We've spent a few weeks talking about Success and a New Phase. We've chopped it up in order to address the three cornerstone themes that run through No Vacation Required. We've talked Work Virtually and Travel Deliriously. This week, we're rounding things out by diving into Live Deliberately.
For the last few years in particular, we can't get over our own amazement at just how much how we live our lives has changed. Specifically, it still bewilders us that we now consider ourselves global citizens. While there have been certain sacrifices related to spending less time in Seattle, the city we love, what we've gained has been immeasurably beneficial.
Nothing illustrates this better than the fact that we now know someone pretty much where ever we might be heading. Earlier this summer, we sent an Insta declaring that we were on a plane heading to Orlando. We got texts from three people saying that they would also be in Orlando.
In addition to that, we have friends in Orlando.
Doing a quick review of our travel photos from the last few months, pictures featuring friends – old and new – jump out at us.
That's just an easy-to-grab-at, frivolous representation of how much our life as changed since starting this NVR phase several years ago. It's an important reflection, though, of the larger, more meaningful picture. That you have the power to design whatever kind of life you want.
We get far more questions about this (the Live Deliberately) corner of our world than any other. While we get a decent amount of inquiries regarding travel and work, people are far more interested in how we live fulfilled, maximized lives.
It makes sense, though, right? No matter what your interests are, we all want to feel as though we're on purpose - living satisfied lives. That's the real reason for this site; we want people to be inspired to create their own version of an NVR life. Don't like travel? Don't care to work on your own? No biggie. What all of this is really about is helping you get on track and then channeling that on-track-ness to propel your life forward.
So, how do we funnel something we've written about SO MUCH into our "best of" tips? We make tough decisions regarding where to have you start, and we provide lots of links. Why regurgitate what's already been said :)
We're so far along on our path – and we have such a bias for change – that we can easily forget how huge lifestyle redesign really is. So, let us first remind you.... Not too long ago, we were both happy and successful. But not fulfilled. We faced that and came through much better on the other side. You can too.
Since the real work here can seem super rigorous, we wanted our two other "top tips" to be a bit more manageable. They are both about letting go of things.
1. Curate who you spend time with. There's not much to say here. If you want to get healthy, if you want to get on track, than surround yourself with positive, proactive people. Read all about it here.
This wasn't / isn't overly difficult for us, but it definitely takes some work as we tend to be open and friendly to everyone. After you do the heavy lifting of jettisoning awful energy from your life, it's more about the time you give to toxic people (because you can't avoid them entirely). As you get to know yourself better, you'll feel shitty energy coming at you a mile away. You'll deal accordingly.
2. Get rid of clutter. This was/is a big, exciting one for us. We're conditioned, in materialistic parts of the world, to value accumulating possessions without even thinking about it. Similar to stripping away toxic relationships, it's important to get rid of things you don't need. Read all about it here.
We've talked again and again about how becoming a no-car household felt like the end of the world. We haven't missed owning a car for a second. The inspiration for being car-free was our near-constant travel. Really, though, we live in Seattle. We have 10 coffee shops within 3 blocks and we have a full grocery store – and I'm not kidding here – about 20 steps from our front door.
What's really interesting is what a reflection of success society thinks possessions are. Well, I'll tell you what.... While loads of people are our buying crap they don't need, we're watching our money grow in investments. For us, it's not about refraining completely or "going without." Rather, it's about being mindful about the money we spend and the things we possess.
3. Figure out you. Okay, we warned you that stuff was going to get more difficult. This is difficult for us, too, because, essentially, it's like trying to shove our professional expertise into a single blog post. It's painful.
And, really, this step is life's greatest challenge, but it isn't that tough; it just seems tough when you haven't started to chip away at it. Once you get rolling, it's like a drug. Feeling more and more "on purpose" in life is quite addicting. (This is where we exit stage left and direct you to read about: what you're becoming, life's tough questions, who are you, following your own path, liking yourself more,
So, yeah, this is the biggie of biggies. For example, you can't do #2 and #3 in our Work post without doing this.
Finally, we turn things back to us. What is going to happen as we lean into an entirely new phase in our NVR life?
For starters, we're going to have two loves. In addition to living in Seattle, we're going to live somewhere a bit more remote – even closer to the nature we love so much. This is a big change, so it could happen in two months or two years. We have no idea if we'll buy another place or rent or, for that matter, where that "other place" might be. It'll probably be somewhere here in the Pacific Northwest. Whatever the case, we'll be in Seattle part time and there part time.
Other things will follow in this department, but that's enough huge news for now. In the near term, we'll be leaning even further into our passion for things like giving back and re-upping our commitment to staying fit. Maybe another marathon is in our future.
If you take away only one thing from this series of posts, please believe this:
Back in 2007, this NVR life started with our buying into this belief 100%. We are living proof that believing in investing in yourself can lead to great things in all areas of your life.
We want the same for you. Thanks for following our journey.