Everything is Gone, Life is Good Household

I wanted to post an update about our progress toward a “Location Independent” lifestyle.

We finished selling our house (well, we close next week), and we got rid of almost all our possessions. I can’t say we got rid of everything, because we did keep enough to fill a 10×10 storage unit, although most of it is taken up by a leather couch and chair. We chose to keep a few things we liked, would use again, and wouldn’t want to (or be able to) replace if we settled down again.

So what did we keep?

Here is a list of what’s sitting in the storage unit.

  • leather couch and chair
  • some artwork/paintings
  • a box or two of decorations
  • folding table and chairs
  • journals and photos
  • filing cabinet and safe (mostly just to hold important documents)
  • a small box of tools
  • a few blankets
  • bicycles (we’re letting my parents use them)
  • kitchenware (plates, bowls, pots/pans)
  • 72-hour kit
  • some winter clothes

Everything else we were able to sell, give away, or donate to charity.

We’re currently living with my grandparents in Sandy, Utah. We didn’t bring very much here, but more than we will take to Costa Rica. For example, we brought several totes of supplies for homeschool, childrens’ books, food, cleaning supplies, and extra clothes, as well as our digital piano. We’ll get rid of and repurchase many of those things once we make the move abroad.

The girls each chose three stuffed animals to keep, but the rest of their toys are now gone. And they’re not sad about it in the least. Well, Marie (4 years old) was a little sad when we sold her “My Little Ponies”, but she got over it quickly. Emily (6) was happy to get rid of things, and was glad that we could donate some to charity, too, for the kids “that don’t have very many toys”. When I asked Emily if she’d mind if I sold her new scooter (razor) we got her for her birthday, she said, “We can’t take it with us right? Yeah, you can sell it.”

We did bring a box of dress-ups to Grandma’s though, since the girls love to play dress-ups. But we probably won’t bring those abroad with us. There are plenty of other toys at Grandma’s, too, including a dollhouse, lots of books, and a Nintendo 64, which the girls can’t seem to get enough of.

We also have a laptop for each family member. My Macbook Pro, a couple Dell PC’s running Vista, and a Dell Mini 9 running Ubuntu Linux. (Yes, I’m a geek). The girls enjoy playing games, which we try to keep educational. www.starfall.com has been a good resource for reading practice. But lately, they seem to prefer the not-so-educational Tinkerbell game on Disney’s website. As the girls get older, we’d like to encourage them to journal about their experiences, and maybe even start a blog.

I will admit that the day we moved everything out I was feeling a bit depressed, which is really unusual for me. I worried about all the time, effort, and money it would take to replace all that stuff if we settled down again. I also started thinking about some of the horror stories I’ve heard about Costa Rica, such as the increasing crime issues and corrupt police officers. But I realized that I’m not going to be happy if I keep focusing on these negative aspects, which will just get overblown the more I think about them. So I started focusing on what I wanted and what I already have instead, and my day brightened up.

Living at Grandma’s has been wonderful, so far! It’s a nice house in a gated community, and it’s been fun to see my grandparents more. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the pool table in their basement as well. :) The weather has been nice so we’ve taken the girls to the park several times. And I’ve found several comfortable spots to put my laptop for work and reading.

I can really say I have everything I need and want to be happy. But happiness is still a choice I must make in each moment, to appreciate life to its fullest.

Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, traveler, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in every moment while inspiring others to do the same.


  1. I think what you are doing is amazing, and courageous too. I just found this blog today so I think I will have to follow you on twitter from now on – good luck!

  2. I imagine the selling all that ‘stuff’ made it a lot easier when it came time to move out. I’m glad you kept the leather chair and loveseat – they are beautiful and so comfortable!

    Now that all that stuff is gone and life is becoming more simple, I hope you’ll find more time to blog :)

    Was fun to see you all last week….

  3. It is very nice to have all that work out of the way. What a big job getting rid of all that stuff! I sure feel better without it though, funny how that works. Nice and simple, perfect. :)

  4. Dan Mower Says: November 9, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Good luck, buddy! I have been inspired by your story and am working out ways for myself and my family to have similar adventures. It might take me a little while to get there, but we’ll do it! Glad to hear everything got sold, especially the house.

  5. I LOVE having you and your darling family here with me. I know it will make me miss you more when your gone, but I’m being like the ostrich..I’m keeping my head in the sand for a few more weeks and just enjoying your presence now.

  6. Very inspiring! Happiness is really a choice. In life, we have to lose some in order to gain more and make us better individuals. That is what I learned from my experiences. Thanks for all the help!

  7. This is so what I want to do. How did you get your whole family on board? I am a very impressed stranger.

  8. @Elaine – Welcome to the blog! It wasn’t hard to get everyone on board. Our kids are young enough that we can convince them that most anything is a good idea. :) But really, we all just got to the point where we realized we had too much stuff and that getting more stuff wasn’t making us any happier. We discovered how little of it we really need, talked about it together, and it just felt like the right decision to get rid of most of it. We knew that we lived in Panama for 6 weeks out of our suitcases and it was the happiest we’d ever been, so we knew we didn’t need a lot. If we really needed something we got rid of, we could just buy it again. Most things are pretty easily replaceable. Knowing that helped us feel less attached to our possessions. Good luck!

  9. […] with you when moving abroad? If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that we got rid of most of our stuff a few months ago. And we whittled down even further last week. The past two days, we’ve been […]

  10. […] recently sold almost all my possessions to move to Costa Rica for a great adventure with my family. Granted, I didn’t give all the […]

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