Through the Start Experiment, I discovered a blogger named Rachel Rowell. I was first curious about her because she’s from Wilmington, NC (one of my old stomping grounds) and we had a real life friend in common on Facebook. (EmilyMorris Birch. I think it’s so cool when I meet someone on FB and we have real friends in common. I love living in a small world.)
Back to Rachel. So here’s a little of her story: she and her husband decided to sell everything, move their family into a camper and travel. They are living debt free and simply. She is blogging about their adventures on TheLight Life Blog. You should check it out.
I am not a simple girl. I like stuff. I like clothes and shoes and designer handbags. I get emails from kate spade.com. I own a pair of Manolo Blahnik boots. (No, I didn’t pay retail. I got them for a steal at an estate sale. But once they were mine, I cried tears of joy over them. Jason awkwardly backed out of the room.) I dream of big cities. Paris and New York. Glitz and Glamour.
So why does this family’s story draw me in. Why do I find myself a little jealous at the thought of selling everything and doing something that goes against the norm? This story has caused me to daydream about moving out of the city to a place off a country road and living a simple life that’s slow and beautiful.
Jason and I are at a crossroads. Down one path is the modern American dream. A busy life full to overflowing with good things and finding myself never more than five minutes from a Walmart. This life is full of convenience and opportunities. The other path leads to a place of slow and simple pleasures. It includes becoming a one and a half car family and forfeiting the chance to ever make a “quick trip to Walmart.” The second path seems riskier because it’s not normal. It’s not safe or well traveled and it doesn't add up on paper.
Maybe it’s because my life isn’t in the place I thought it would be by now. We still aren’t debt free. Our family of four lives on an income that is well below the national average. The more I look at our circumstances, the more it makes sense to live simply. To sell everything. To travel down a path where success is defined by the strength of our marriage and the happiness of our children.
So in the words of Robert Frost: