This next post is an insanely awesome guest post by Heather Ferrie. I don’t want to lead in or spoil any of it, so let’s just dive right in…
It was always one my dreams to travel & I’d made it to a few cool places. However, this dream was different. I wanted to stand in the wilderness, reconnect with nature, & learn to be in the moment again. I knew exactly how it had to happen. And so began my mission for, “Less stuff, more memories!”
I looked at my boyfriend, at the time, and announced, “Hey, what if we sell everything & go live in the car!” He gave me that, “You’re crazy” look. Then, he said, “Okay, I’d do it!” Shocked, I gave him that, “You’re crazy” look and a great plan was born!
I feverishly began mapping all of the awesome places I dreamed to see! I made a map and marked a path from Colorado to Arizona to the Cascade volcanoes into the British Columbia and Alaskan wilderness. As I did this, I wondered if he would really actually commit to selling everything and go off living in the car without a clue what the future held.
Meanwhile, everyone thought we’d lost our minds. Our friends kept saying, “Why don’t you just fly?” or, “Take a cruise!” They also wondered, “What about your jobs?” and “What about your stuff?” Family insisted we just move closer to them. They all insisted we just plan a vacation and come back to “reality”. What they didn’t understand, though, is that the destination wasn’t the dream. The dream was a new way of life. And, no, we wouldn’t be coming back.
Now, almost everyone we talk to uses phrases like, “I wish I could do that,” or “I’m envious.” They say this when we tell them that we’ve seen the Alaskan coast, British Columbian glaciers, Grand Canyon, volcanoes at sunset, & all the wildlife you can imagine.
However, there’s another side to this story: how we did it.
Those same people weren’t as “envious” when they saw us rinsing off in a freezing glacial-fed river, filtering murky water, sleeping in the car for the 134th day, running from mosquitoes, and doing what it took to “live without luxuries.”
You see, we did actually commit to selling everything & we did hit the road with just a few belongings & our dog. It happened. And I’m here to tell you that when you’re enjoying your life, in the moment, you forget about all that “stuff.”
When we began selling our “stuff” some things were easy to get rid of while others were surely harder to part ways with. We sold everything from leather furniture to tools & downsized clothes. We put aside a few sentimental items that our family would keep safe for us. All we had left was our camping gear (aka “our house” for the summer). We were able to sell a lot of stuff on Craigslist & this helped us raise money for gas & food for the coming months. Which reminds me – another question people always ask when we tell them our story is, “What do you guys do for a living to be able to afford to do that!?” I wish, in those moments, I could take them from their visions of cozy hotel beds to the tent bottom on a bumpy ground or from their warm coffee morning routine to some green water that must be filtered, drip at a time, to quench your thirst. Then I could easily answer that question. We learned to live with little & did everything as cheap as possible to make our dream a reality.
But then as soon as they decided they were no longer envious, I could take them to the moment when we sat in the Yukon wilderness, double rainbow in front of snow-capped peaks & felt true inner peace, or when we crossed the line into Alaska and I realized one of my ultimate life dreams was accomplished. Or that time we spent a whole day just laying in the car when it rained outside and realized how close we were thanks to this adventure.
My point is this: Having less stuff meant we could live in our car and go anywhere we wanted. We felt so free! Every day was an adventure. We were happier and healthier because of it and our relationship is solid because of it.
Of course, you don’t have to live in your car to be minimalistic, but it served a double purpose for us: (1) a kick in the butt to go follow our dreams and (2) a lesson on how to be minimalistic.
Now, we are getting ready to “upgrade” to living in a tiny cabin rather than the car. We decided to homestead in the Idaho mountains so we can grow our own food, but we are now very skilled at living & traveling minimalistically. The adventure continues!
I’ll never forget the day that changed my life – when we got rid of everything and gained it all!
Wow. Just. Wow. That last line of Heather’s is symbolic for me, hence why I italicized it. There’s a line in my favorite Pearl Jam song, Gone, when Eddie Vedder sings…if nothing is everything then I will have it all!
I love what Ramsey and Heather are doing! Take a few moments to let this one sink in. They sold all their stuff to do more stuff with less stuff.
We’ll be following their adventures, and you can (and should) too by liking their Facebook page: Facebook.com/ParadiseOnPennies, and visiting their website at ParadiseOnPennies.com. Lastly, you can also subscribe to their YouTube channel. Be sure to watch their video in its entirety – Heather mentions one of their reasons for choosing this lifestyle – and it’s something we should all try to do on this planet).
Now go sell all your stuff and live out of your car!