Our Wheels in Costa Rica: not flash but they went round

What Can You Give Up To Live Your Dream?

What We Can Happily Live Without

Flash Cars
We have an old no-name type car. Who gives a flying fart anyway? However, don’t let your kids use your car as a climbing frame like we did in Costa Rica or the roof rack will fall off one day while you’re driving along. Ooops.

Fancy Clothes
This year I’m attempting to spend 12 months without buying any clothes for myself. I’ve had to get slippers and a dressing gown to cope with the winter here and a wetsuit for surfing in the cooler climes, but apart from that, nothing for myself, just a few odds and ends for the kids. I swear I’m not dressing in rags either and most of the time I even look quite presentable, at least by my standards. Come November I’ll be splashing out on a couple of new dresses and t-shirts for the summer. Roll on summer.

Fine Food
In order to maximise my writing time we rotate our meals more or less according to a fortnightly menu of family favorites which are quick to make and enjoyed by all. I think this is the biggest sacrifice actually as I love food and would enjoy having more time to cook it. But something has to give and when it comes down to it, I’d prefer to be writing, walking, surfing or spending time with the hubby or kids than cooking.

A Home of Our Own
We’re renting a house and will do so for a year of more. It’s comfy but it doesn’t have all the finishing touches and personality we had in our own home. My dream home’s on hold.

Beauty Treats
Expensive face creams, facials, pedicures, massages, spa treatments are now just the subject of the odd fantasy. Cheaper products and diy pedicures seem to be just as good anyway.

I’d love to hear what you could or couldn’t live without.

Thanks for reading, please add your comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe by email now or to the RSS Feed, if you haven’t already, so you don’t miss out.

Good luck with all your plans!

More Travel Inspiration

How we used our savings to fund a dream trip to Central America: Live your dream in material world.

>> Follow your dream: you only live once.

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jasons Donner Van June 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Good article. Yeah, Nothing “outward” will bring you real happiness, it comes from the inside doesn’t it?

We all know that the game seems to be a big house, flash car, flash clothes, reams of cash etc will bring you happiness and invariably…(drum roll)….IT NEVER DOES!!

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Andy MacGregor June 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I too have vowed to spend 2009 shopping in my own wardrobe. When I moved to Dubai I had a great salary and use to spend excessively….especially on training shoes and work shoes. In two years I amassed 17 pairs. I’m now working on a reduced salary but have enough shoes to probably last me for the next 5 years or more. It feels good to be utilising what i have. I bought 8 books at a flea market last week and paid less than the cost of one full price book. I’m very pleased!

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Eric Richardville June 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm

All very good points. My wife wouldn’t make it 12 minutes without buying clothes. But I love her so, naturally, I can’t get mad. LOL.

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Kiki Robinson July 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Great article Annabel

I am really enjoying the reads. We have been travelling (less exotically) for the last few years, over in the UK and Europe with kids in tow.

Your list of things to give up pretty much mirrors ours. Funny isn’t it the things we give up for a happier life. Seems almost ironic.

I just need to learn to surf now. Coming from Darwin, a. scared of the waters b. think it’s freezing at the moment!

Keep it up and look forward to more of your travelling with kids stories

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psychologyofsuccess July 15, 2009 at 8:54 am

There are many things that I could live without, but without access to books and information in general I would crumple up into a knot. I am an academic so I like to delve deeper into subjects.

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Matthew | Polaris Rising July 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I haven’t bought much clothes in 2 years, to be honest. My trips to India and China brought with it truckloads of cheap clothes.

Mostly I couldn’t do without the computer. And my rice cooker. I put everything in there, all together, especially with tons of exotic spices and sauces from the oriental supermart. Most of which doesn’t even have English labels.

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Carolyn Cordon July 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm

LIbraries are fantastic. I have a shopping trolley that serves for my weekly trips to the Adelaide Central Market and our monthly trips to the Tea Tree Gully library. Husband, son and myself are avid readers. Well husband and me are anyway – son sometimes, but he is addicted to killing people on the TV screen, so the reading only happens when we’re not all watching something! He’s fifteen, that’s what fifteen year olds do.

I love shopping in op shops – the lovely warm jumper I have on at the moment cost me $4.00 last winter. I would buy all of our stuff in op shops, but the menfolk are committed consumers. What can I do? Shrug and stick to my personal frugality.

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Carolyn Cordon August 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

Adelaide is gorgeous in spring. Parklands, mild days, lovely. And the Barossa Valley is a short drive from the city, even shorter drive from out where I live.

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Eric October 29, 2009 at 3:22 am

I’m new to your blog, and am really enjoying your posts. I’m working my way through some of your older posts.

Out of everthing in your list, the hardest for me to give up would be a home of our own. I love the comfort and personality of our home, and it would be hard to give up. I’ve already given up the fancy cars, and instead opted for used cars that I can afford to buy with cash. As for fancy clothes, I prefer an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

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debbieann November 7, 2009 at 11:48 am

some of the things I gave up I knew I was giving up and some were a shock – gave up the house I owned in San Francisco, gave up a good job. gave up all the comforts of living in the culture I know

but also -in some ways – gave up some of my identity. I thought I was the type of person to take transit, not be driven around in my chauffered car! Did not think I was the domestic household chores type, did not think I’d carry an umbrella to stay out of the sun – but a year in India changed all of that. My books were part of my identity. So much more.

but got to live for a year in India and now a year in Australia and have a life with no work and no kids and lots of time for art and reading. but own almost nothing and could walk away from everything. most valued posession: my passport.

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Rebekah Nemethy May 17, 2015 at 11:37 am

I agree with all you wrote above! My boyfriend and I share 1 car, it can get tricky at times, but we’ve learned to make it work and have saved thousands over the past 3 years. We buy used vehicles only and run it til it won’t run anymore.

We wear our clothes until they wear out and we start to look like bums. And even though we could probably afford a house we live in a tiny apartment so we can save for our dreams.

I never understood why people shop so much or buy the most expensive car… I guess everyone has their priorities. We can all cut back and save if we try.

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