#29: Minimalism: Being Able to Let Go and Travel
Welcome to episode #29 of “Rewrite the Rules with Alex Starr” Podcast, available for free on iTunes or any podcast app, direct links and audio at the top of the page ↑
It’s a common daydream, staring out the window stuck in traffic or at a job. Leaving everything behind, travel somewhere new where nobody knows who you are or your story. You can start over and become whoever you decide to be without the past pulling on your ankles begging for attention.
Maybe South America, maybe Australia. A road trip across the country. Cambodia, the Mediterranean. You work on a vineyard or a hostel, passing the lazy days with cheap wine and expensive talk. The beads of sweat are washed away with a dive into the local watering hole in the late afternoon every day and worries are fleeting, if you can muster up the capacity to even have any.
Moving on to the next location is an unknown. When will you return to the town you used to call home? Perhaps when your legs grow weary and you listen to the voice telling you when to go.
Damon and Todd, both in their 50’s, have an amazing story. They decided it was time for them to realize a long-held dream of traveling the world before they no longer could. And while they had comfortable lives and good jobs, they had a 3-bedroom house full of beautiful items accumulated over the years, a mortgage, and two cars. When they saw friends losing their health, they started thinking about living their lives without regret. Then the decision was made to pursue their dream with passion. They sold or gave way everything they own, downsized to two suitcases each, and are now embarking on a 4-year, 42-country adventure!
Here are three key points they did to during their journey from domestic workers and homeowners to explorers:
Damon and Todd didn’t make a lot of money, but they saved it.
They had a lot of things, a mortgage, two cars, and responsibilities. So they got rid of them: over time and systematically.
They are a gay, interracial couple who may not be accepted in every country around the world, so they were selective in their destinations.
LEARN HOW THEY STOPPED MAKING EXCUSES TO PURSUE WHAT THEY TRULY WANTED.
I have been making these podcasts for about two years and people constantly ask me, why don’t you put it out there more? Why not post more, do more with it? I told them and myself that I didn’t want any recognition, I just wanted to put out quality content for people. That is true, but the real reason is I was just plain scared. Nothing fancy, I just didn’t want to have to deal with the possibility of thousands of people discovering me and hating it and therefore hating me.
I made excuses and kidded myself over and over again that I was putting out content, all is well with the world. I am doing what I said I would do and I don’t need to advertise what I created. It was all bullshit, I actually care a lot. And guess who really cares what I do? Absolutely nobody. All of these phantom people I create in my mind don’t give a shit what I do, people have their own lives to live. But the excuses felt so real and so good, I thought they were the truth. They never are.
Excuses are like slot machines in Vegas: always easy to find, drain you of resources, and have no regard for how they affect you. They draw you in to the easy payout with flashing lights and sounds that promise you a better life if you listen. Every corner, every bar, and every room has a slot machine in Vegas. Similar to how every circumstance and opportunity in life has an excuse that is more then willing to fill in the gaps in your desire. They basically drive up to your house and scream,
“HERE I AM, LOOK NO FURTHER! I HAVE THE ANSWERS! HERE IS THE EASY WAY OUT! I WILL DECEIVE YOU UNTIL YOUR LAST BREATH BUT MAKE YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING”
Ok now that I have thoroughly depressed everybody, here is the golden ticket, the needle in the haystack, the bowl of Lucky Charms with a massive inconsistency in the marshmallow-to-cereal ratio, the easter egg with cash inside:
“Do the thing and you will have the power”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pretty amazing how excuses start to disappear once you do a little something in the direction of where you want to go.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT AND WHERE TO FIND IT IN THE SHOW:
How did you decide to sell almost everything you own? (3:00)
What was the factor that made you quit your job? (5:50)
Out of a 3-bedroom house, how much did you keep? (6:30)
How do you let go of sentimental items? (10:00)
What exactly are you bringing with you on this three year trip around the world? (12:30)
Using death as a motivator (18:45)
After giving up everything, what things have you realized you absolutely need? (23:30)
How has being gay affected where you will travel? (27:00)
What to do to break down stereotypes (39:00)
How are you funding this entire trip? (41:45)
Getting out of the rat race and choosing what you actually want to do (45:00)
Want to downsize parts of your life? Look no further for motivation then these guys right here: The Minimalists.
Check out this documentary on Netflix as well and start throwing shit out from the 90’s: Minimalism
Here are some sites where you can find temporary jobs and work exchange around the world:
WorkAway (hostels, nanny gigs, farms, vineyards, etc. I have used in Costa Rica and Colombia)
WWoof (learn how to organic farm around the world in exchange for free room and board)
NomadicMatt.com: This guy is the online legend on how to travel on the cheap and is always a great resource when planning an adventure
Want to rewrite the rules to parts of your own life and create it on your own terms? Subscribe to my email list on the side or bottom of the page to get weekly updates on books, ideas, and when to check out the podcast for the freshest episode