As with life in general, there are tradeoffs with designing the life of your dreams. Suffice it to say that we must be willing to give up one type of life to get another one and only we can determine whether or not the exchange is worth it. In our case, my wife and I traded in the stereotypical American Dream of home ownership for the unconventional leasing lifestyle. And we agree that it has turned out even better than we had anticipated.
One of the common misconceptions about “living the dream,” as we Americans like to call it, is the notion that we can “have it all.” But the truth is that counting the costs and making compromises is part of realizing a dream. And one way to cope with the challenges of life is to intentionally simplify it, including learning to live with less stuff, and thus less stress.
The other day I came across a compelling quote from former hedge fund manager Sam Polk, author of For the Love of Money, who left his successful but stressful job: “The number of people who approach me to tell me that they want to walk away from it all versus the number of people who actually do it is shockingly inconsistent—only the tiniest fraction go through with it.”
And here is the highlight of what he shared: “There is a writer named Donald Miller who talks about this idea of living your life as if you’re going to tell someone a great story about it [emphasis mine]. Walking away from a job that you’re unsatisfied with to start a great adventure full of uncertainty? That is the definition of a good story.”
Other people often marvel at our mobile lifestyle but the secret, if one could call it that, is that we did what was necessary to make it happen. As I have written about here earlier it all started with trading our massive library for a mobile one. Books are weights that anchor people to places and we wanted to experience life more than simply read about it.
Another secret to our journey is that Linda and I have shared one vehicle for about 25 of our 28 years together. With the annual cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle approaching five figures, driving one vehicle represents a huge cost saving to us. Not everyone is willing to make such a move, but I know of others who could reap similar rewards and yet refuse to even consider it.
Not only can we fit all the stuff we own in our lone vehicle, leasing it frees us from the hassles of maintenance. The many rewards of traveling so lightly through life outweigh the supposed benefits of owning more stuff as far as we are concerned. So wherever you are on your journey of life, consider limiting your possessions in the pursuit of your passions so you can ultimately arrive at your dream destination.