Historic Grade 2 listed mansion in Swannington, UK.

If you want to make anyone uncomfortable, simply tell them that you own nothing. In a second, their eyes roll slightly inward as they compute the idea of what nothing could mean and that you must be joking: they’re waiting for the punchline that what you’re saying can’t imply the same nothing that means nothing.

Others may nonchalantly glance over their shoulder to see their belongings and that your nothing has nothing to with their everything. After all, what is life for if not for gathering stuff? 

When we are born, people already bring us stuff. Baby clothing, toys, food. As we grow up, more stuff comes our way. We receive a collection of items to make us happy, to make us fit in, to help us live comfortable lives, and to shape us into unique individuals. Those articles are often given out of love. 

There is also a constant trade and evolution, perhaps. Pink bikes are exchanged for ice skates, blue bikes are exchanged for balls, dolls are replaced with sweaters and lipgloss, real cars and trucks replace the Tonka trucks and Matchbox cars taking up space attic or basement. Of course, some of us collect those items forever because they are too precious to part with.


  1. Dorothy Larson says:

    Hope all is well with you & Kevin. So brave of you to downsize so successfully. You make me feel guilty as I look around at my surroundings. When in Panama I often look around the condo and think it really is easy to survive with less. It would be nice to be able to survive without the winter necessaries, but that the price we pay for living in Canada. How well I remember you saying that Kevin just doesn’t understand shoes and outfits. As we look back over the past year it has been a year of buying no new clothes or shoes as we have no need as there is no where to go. Haven’t been any further from home except to shop in Lethbridge. Wondering where you two are at? So looking forward to the days when we can freely travel again. We would go but the government has made coming home a lot of trouble. We are all well here in Coaldale. Take care

    Sent from my iPad


    1. hi Dorothy
      Thanks so much for reaching out, it’s always so nice to hear from you. We are still in Okotoks on a housesit till May 10thisih. Glad to know you are well in Coaldale, our friends Jo and Hardy from Panama just moved to Lethbridge. So if this Covid thing allows, we may head in your direction one day. Hi to everyone.

  2. Hi Monika, I loved this article – Magnificent! My wife, Eileen, calls me ‘The Backpacker.’ Early in our relationship she threatened, “Don’t you think I’m ever going to be like you!” Six years later we left South Africa for Ireland, with just four suitcases! Here’s our story: https://sirpeterjames.com/2020/09/19/knock-at-the-door-fly-out-the-window/ I sense we have fellow travelers in you and Kevin. I have given Eileen the link to your article so she could enjoy your beautiful story and realize I’m not from Mars after all.

    1. Peter, that is an excellent article and it is so amazing what happens to us when we experience or at least try to experience new ventures. Thank you also for you kind encouragement.

  3. Love your story. I remember when I saw the writing on the wall and we moved. It was really hard but right. almost had to move again but we pulled through. Now I think we still have too much to manage. 🤣

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s