Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Travel and my Simple Living Goals for 2011

Beaches of Phuket

I was asked today, and I thought it was a good question, how do I balance my love and desire for travel with a simple living philosophy. I have always thought it is about experience, living life to the fullest and grabbing the bull by the horns. See, we live in Asia. We (my husband and I) were born and raised in the US and we never left the US until we were both in College. Since that time we have traveled a lot, but compared to a European, the US centric mindset is one of "stay at home". I travel mostly for work, but quite a bit for personal pleasure and for the kids’ greater "cultural" experience.

When I was a kid, I admired my Aunt Moyna and Uncle Bob and the fact they spent money every year (at least it seemed like it) to travel to Europe or Hawaii or other far off places. They took their three kids to Ireland to visit with Monya's family. They went to Europe and traveled around; they traveled around the US and saw sights I still haven't seen. What I also vividly remember is the fact they didn't spend money on "new stuff" for their house. Now, Bob and Moyna had a wonderful house in California, but there were no "new furnishings while the old ones worked. The old cars were not upgraded every year or two, the "old" ones worked just fine. This became a model for me I think and impressed me more than I realized until just frequently. I think in some ways they were my inspiration for simple living. . I have started a new website to promote my families travel experience Vagabond Kids and I don't plan on slowing down our travel over the next year. Travel is important to us and is one of the reasons I want to be better at living frugally.

Sunset in Thailand

We spend more on travel than any other single non-essential item. I really do need a new couch, but the old one is okay. While a new Oriental rug for my living room would also be nice, it is the same amount as what I would spend on a trip to India with the whole family. While travel can cost a bomb, we can do better at Travel Hacking, in order to go further on our travel dollar. All of that being said, there are always things that I could be doing better and this is second point I want to make today, it is time to set my 2011 expectations. There is more I want to do; more I need to do to live simply. I could be living more frugally, I could be giving back more, I could be living lighter on the earth, I could be eliminating all un-needed items from my life and I could be connecting with my real self, rather than the one I have fallen into for work.

This year, I am establishing some hard and fast goals to make my life a better place and hopefully make a small stab at making the world better. So each month I am tackling three new challenges. One goal a month that leads towards inner simplicity and one goal towards outer simplicity and one that leads to either better health or a better environment.

So, without further adieu, here are my goals for the next few months (subject of course to change). I promise I will post each month statements related to my progress.

Buddhist Temple- Korea

January 2011

Outer Simplicity Goal: Clear the clutter in my home office and get all documents scanned/loaded to Evernote/ and or tossed into the recycle bin.

Inner Simplicity Goal: Review some of my old materials on Simple Living. Check in with the core principles I thought I believed in and reevaluate and revise.

Health Goal: Continue on the road to recovery (2010 saw me with wrist surgery, Gallbladder removal and my thyroid condition less stable). Step One is participation in a Year of 30 day Challenges and this month’s goal is consuming less alcohol as a step towards moderation in all things. Starting today and for the rest of January (with one exception my 45 birthday) I will not consume more than one glass of alcohol a day.

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