I currently live just outside of Washington, DC. Where commutes are measured in hours not distance. Before moving here I had never seen so many high end luxury cars as daily drivers. I’m still amazed at the people who would rather buy a Mercedes with 150,000 miles on it for the same amount as they could by a nice honda with 30,000 miles. Everything is a status symbol and I was chasing those status symbols with the best of them. I grew up in the South and got a degree from a good university. When a friend from college told me about what he was making in the DC area I knew there was where I wanted to be. So we moved up with all of our worldly belongings and got an apartment. After that was a house followed by a bigger house. We had everything we were supposed to have. A house, 2 cars, a couple of (fur) babies and good paying jobs. And yet we were unhappy.
I never realized how hard it was to admit in writing that I’m unhappy. Oh sure there are many aspects of my life that are wonderful and I would never change. I have an amazing spouse that puts up with me and my antics and whims. My family is great even if my parents social calendar is more impressive than my work calendar. I even have a great job that pays well. So why am I unhappy? Why do I want to change? I guess I’m beginning to learn a lesson that I scoffed at for most of my life. Money isn’t everything. I have spent my entire life chasing more money. I’ve gone to third world countries because people paid me a lot of money to do so. And with more money would come more stuff. I loved stuff. I still love stuff. Cars, houses, boats, electronics, motorcycles. I’ve begun to discover however that I don’t own stuff. Stuff owns me. Do you know how ridiculous it is for a couple with no kids to own a 4 bedroom 3 bath 4,000 sqft home? Well its even more ridiculous when your stuff fills up the largest moving truck U-haul makes. It was about 3 years ago that I realized it was time for a change. After continually chasing money and status we have decided to get rid of our stuff, forget status, live with less and try to escape this prison that we had found ourselves in. It was time to escape the rat race of DC. I’m going to tell you how we are doing it.