What would happen if you left it all behind? Sold all your possessions, sold your house and clothes, and quit your job? What would you be left with?
These are the questions I asked myself back in 2014-15 before doing exactly that.
As the rooms in my house emptied and I started building a campervan home I was left with one little problem – little cat named Willow. I’d never heard of someone taking a cat around Australia. The idea seemed insane, if not a little foolish.
But I did, and a lifetime of memories were made and our friendship grew immensely with each forest, mountain, and beach we visited on our circumnavigation of the continent. We also met Stephanie who I now call my wife.
But what did it really take to make that decision to leave everything behind?
For the past 2 years Steph, Willow, and I have been based in Brisbane setting ourselves up for the next stage of our lives together. Although we have had many travel adventures during that time it has been a challenging period for us all. Neither of us are really built for city life but it has been a sacrifice we have had to make.
Despite renting a room in a small townhouse, most nights we found ourselves sleeping in the van on the street. It’s where we feel most at home.
Steph has now finished her studies and I sold our Vokswagen T5 van to build a new van home out of a Mercedes Sprinter for the three of us. We are now ready for our next adventure, but the thing is, roots were starting to form.
I accept that city life is comfortable and it’s convenient to live in a house. There’s familiarity in being stationary and assurance in routine. I know the names of the streets, the faces at the post office, and how long it takes to walk to the train station.
Steph landed a job in her field of study and was making great progress in her career. Willow is happy. We could stay here forever, settle down. It’s how most people live, I say to myself.
But there is one thing I have learnt. There is something greater than comfort and that is contentment – and we are not content in Brisbane. So just as I made that decision to leave Hobart all those years ago, and just as Steph left the UK before we met, in a way, we make that same decision once again.
Though this time it’s easier. I have the confidence in knowing that it will work out, that there will be many happy times ahead, for I have made this choice once before.
Willow and I sit and wait for Steph to come home from her last day of work. We have sold all the furniture. I look around at the empty room not unlike the empty room we sat in half a decade ago and I think how lucky we are to have this opportunity and the confidence to make it happen.
To discard the unnecessary and distill life down to its essence. The three of us on an adventure.
On Monday we will leave. We will swap house-living for our home on wheels, hot water for cold beach showers in the sunset, and take-away for slow cooked campfire meals, and not for a moment do I want to take any of it for granted – the good days and the challenging – to travel with freedom and opportunity in abundance.
To leave it all behind.. again.
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Have you ever given up comfort for contentment? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.