Making Decisions

Although this post isn’t directly about our current travels, we thought we would share one of the most useful exercises we did last summer that has proven invaluable to us as we make decisions on this life journey.

We had just sold our home in Golden and were now traveling with our popup camper in tow, across the States, visiting family along the way. Our destination was to eventually get to North Carolina and explore potential small towns that had piqued our curiosity. We also know we were interested in exploring potential expat options, as well.

How were we going to determine our next steps?

In a timely article that we came across shortly before starting our travels, it suggested steps in determining what’s important to you based on your experiences, design, and season of life. (The article’s title indicates it has to do with finding a career that fits you. However, we adapted it for our needs.)

It seemed solidifying who we are as a couple would prove very beneficial as we began to make more big decisions (selling our home had already been a big decision!)

Waterfalls – Campground in West Virginia

As we covered those miles across the States, treasured moments with family and enjoyed quiet evenings at various campsites along the way, we came up with our list of who we are – in this season of life.

This list has proven invaluable as we have made decisions over the past 6 months. In fact, we encourage you to do something similar, if you are needing a framework that helps you in making decisions.

Here are just a few examples of how we have used this list to help us make decisions.

Home in Edenton, North Carolina: To buy or not to buy

We fell in love with Edenton. Small town. Active community. Friendly people.

We visited with a local realtor and even found a house that we really liked. Along the water. Great views. Incredible boat dock. It was soooo tempting!

Yet, it didn’t quite fit one of our non-negotiables (minimal effort to live), nor did it fit one of our most important priorities, leaving us with resources to do life well.

One of our priorities is simplifying day-to-day living. Owning a waterfront property that needed some work, and offering a different (albeit very intriguing and adventurous!) lifestyle would bring complexity into our lives – at least for a season.

Plus, it didn’t quite fit the priority of using our resources in a way to extend longevity. So, we decided against it. (After the destructive hurricanes that went right through Edenton a couple of months later, we were so glad we did!)

Rental Car in Mexico: To rent or not to rent

More recently, we had to make a decision on whether or not to do a long-term car rental in Mexico. It was glancing at this list that helped in finalizing that decision.

Renting a car fit the non-negotiable of ‘minimal effort to live’, but we wondered if it was the best use of our resources. However, after seeing the this list, we realized that the ‘minimal effort to live’ was essential to us and the resources would only be mildly impacted for a short period.

In the long run, having a rental car to get around may make better use of our resources, as it would make living in a small fishing village which has minimal shopping/medical/grocery options much more do-able and give us the ability to explore the regions around us.

We anticipate we’ll be using this list for a long time to come. And, we anticipate that as we go through seasons of life, that the list will also need to change.


  1. Bill

    “Living Life by Design” is something that has always eluded me. I am reminded of a brief conversation I had some months ago with a friend’s wife; she had asked me some general question about how I was doing and I replied with some vague nonsense about how I was surprised how my life and turned out — “not what I had planned” — and she summed it up in the most wonderfully sarcastic manner, “living the dream.” Sigh!

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