Selling off everything you own for a dream…REALLY???

leaving it all behind

by Kenneth Justice

~ “We sold everything we own; our house, cars….everything….and we moved to Costa Rica” he said

Yesterday I met Winston & Donna; they’ve been married four years and are from Urban Washington D.C. One day they got tired of the lives they were leading and decided to sell everything they owned (a big thanks goes to Craigslist as that is how they sold most of it) and moved to Costa Rica……a country they had never even visited before!

Really?” I asked, “you never even spent a day visiting the place before you moved here?

Nope, not even one day. We arranged a place to stay via the Internet and when we got off the plane we took the public bus five hours to the Nicaraguan border and we’ve been living in Costa Rica for the past six months!” said Donna

Winston and Donna aren’t millionaires…..they are merely two people who are chasing a dream…..or maybe I should say; who are trying to make their dream come true.

The first day we woke up in Costa Rica in our rental house….it felt like we had finally made it ‘home’” she said, “It was so weird, you would think we would be scared to have made this crazy decision…..but instead, on that first morning waking up in a strange country we felt at peace with your decision

Kenneth, man we’re not even the type of people to do something this crazy. We just got it into our minds that we weren’t happy back in the States and we needed to venture out into the world. We’re really into healthy living and Costa Rica is all about being pro-environment, and the water here is so good……we’ve been so happy!” said Winston

Because the two of them don’t have residency permits; every 90 days their Visa’s expire and they have to leave the country for 24 hours in order to get reentry back into Costa Rica……yet even with that little hiccup they seem to be extremely happy.

It was interesting meeting the two of them because they seemed to be bubbling over with one adventure story after another….life in Costa Rica for them has been exciting. It’s been filled with experiences that they never would have had back in the states. Of course, selling everything you own to chase your dreams doesn’t come without an expense; once their money runs out they obviously need a source of income to live (they are in their late-20’s) and so they’ve been working feverishly at trying to build a small business via the Internet which they hope will fully sustain their lifestyle in Costa Rica.

I’ll be honest; I don’t have the guts to sell everything I own in order to pursue a dream. Call me scared….or whatever you want to call me; it takes a special kind of person to do what Winston and Donna are doing……but that’s okay.

Because each of us in our own way’s have a little bit of Winston and Donna in us…right?

—-) For some of us it is merely venturing out of our comfort zone and pursing a new hobby or interest

—-) For others of us it means leaving a job that we are comfortable at for a new job that might take more work in the beginning to get it going

—) For some it means taking the chance to trust someone (a boyfriend, girlfriend, etc) and to venture out into new uncharted territory

I doubt that the majority of us will ever be able to sell everything we own in order to pursue a dream……yet there is something in the spirit of Winston and Donna that really touched my heart. I guess I’m the kind of person that gets too much into my routines; I like to know what to expect each day……and while routine’s are nice; don’t you often need a little break from your normal routine once in a while?

For me, a major hurdle in my life for the last 13 months has been staying up to date with my blog each day. I’ve always known that I enjoyed writing…..but taking the chance (and all the effort involved) in writing each day has been a difficult….yet rewarding experience. After all the hard work I’ve put into it……I could of woke up one day to learn that I had ZERO readers, and ZERO people interested in what I have to say……..

So for me, although it wasn’t selling everything I own to move to a foreign country; it was merely putting in the time and energy in my writing……and not knowing for sure if it would pay off in the end.

And even today……I don’t even really know what ‘pay off in the end’ means. At the moment, I’m planning my next blogging trip which will be to Atlanta, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee. Will the conversations with readers and fellow bloggers go well? I have no idea….but that’s okay; because like Winston and Donna; I’m excited for the adventure that awaits.

The coffee in Costa Rica has been wonderful….but unfortunately my time here is quickly drawing to close. It’s been eight days and I’ve only got one more left to go.


(P.S. If you haven’t heard I’m currently on a national and worldwide tour of 100 coffee houses in 2014 check out my link for the news and stay tuned for dates and locations )


Categories: Drinking in the Culture

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77 replies

  1. Thanks for pursuing your blogging adventure dream, Kenneth; that took guts, for sure. Your writing and sharing that here helps us — your readers — pursue our dreams (even as we figure out what those are). Godspeed you on your adventures!

  2. Pursue a dream or avoiding a nightmare. Different sides of same coin? Well, first has to do with hope, second with despair, so I guess it is the same. Only difference is that most of the times pursuing a dream indicates having a choice, while on the other hand it means running away at all cost. Good luck to them. Hope it works out.

