoric does make you second guess venturing off the resort. And sure, some places you probably don’t want to.
During our first visit to Nicaragua, we stayed in Granada for five days. If we went out, we took only enough money for what we needed (still do, actually). We never wore bling (we never do anyway, in fact our wedding bands are pieces of coconut that cost us a buck each). And rarely do we stay out past 9pm (we’re reverse vampires). Yet that first trip, I was still apprehensive about things. Things like the daily market in Granada.
If you’ve ever been to this market, or any other busy “third-world” market, you probably know what I’m talking about. In Granada, it’s several streets of vendors selling anything from sandals, to sunglasses, from peppers to papayas. And it’s quite often jam packed full of people.
Three years ago, I wouldn’t dare dive that deep into the culture and explore the market. I’m just not that person. I’m not an explorer. I’m the type of person that enjoys beautiful landscapes over culture and events. Give me the Grand Canyon over Vegas any day, baby!
Our first trip to the Granada market in 2012 was a drive-by through the outer streets on our bicycles, and we enjoyed it from afar. But three years later in 2015, and after a year in Panama, we took the plunge without hesitation. I’d love to come up with an analogy about it being like taking the training wheels of our bikes, but when you do that, you’re still a little nervous about those first few moments without extra wheels. Or maybe it’s taking that first dive into a pool from the high-dive board, but I’d still be cautious and tip-toe my way out on the board.
It was nothing like either of those terrible analogies this time around. We needed groceries. We knew exactly where the market was. We also knew it would be hot, busy, and at times even a tad dirty and smelly. But we didn’t hesitate. With determination, we walked through the market looking for the best produce and came out with a huge score of groceries for just under $7 US dollars. More importantly, we came out with our heads held higher than triumphant Spartan warriors.
As you travel, you evolve. You step outside your comfort zone more than once. And you also learn that you don’t need to fear everything in this world because someone else said you should. If you have less stuff to lose, you might be willing (and able) to experience more.
Yet another adventure and experience that wouldn’t have been possible had we not sold all our stuff!
Now go sell all your stuff!