I am a pediatric nurse who quit her job at The Children’s Hospital Colorado to explore life in another country. Selling or giving away all that I own I have ventured south of the border to Cuenca, Ecuador with my dog Barkley. Here are the stories of my life change.

August 13 2015
Life in the day

Down to Two Suitcases, Really?

Okay, maybe two and one carry-on. What does it take to whittle one’s life down to barely anything?
At first it seems easy. You start throwing away so much. So many things that live in one’s home is really of little value. We just hang onto things ‘cuz “someday I might need it.” There is way too much of such things. They are the easy things to rid yourself of.

So much of what I kept was trash!!
So much of what I kept was trash!!

Then you start giving away things. “Who would appreciate this piece of my life?” So, off go the special items to dear friends and family.

My favorite pink bicycle is in the loving hands of my friend Heidi!
My favorite pink bicycle is in the loving hands of my friend Heidi!

For me these items included many of my framed photographs of my favorite places in which I have travelled. Budapest, Paris, Saint Thomas and of course, Italy all hung in my home to carry me briefly to places far away. Now these live with my dear friends who all love these lands as I do.

One of my favorites of Italy goes to Renee, Barkley's beloved dog walker
One of my favorites of Italy goes to Renee, Barkley’s beloved dog walker
Sapphire Bay, St. Thomas is now hanging in my dear friend Nancy's home
Sapphire Bay, St. Thomas is now hanging in my dear friend Nancy’s home

 

Next…those albums of pictures of your past life. You know, those albums that sit on the shelves and when was the last time you actually looked through them? Maybe five years ago? But, to throw them away is unthinkable, right? Well, this is the time you must decide if they warrant a precious place in your two suitcases. I decided “no”. So, I looked through pictures of my wedding. Felt sad for a bit then said to myself: “it’s been ten years since the looser packed his bags and walked out of my life” in the trash it goes!! I know you are thinking that should have happened long ago, and yes you are right. And so the cleansing went.

On to Goodwill with many other things. Then many of my friends wanted to buy some of my furniture and some traded their skills at home repair for some items.

So, there it goes. My life is now two large suitcases and a huge dog kennel. People ask me if it feels freeing? To this I reply: “I’ll tell you later.” Right now it feels a bit disorganized.

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  • Love reading your honest recalls of the decision to do your journey. Take care sis and I’m sure you will pick up Spanish in no time 😉

  • I’m loving your posts Vicki. I miss you more than I thought I would and I knew I’d miss you. Love you girl! Keep up the wonderful updates. I’m far away but with you always.

    • Nathan, You are a good friend. I miss you, too. Keep taking good care of the kids and their parents. The world is a better place because of you!

  • Hi Vickie, I met your mom at the convention on Bakersfield, and she told me of your move. You are doing what wish I could do . I enjoy reading so much about what your doing.

  • Did you notice the squirrel on the left side of the tree in the picture of your trash bags? Probably hoping to find a little snack. 🙂

  • Hi Vicki and Barkley!! I am SO happy for you both! Your photos are wonderful, as always…keep them coming! Sending a letter shortly. :))

  • I’m enjoying your writing and content. Aren’t many of us considering freeing ourselves to one extent or another? Thank you!

  • What an adventure Vicki, took some real fortitude to accomplish this! Good luck and hope you have just what you’ re looking for. Love reading your blogs, keep ’em coming! Hugs.

  • I have been praying about downsizing too and no longer being tied to stuff I haven’t seen since we packed all of our things when we lost our jobs and had to move in 2009. I want to be free to do all the Lord has for me without this heavy burden.

  • Vicki, you are so inspiring!!! While I do not know you well, I adored working with you and would love to read about your adventures!! I pray you find nothing but peace and happiness.

  • Hi Vicki!
    We are very happy for you and Barkley! It sounds amazing and freeing. Can’t wait to read more of your adventures.

    1. Nancy BeDan Nelson 06:59am 27 August - 2015 - Reply

      Love reading your honest recalls of the decision to do your journey. Take care sis and I’m sure you will pick up Spanish in no time 😉

    2. Nathan 06:53pm 24 August - 2015 - Reply

      I’m loving your posts Vicki. I miss you more than I thought I would and I knew I’d miss you. Love you girl! Keep up the wonderful updates. I’m far away but with you always.

      • vickijduran 07:05pm 24 August - 2015 - Reply

        Nathan, You are a good friend. I miss you, too. Keep taking good care of the kids and their parents. The world is a better place because of you!

    3. Janice 04:26am 16 August - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vickie, I met your mom at the convention on Bakersfield, and she told me of your move. You are doing what wish I could do . I enjoy reading so much about what your doing.

    4. Renee Baldwin 10:25pm 15 August - 2015 - Reply

      And I love that you posted “A Monk’s Best Friend”! <3

    5. Renee Baldwin 10:22pm 15 August - 2015 - Reply

      Did you notice the squirrel on the left side of the tree in the picture of your trash bags? Probably hoping to find a little snack. 🙂

    6. Renee Baldwin 09:56pm 15 August - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki and Barkley!! I am SO happy for you both! Your photos are wonderful, as always…keep them coming! Sending a letter shortly. :))

    7. Lillian Pelletier 08:45pm 15 August - 2015 - Reply

      I’m enjoying your writing and content. Aren’t many of us considering freeing ourselves to one extent or another? Thank you!

    8. Aunt Lo 02:58am 15 August - 2015 - Reply

      What an adventure Vicki, took some real fortitude to accomplish this! Good luck and hope you have just what you’ re looking for. Love reading your blogs, keep ’em coming! Hugs.

    9. Joan 09:15am 14 August - 2015 - Reply

      I have been praying about downsizing too and no longer being tied to stuff I haven’t seen since we packed all of our things when we lost our jobs and had to move in 2009. I want to be free to do all the Lord has for me without this heavy burden.

    10. Mary Helen 02:58am 14 August - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, you are so inspiring!!! While I do not know you well, I adored working with you and would love to read about your adventures!! I pray you find nothing but peace and happiness.

    11. Pam 01:50am 14 August - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki!
      We are very happy for you and Barkley! It sounds amazing and freeing. Can’t wait to read more of your adventures.

    12. Diana 12:41am 14 August - 2015 - Reply

      I am sure you are free it’s like going into a convent with nothing of love of adventure and love of excitment

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