I hope that my story can inspire you to look more deeply into living simply. My life has not been easy…but the rewards have been many. This is just a thumbnail sketch…I plan to write more later.
When I was 18, in 1974, I decided to travel to Europe having been inspired by what I now believe to be a loving Creator who wanted and still wants, the very best for me. As an agnostic at that time, I wasn’t sure how I was being inspired and enabled to take this leap of faith–traveling alone–but I just went with the flow!
My first act of simplicity was to pack a large frame back pack full of stuff including camping equipment. When I got to Europe, I quickly decided to downsize because I decided to change my travel plans and head for India. I heard that the buses and trains were pretty crowded, and my big pack would be a hindrance. Some how I was able to get all my belongings in my large day pack. I was a real minimalist!
After my 13 month solo journey through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Indida, and Sri Lanka (with a month or so of Europe inserted before and after), I had a realization on the plane coming home. I think this was God speaking to me (still agnostic). “The only way you will be happy is to do what you truly enjoy, using the gifts and talents that you have and then serve others.”
So when I got to San Diego, I found a place to live with a family. The mother of two kids who responded to my ad requesting a place to live in exchange for my labor said, “I just want you to be here with out any expectations. Do whatever you like to help.”
So with no money except $300 savings from working in Iran, I was able to live the next 6 months without getting a regular job. I was very creative doing things like dumpster diving, making a garden, and becoming a member of our local co-op.
I met my now former husband and dear friend, Cliff within weeks after I returned from my extended vacation. He was trying out living by the law of giving and receiving, and he lived with minimal money as well. this way.
This was the beginning of living a super simple, minimalistic life for the next three years where we lived in Arkansas out in the country for $30 a month donation from a friend who supported our desire to live this way–with a whopping raise of $70 when we lived in a community building and ran the local rural natural foods coop.
When we moved back to California, life got more complicated. But we still lived very simply because we were resourceful and intentional. More about that phase of our simple life in a post I will write in a few days.