find your Shangri-La, with

How Do You Find Your Shangri-La?

Some people visit a town, city, country, or small hamlet and immediately fall in love. They have a “this is the place for me” moment and find their Shangri-La, their paradise, so to speak. We have friends in Panama that knew they’d found the town for them right away (they were/are also well traveled). Another friend in BC knew that she wanted to move to Chile, only minutes after landing. And just this past weekend we met another house sitting couple who mentioned their son’s girlfriend came to Vancouver and had the same “this is the place for me” moment.

So how DO you find your Shangri-la?

Some people spend their whole lives in the town they grew up in. That’s great from a network and community relationships perspective – something Shell and I have come to appreciate more and more after living abroad.

Some people who travel know they’re going to settle again, they just aren’t sure of when, let alone where.

Some people just travel here and there while keeping a home base – be it their home town or wherever they settled after school or where work brought them.

And some people retire and just wanted to enjoy life, have an adventure, and see some of the amazing places the big blue planet has to offer, uprooting themselves every now and again to explore something new.

That’s sort of what we did. We needed a life adventure, so we went on one. And we learned a TON about ourselves in the process – mainly our love for experiencing new and fun stuff rather than buying stuff.

But we’ve been bouncing around from home to home for almost two years now. Four months is the longest we’ve stayed stationary. Looking back, it doesn’t seem like we’ve stayed in over 20 homes and looked after over 60+ furry little friends.

We’re not empty nesters, nor are we retired. Maybe that’s part of our decision to “settle” somewhere. To be part of a community. To explore a region again. To experience more new and exciting stuff!

So what will our new lifestyle be like?

That’s easy. We’ll still live a minimalist lifestyle, meaning we’ll gladly drop $100 on a nice dinner out creating memories with friends instead of a buying a new shirt and/or pants that we really don’t need.

When we do find our new home we won’t head off to IKEA for some quick-fix furnishings, that’s for sure. Nor will we spend countless weekend hours at antique stores looking for that one amazing find that we may never…uh…find.

We also know we won’t live in the suburbs. Hey, it’s pretty cool living in the city and being right in the action. The amazing variety of shops and restaurants, the diversity, the endless fun activities. If I’m going to live in a city, I’m going to live IN the city, not on the outskirts – been there done that, thanks.

Is Vancouver our Shangri-La?

No, I don’t think so, but it’s a great city from what we’ve seen so far. And it could be an ideal home-base for a good five year period, maybe more! And what Vancouver will be is another fun adventure allowing us to explore the Pacific Northwest, maybe some trips to California, Mexico, possibly a return visit to Hawaii, heck, maybe even Japan! So watch out Seattle, we’ll be seeing you very soon too!

And if we find we’re getting antsy, we’ll do the same thing we did two years ago. We’ll sell all our stuff and…do something different!

That all being said, we will be settling in Vancouver for a while – short or long we don’t know. Meaning we will likely need to buy stuff. So this should make for some great blog material over the next few months – How does one live a minimalist lifestyle but has to furnish a home with…everything? We’ll soon see!

Now go sell all your stuff and find your Shangri-La!


15 thoughts on “How Do You Find Your Shangri-La?”

  1. That’s awesome, guys. I’ve often thought about how our current lifestyle of not placing emphasis on material goods will inform our future when we settle again. I don’t know the answer. But it’ll be interesting watching you guys do it.

    Stay dry. Ha!

    1. Thanks Dan, had we known we would settle here we might have made the trip Mexico, we heard a family there was selling all their stuff to travel 😉

  2. Hi guys!! Remember our house, big but no stuff, still the same! Have fun in this new journey! Ever get back to NC would love to see ya!

  3. Hey guys – big decision! no itch to travel more – or just a place you can put your stuff on a shelf, lock the door and leave when you want to? Enjoy! We hope to head to Vancouver next summer for our cross Canada family visit so hope to see you guys too!

    1. Exactly Dorene, while we’ve enjoyed house sitting, we want to explore the coast, maybe a few jaunts stateside, Whistler, etc. Harder to do when looking after pets, so we’ll be hanging up our house sitting…skates? Gloves? boots? for a while so we can go on some more adventures and add to our experiences list!

  4. Wow, that’s exciting news! I visited Vancouver for a couple of weeks back in mid-90s and I loved it. It’s a lot like Cape Town. And there’s so much to do in the nearby vicinity as well, like skiing in Whistler. Remind me of the name of that really big park in the city?

    Anyway, good luck kitting out your new digs when you finally find them. 🙂

    1. Yes, there’s a ton of stuff to see/do in the area. That’s part of the reason we wanted to settle. House sitting is great, but being able to go away for a weekend, or even a night is a freedom we haven’t had for a while. Should be fun…stay tuned to more adventures!!! Oh, and it’s Stanley Park, great sea wall to ride/walk around the perimeter too!

  5. We had a homestead for eight years in Hungary and we gave it up to live and work in the UK. A mistake, or an eye opener? the jury has yet to decide. But like all travelers we must keep moving on since we are people of nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Our next stop (hoping for a Shangri-la) is Maramures County in Romania. After moving around for two years from Scotland to the south of England, further north, then east a thousand kilometers we are ready to call a place home – again.

    1. Cheryl, well said. Some people say Home is where the heart is, others say Home is where you make it. After many years of house sitting, I say Home is where my own bed is!

  6. I don’t think I could have moved around for two years. I find a month away from my home base just enough to make me yearn for familiar sights and my regular routine. Sounds like you’ve found a great spot.

    1. It’s nice to have your own bed, that’s for sure. But we’re like the U2 song – we still…haven’t found…what (we’re) looking for. I have climbed…highest mountains…okay, you get the point. But you also get to see the world in a completely and utterly unique way Deb. It’s pretty cool what you and Steve get to do, and it’s nice that you get to enjoy each other’s company on those business trips! If and when the time comes he no longer travels for work, I think you’ll both look back with nothing but fond memories of those trips…with the occasional forgettable moment too, I’m sure 🙂

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