Why We Have To Give Up Conveniences To Live Intentionally - Intentional Travelers

19 Mar Why We Have To Give Up Conveniences To Live Intentionally

This is a guest post by Samantha Anderson, blogger at Elevate What Matters. We connected over common values, like intentional living, over twitter and love what she’s been sharing on her blog. 


Samantha AndersonIn January, my husband and I trekked halfway across the country from Wisconsin to Arizona in our Mazda3 with our two cats and what was left of our belongings.

If you haven’t made a major move before, let me assure you it was the most inconvenient thing we could’ve done for our lives.

We left behind most of our stuff, good jobs, friends, family and opportunities and traded it in for unknown possibilities.

But our move was an intentional act to risk for the sake of our dreams. We had always wanted to try living somewhere else and we didn’t know where, so we picked a small-ish city in Arizona and spent 2014 transitioning our lives for The Big Move.

Convenience, by nature, allows us to live unintentionally. So on our journey toward intentionality, we found ourselves abandoning many conveniences.

It started with a desire to pare down to only what we needed because we saw anything in excess of a need as standing between us and the life we wanted, which would require us to live with less. By the time we moved to Arizona, we were bare-bones as far as our belongings and only continued to minimize the conveniences in our lives as a result of living intentionally.

We’ve always been a two-car family and it’s been super convenient. But we intentionally chose to only bring one car with us to Arizona and not to replace it when we got here. And we haven’t.

I thought it would feel like more of an inconvenience than it has. Sharing a car forced us to find an apartment close to one of our jobs so one of us could walk to work. And of course, that’s not a foolproof plan. I’ve left home at 10:00 at night to go pick up my husband from work because it’s raining.

But the truth is, we wanted to live where we live anyway. We didn’t have to give up much to make having one car work. Except for the convenience factor.

We didn’t give up our second car to be inconvenienced. We gave it up to save money. This allows us to live the type of life we want to live. Fewer expenses requires less income, which has allowed both Drew and I to pursue jobs we love and spend our time outside of work doing things we love instead of maintaining and shopping for stuff.

Convenience keeps us consuming more than we create.

Sharing a car is not the easy thing to do. But for us, it’s not burdensome either. We’d rather be free from car payments and maintenance and gas and insurance and vehicle registrations than have the convenience to do more of what we don’t need to do.

Giving up our conveniences, like a second car, makes us think about how we spend our time more. Unnecessary shopping trips are nixed. We have to leave earlier to walk than to drive. Utilizing one car between us requires planning and flexibility.

Beyond not owning a car, we don’t have a TV or a computer or a DVD player. We live in a 250-square-foot apartment with a convection oven stacked on top of a microwave on top of a mini fridge. We do our dishes every day, sometimes multiple times a day, in a sink the size of an RV’s.

Nothing about it is convenient. But it’s amazing how little we miss conveniences when we realize they were never needs. Our conveniences have mostly stolen from us what is sacred.

If we want more of what’s most important in our lives, we’re going to have to eliminate or minimize everything else.

We can have just about anything we want in life. We just can’t have everything we want.

About the Author: Samantha Anderson is an essentialist living her dream of being a writer. She also works as a mentor at a therapeutic boarding school for girls. She and her husband Drew are Wisconsin transplants living in Arizona. You can find her blog at www.elevatewhatmatters.org where she writes about overcoming the obstacles between us and our dreams or on Twitter @sandersonwrites.

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  • Dorene
    Posted at 21:40h, 19 March

    Great read – excellent message in convenience keeps us consuming more than we create. thanks!

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