The dictionary defines simplicity as “absence of complications” or “easiness.” My wife, Gloria, thinks that part of simplicity is not being a conspicuous consumer. When we moved to Costa Rica, we wanted to simplify, to have an easier life with fewer complications and to live within our means. But you can do much of this anywhere, even in the United States, and we did.
Many people, in an effort to simplify, might move to a smaller town or to rural America, while we chose to move to Costa Rica. We were never conspicuous consumers and lived within our means, but we wanted other things too: a better climate (we’re from Baltimore, Maryland), a lower cost of living, incredible natural beauty, and a healthcare system that would not rob us of our life savings; a place with warm, friendly people and, of course, monkeys that will eat bananas right out of your hand. We also wanted a sense of adventure in our lives.
What makes it so difficult to simplify in the U.S. is the bombardment of media – tv, radio, and junk mail. All these have a way of making you feel “lesser than” if you don’t buy into the dominant consumer culture — a culture that makes you want what you don’t need. The more you acquire, the more money you need to support your lifestyle.
After having lived in both Mexico and Costa Rica, I know how to simplify your life and if you’ll take the journey with me, I’ll show you how!
If you’re up to “hard-core” simplification, I promise you will:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood pressure
- Gain stamina
- Save a lot of money
- Eat better
- Do less
- Have more time for family
- Un-complicate your life
- Learn to be mentally satisfied with less and enjoy the things that really matter
- Not allow others to define your existence
- Become mentally tough
Next month, in “Simplicity-How to Get It,” we’ll talk about how to simplify your life. What we have, you can have too, and we’re going to show you how!! Remember, you don’t need to “retire in Costa Rica” to do it; you can do it anywhere, even in New York City.