Live Your Dream in a Material World

The sum total of our possessions: three kids and 11 bags (not all pictured.)

2007: The sum total of our possessions: three kids and 11 bags (not all pictured.)

Things I’ve Given Up To Live My Dream

Giving things up sounds like such miserable, hair shirt stuff, but even the thought of writing this article makes me happy. Somehow downsizing my life so that I can achieve my life goals isn’t much of a sacrifice at all. In fact, it’s liberated me. Granted I’ve had some practice in this area over the last year or two and gone to extremes that some people couldn’t. Here’s the story.

Dream of Travel: the Perfect Excuse to Declutter Our Lives

In 2007 my husband and I sold our lovely home on beautiful Waiheke Island, New Zealand, in order to finance a trip to Central America. We got rid of most of our other belongings too and broke our kids’ little hearts by selling, giving away or simply binning most of their toys. The Candy kids were just two, five and eight at the time, so they got over it. We did put some personal stuff like photos, baby books and a few favourite toys, into storage in New Zealand, but during our time in Central America and Costa Rica, where we lived for a year, we had very little compared to what we had in New Zealand.

Coati in our garden, Costa Rica

Coati in our garden, Costa Rica

Although we ended up spending 18 months in Central America, there wasn’t much we missed in the way of creature comforts apart from a comfy sofa. Books and clothes came to us by swapping, borrowing or second hand. We had minimal furniture and our walls were bare but there was plenty to entertain us. Every house we lived in had spectacular views and a swimming pool. Toucans visited our garden daily, occasionally monkeys or coatis popped by and a plethora of amazing outsized insects diverted us on a regular basis.

Work Out What Really Makes You Happy in Life

Now we live in Queensland, Australia and I’m pursuing writing full-time. I’m more or less resigned to a life of less since writing isn’t usually well paid, but somehow that doesn’t bother me any more. I’d prefer to be happy and fulfilled than have all the mod cons some people work long hours for, often in jobs they don’t even enjoy.

We’re blessed to live in a good house in a gorgeous area, surrounded by clean, safe beaches and with plenty of free activities on tap to keep us busy. But we’ve definitely made sacrifices and will continue to do so happily ~ unless an unexpected and extremely large windfall comes our way in which case we’d probably get rid of everything again and spend a year in Africa.

Thanks for reading, please add your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe by email now if you haven’t already so you don’t miss out.

Good luck with all your plans!

For More Inspiration Read

>> Follow Your Dream: You Only Live Once.

>> What Can You Give Up To Live Your Dream?


11 Responses

  1. Annabel,

    I have a neighbor who would love to do what you have done. But I’m not sure what she would sacrifice for it. I’m impressed. It’s quite a change you’ve made. Sounds like a good one, though. I wish you well with your new writing career. Tough it out, and I bet you’ll do very well.

    All my best,

  2. What an incredible inspiration! My boyfriend & I did the whole “sell everything & travel around the world”, but I imagine it’s a different story with three children!!

    It’s not about giving things up, it’s prioritizing what’s really important to you based on YOUR definition of success. If that is writing & travel & less mod con- so be it. Love the message.

    What was the inspiration behind the trip? I’m always fascinated by the catalyst to “living life on purpose”. (Mine was a quarterlife crisis!)

    Cheers. Molly

    • Thanks for the lovely feedback. What inspired us? I think it was just knowing that if we didn’t go to Central America now we may never get there. Thank heavens we did it because I know that if we’d moved straight to Australia we’d have felt quite dissatisfied, but as it is we’re loving Australia. We know we tried Costa Rica but it just wasn’t right for us at the time. I’d still love to go and live there again though, or at least visit, maybe when we retire. I hope we both get the chance to sell everything and travel again some time. It’s the best.

  3. Lovely post and kind of post I need always 🙂 After ending first level of school I also plan to travel more. I want find best teachers in the world and the most intersting people in world and learn from them.

    For long time I try to get rid of everthing which I really don’t need becuase on the most things just don’t matter, some or just very useful.

  4. this really sounds great. I love you for sharing!

  5. […] Posted on July 8, 2009 by Annabel Candy Me and the Kids, Antigua, GuatemalaMy article, Live Your Dream in a Material World, struck a chord with many of you. In it, I described how we sold most of our belongings in order to […]

  6. […] Find out more about how we used our savings to fund a dream trip to Central America here: Live your dream in material worl. […]

  7. I love the article on walking! Why, just two minutes prior to reading this I was whining to my husband for taking the car all day and leaving me at home without letting me get my workout in at the gym this morning. I felt trapped and frustrated. How silly – I live deep in the jungle with plenty of roads and trails to explore and I’m also at the base of a hill that I can get a good workout in on. Well my little motivator – you got me! I’m up and out of this chair and am on the first of many early morning “hikes” not walks! teehee!

  8. […] Celebrate Your Successes >> Give Fear The Finger And Live The Life You Want >> Live Your Dream In A Material World >> Seven Reasons To Go For A […]

  9. Hi! are you already member of HUB: Humanità unites Brilliance?
    you can go to and you will find what this is: it could interest you!!!
    Bye and thanks for the joyful articles!!
    sara from Italy

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