SLT069: Head Over Heels In Love With Simplicity

The number one reason we love simplicity is that it gives us flexibility to live our lives the way we want. Sure, it takes some real effort to get to the point where we could drop what we were doing and take a 30-day vacation, but once you get to the point where you can shape your life to do the things you want to do, and live they way you want to live, you’ll love simplicity too. It is so worth the effort and probably how you’d like to live your life too.

During our recent trip, we covered over 6600 miles with our tiny teardrop camper in tow. But thankfully, we didn’t drag along a lot of complexity with us as we traveled. But simplicity doesn’t just “happen.” Some deliberate decisions and actions ensured we could enjoy our experiences together as a family without some of the misfortunes of the Griswolds!


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Topic:  Why We Love Simplicity

We absolutely love the freedom to spend our time (for the most part) the way we want to. That’s why we love simplicity. All the things we have done to simplify our lives over the past couple of years is really starting to pay off. So when the time came for our summer vacation, all the dividends of our efforts manifested themselves throughout every facet of our trip. Now, we always like to leave you with some solid take-aways for every blog post or podcast episode we do. So, the take-away for you isn’t us talking about our trip…I mean, who cares about that other than us, right? But rather, the things we experienced tie directly in with almost everything we talk about on Simple Life Together. No doubt you take what we talk about and adapt it for yourself, right? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll do with this info, too. And if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll even save you some time or effort by helping you avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made.

So here are a few key points from the show:

    • How we made time to take a vacation, chose to align our work w/our Freedom Pillar, and then juggling clients to free up vacation time.

    • Why we went where we did and a little about each stop, including:

      • Florida
      • Nashville: Mastermind group and dinner with a fellow CPO, her garden, small town, etc…
      • Other stops in the Blue Ridge area
      • Why one of our ‘hopeful’ spots to live in ended up being a “no-go” for us
      • Meeting some full-time RVers
      • Stopped for an over-nighter in Shenandoah NP. Look out for lions, tigers and bears (oh my!). Well, just bears, actually.
      • A visit to Luray Caverns
      • Why we went to Hershey, PA (duh…chocolate!)
      • Lake Placid in the Adirondacks
      • The Buffalo, NY area and Sprague Brook Park
    • Highlights from the trip:

      • Meeting George & Sheila
      • Spending time with family (basically, for all the same reasons we talked about in Episode 35)
      • Kevin & Evette’s amazing eggs!
      • Exploring Buffalo
      • Visiting Elvis’ Graceland
        • We wonder what it would be like to live that lifestyle sometimes, but I’d bet Elvis would have traded with us on a few occasions.
        • Thanks to Big Jim Sykes of Sirius/XM Elvis Radio at Graceland for letting me explore and get a photo op in the studio setup
      • Small space living in our teardrop, and our son in his Hennessy Hammock
      • Enjoying simple foods and not eating too much ‘junk’ on the road
    • More ‘Wins’ and Lessons Learned

      • Again, we LOVE our Merino wool clothing choices and our techniques of packing light!
      • You can’t beat the good ol’ fashioned fun of sitting around a campfire! In essence, we really enjoyed slacklining, fishing, time with family
        • For another take on spending time with family, check out the new blog by Chris & Sarah Wehkamp of
      • There’s a big difference between “living the dream” and just “buying the dream”! We met someone along the way who “bought the dream” but never lived it.
      • And finally, what it felt like to come back to our simple home.



So, what are some ways you’ve invested in simplifying your life? How are those dividends paying off for you? We’d love to know!

Be sure to leave a comment below.

Thing Segment:

Dan: Nearly 30 days off of social media! It was awesome!

Vanessa: Being told by Sunshine, “Mommy…now’s not the time to be on your phone.”


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    • Early Bird tickets are now available for SimpleRev! Only 50 tickets will be offered at the Early Bird pricing so make sure you lock yours in today.
    • SimpleRev is being held on Oct 3-4, 2014, in beautiful downtown Minneapolis on the University of St Thomas campus. To get your tickets at the lowest price that will ever be offered, just go to I’ll also put a link in the shownote to the SimpleRev podcast in iTunes, as well. Or just search iTunes for SimpleRev, all one word.


