Seven Suitcases

I made a truly life-changing decision some time ago – I decided to sell everything and embark on a journey to fulfill my dream of full-time travel. As you can imagine, such an adventure requires a great deal of planning and preparation. Now, I must confess, I absolutely love planning and preparing. In fact, I’ve been doing it for 52 years. I have a tendency to get so caught up in the details that I lose sight of the bigger picture. Eventually, I find myself growing bored with the planning process and moving on to something new.

I was determined not to lose sight of this particular decision. It was a significant one, and just the thought of it made my heart sing. You know those decisions that, once made, make your soul exhale deeply, as if it’s saying, “Finally, she got there.” So, I set out to create an actionable plan – something realistic that would set me on the right path and build momentum. My first step? Buying not just one, but two new suitcases! Let’s face it, expecting to live out of a single suitcase would be quite unrealistic.

I went out that afternoon and bought a large-sized and a medium-sized suitcase, brought them home, and admired them.  I was proud of myself and the progress I had made.  I envisioned myself walking through airports in unknown destinations wheeling my two new suitcases.  Then it occurred to me that I would have to lift and possibly even have to carry these suitcases at some point.  The large one had to go, there was no way I could lift that once I had it stuffed beyond capacity.

This is where I went a little off the rails.  I spent several hours researching the best wheeled luggage and decided that since most of it was out of my price range so I’d settle for something I could afford.  Over the next few weeks, I went out several times looking for the perfect pair of suitcases.

It wasn’t until I had seven suitcases parked in my living room, lined up like a baggage claim at an airport that I had a moment of realization.  I was doing it again!  I was allowing myself to get caught up in the minutiae, using it as a distraction from the actual thing I wanted to pursue.  The truth is, the details may make the journey a bit easier, smoother, and more comfortable, but they are not doing the actual thing itself.

I had fallen into the common trap of motion vs action.  Motion, in this context, refers to planning, researching, or buying seven suitcases. While these actions may seem productive, they can sometimes become a never-ending cycle that keeps us from taking real, concrete steps towards our goals. Action, on the other hand, involves buying that plane ticket, booking accommodations, and making the bold decision to sell all of your belongings. It is these tangible steps that truly propel us forward and bring us closer to our desired outcome. While motion can be useful, it’s important to recognize that action is what ultimately moves us closer to our goals.

To set your plan on the right track, it’s important to focus on actions that truly align with your goals. Identify the steps you can take to make your dream a reality. It starts with making it real for yourself and everyone in your life. Begin by sharing your aspirations with your loved ones.

I started with my son, then my boss, my parents, and my friends. By involving them in my journey, I created a sense of accountability and support. Next, I initiated the process of selling everything, transitioning my life from rooted to transient. These shifts gain momentum, and even though the fear lingered, I reached a point where turning back became more uncomfortable than continuing forward.

Leverage your decision in every way possible, ensuring that the path ahead becomes the only viable option. From here on, it’s all about moving forward, embracing the unknown, and staying committed to the goal.

It’s incredible to think that I’ve been traveling for over six months now. During this time, I’ve come to realize that having the perfect suitcase isn’t important, and I love the one I have. It has served me remarkably well. In fact, I managed to downsize all my belongings to fit into just this one suitcase! It has accompanied me through eight cities across three different countries. And here’s the funny thing – it’s the very first suitcase I bought.

When you find yourself caught in the cycle of motion, it’s important to pause and ask yourself a powerful question: “What’s a concrete action I could take right now that would bring me closer to my goal?” This question helps shift your focus from mere planning and preparation to taking tangible steps forward.

Additionally, consider identifying a “burn the ships” action – an action that commits you fully to your chosen path and makes turning back more uncomfortable than moving forward. By taking bold steps, you create a sense of urgency and determination that propels you forward.

Leverage your decision by finding ways to make it more binding and impactful. Share your aspirations with others, create accountability by involving loved ones or joining a supportive community, and document your journey through writing or social media. By leveraging your decision in these ways, you strengthen your commitment and make it harder to deviate from your chosen path.

Remember, it’s the combination of concrete actions, “burn the ships” commitment, and leveraging your decision that will propel you towards your goals and make your dreams a reality.