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 Photo Credit: Yours Truly

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16 thoughts on “SLT069: Head Over Heels In Love With Simplicity

  1. Loved hearing about your road trip! Sounds like such a fun experience and so much variety. My road trips consist of a half hour drive to Barnes & Noble on the other side of the island 😉 I also enjoyed the story about not buying into a dream. It’s what I think of as aspirational shopping. We buy things that appeal to us but don’t match our lifestyle. It could also be the rest of his family weren’t interested in traveling with a teardrop. I’ve definitely done that. Bought a bunch of gear to have a cute picnic at the beach during sunset and then the man was completely uninterested. So, it ended up just me, a chair, a handful of chips and one hard cider (gluten free beer). The picnic stuff (basket, cute plates, wine glasses) went to the thrift store. By the way I’m fine without an iPhone plan. I have a $25/mo AT&T Nokia go phone. I opted for no data. Great for texting and battery lasts for almost three days. I’m much more present than everyone around me at concerts, out to dinner, etc. I do still have my iPhone but use it as an iTouch instead. I also have a hotspot (always had one for laptop/ipad use) but don’t find myself resorting to that too much as it is normally off so does take a concerted effort to use it.

  2. What an amazing accomplishment on your journey to simplicity. I used to work for an attorney who took the entire month of July off every year. He had his office set it up and no court dates, appointments or work was ever put on the calendar for that month. It became a story of our small legal community and everyone knew that Marlin was gone in July — he was a pilot and flew to Alaska to fish, camp and just hang out with his buddies. No one ever thought it was a bad thing, he was a hero because of it.

    As a side note, I flew with him in his plane once to a court date in another city. I was white knuckling it all the way and he saw that I was scared. He looked over at me and said “take the wheel” I did and he let go of his. I was beyond white faced but he knew that I needed to take some adventures once in a while. I have never forgotten that feeling of just letting go of my fear and “flying” — that is what both of you do every day for people.

  3. Hi from Australia Vanessa and Dan! Just wanted to tell you that I am really enjoying your podcast and particularly the latest one about your trip. The idea of just being able to take off and not have to spend hours getting ready is really appealing. My husband and I talk about being able to travel around Australia and this type of camper seems ideal for a couple. There is a company in Qld who build these campers – called “The Gidget” and they look amazing. I cannot believe you can pack so much into something so small.
    Love hearing about how you have simplified your life and when I am stuck in traffic on the motorway heading to work your podcast inspires me to look at ways that we could do the same!! Best wishes from Down Under.

  4. What a terrific show that was. I usually listen to music when working out, but today it was your SLT069 and it was a doozie for me.
    I am kind of a tear drop wanna be and my wife of 49 years is definitely a tear drop don’t wanna be.
    I kind of took your trip vicariously.
    Not the part that REALLY got me was “Live Your Dream” and not try to buy it.
    I know that is an old old concept, but just hearing from you wonderful people solidifies it.
    As we say in Maine
    Thanks Mucho (I guess I really said that when in California-not Maine)

    • You are so welcome, Don!!! Vanessa doesn’t buy into my tiny house dream either, so I know how that goes. Oh well, as I mentioned to Timothy on another comment, sometimes living vicariously through others in one area of life is the solution. Glad you enjoyed this episode!

  5. Love the Show, for selfish reasons I miss the weekly format. The story about not buying into the dream was great. Often after hearing of your adventures I dream about getting a teardrop, but then I remember I’m not a camper. ;( I’d be that guy who got the teardrop with all the Toys then never used it.
    Please keep sharing what you’re doing.

    • Thanks so much Timothy! We may get back to the weekly format at some point, but for now the bi-weekly is working for us.

      Sometimes living vicariously through others in one area of life is a lot cheaper and less hassle! So, we’ll be happy to keep “teardroppin'” for ya!

  6. I came across your site by chance and the podcast was very interesting. Athough it may no longer be possible for many people to have an old-fashioned ‘simple’ life, there are ways to make it less complex, at least. Thanks for an interesting talk.

  7. I just came across your site by chance and I love it! Hearing about your trip was very interesting. The part about simplifying was my favorite though. You are an inspiration and I will definitely continue to follow your posts to learn as much as possible. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. So many people can learn so much from your family.
    Sincerely, Theresa

  8. I just found your podcasts and I’m loving it and making my way through the archives! I’m a little bummed that you’re taking a step back on the podcast but I completely understand. 🙂 I was just curious during this episode of where in the Blue Ridge mountains you visited? I live in the mountains of NC (born and raised) and was just too curious not to ask. Anywho, thank you guys so much for all of the wonderful material you’ve provided through this podcast, we’re in the process of downsizing, purging, getting rid of clutter, etc so it’s been a favorite of mine to listen to lately!

    • Hi Jessica! Something broke in our comment notification system and I haven’t been getting notifications when people post. I’m so sorry it has taken so long to reply.

      So glad you’re enjoying the show! If you’re working your way backwards through the archives, don’t laugh too hard when you get to show #1! We’ve grown a bit since then and even I haven’t gone back to listen!

      We went over from Nashville to Asheville, and then worked our way all along up to the Shenandoah National Park. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! You’re lucky to live there!

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