    • “only difference is that most of the times pursuing ad reams indicates having a choice”

      very true…..the choice that these two people had was whether or not they wanted to take the chance of running out of money in a foreign country. Its possible that their little business they are trying to build may not work out….but they are so committed to living in Central America that they believe it is worth it.

  3. Time flies when you are having fun, wow. The nice thing is you did “something”, that pretty much count for something. Hope deeper purpose emerges out of this, I for one think your blogging experience has been highlighted since your journey. Keep pressing.:))

  4. Great piece, really inspired me to stretch my comfort zone.

  5. I say go for it, but you sure better do that preliminary research. In my case I’d sure want to have that medical coverage transferable.

    • “In my case I’d sure want to have that medical coverage transferable”

      the two of them actually talked to me about medical coverage and one of the reasons they choice costa rica is that the health care there is pretty good (based on central and south American standards) and its not very expensive at all.

    • Well, if they are in their 20’s and are reasonably healthy, the health care considerations may be good and well enough. But for those of us who are older and have more health issues, I would think that maybe it would be less so, and possibly a tradeoff.

  6. in the end
    we all want
    to be well
    happy and safe!
    may it be so
    wherever we are 🙂

  7. I would love to sell everything and relocate to a country similar to what you have described of Costa Rica so far. It takes a whole lot of courage and trust that everything will work out. At the moment with kids and a household to manage it must stay in my dreams. Yet, hopefully a day will come when I can be this outrageous and spontaneous and follow that dream. For now though I am happy to live vicariously through you 🙂

    • Yea, well I don’t know if my life is exciting enough for you to live vicariously through me….but I too, would one day like to do something like the two of them are doing. I would always want to keep my home though so I can have a place to go back to.

  8. What an exciting adventure!

  9. Thank you for your wonderful stories and photos of Costa Rica. I will probably never have a chance to go there myself, however, in a way, you took me with you. 😀

  10. My husband has a saying here in Ireland. Every time I fret about the consequences of an action he turns to me and says “Yerra, what does it matter” in a very relaxed way.. I have found myself now, after over twenty years, using the word “Yerra” on it’s own in my mind to say, what does it matter, just go for it. Another great post. You lead a very interesting life yourself.

  11. Courageous people…To dare follow your bliss.

  12. I like to think I have some of their courage. We really do all have it in us, it’s just a matter of acting on your decision. In high school, I read a poem I wrote for a speech contest about letting go and chasing dreams. My dad said it made him want to drop everything in pursuit of a dream. He laughed it off as a ridiculous notion, but I will never forget that moment. I didn’t think it was ridiculous at all. I realize, as we get older, we take on more responsibilities. Still, I don’t think there is ever a point where you can’t chase after whatever you want in life. Nothing and no one cans stop you.

    • “still, I don’t think there is ever a point where you can’t chase after whatever you want in life”

      100% Agree!!! one of the couples I met in costa rica a couple days ago were in their mid-70’s….they are just finishing a 14 month journey around the world!!! Talk about never-to-late!!!

  13. We did that. It had always been The Boss’s dream to have nothing but the motorhome we lived in. So we did. After a few years, we learned how important growing our own food and singing challenging music is to us both…and how hard it is to live in 318 square feet with two 60-pound dogs, but I’m glad we did it.

    • Wow, 318 square feet with two 60 pound dogs!!! Now that would be a challenge!! My dogs are really small; a yorkie and a Chihuahua…they can pretty much fit in a VW Beetle and ya won’t notice them 😉

  14. “Love” can make you sell everything and not even regretted. My parents sold their house and everything that had just to see me, live close to me, which I’ll never forget that sacrifice.
    Millionaires, young, and chasing their dreams? Can life get any better?..😃
    You definitely been given a lot to people around the world. Your thoughts and ideas been waking up, touching many lives, so what you give it pays off everyday.
    Thank you for reminding Love for parents. 😊

    • “My parents sold their house and everything that had just to see me, live close to me, which I’ll never forget that sacrifice.”

      Now THAT is something special for sure 🙂

  15. I actually follow several bloggers who sold everything and are touring the nation in RVs. The three that I follow have all been doing it for less than a year but they are having a blast.

    I, on the other hand walked out of my life with $200.00 in my pocket and started anew…with no certain direction…just outta here! It was exhilaration, scary and adventuresome all at the same time. I never regretted doing any of it…it is certainly an opportunity to discover what you are really made of…but I was ready to get back to a more normal way of life after six months.

    • “but I was ready to get back to a more normal way of life after six months.”

      Mrs P., I’m kinda with you…I think I would enjoy it for a little while…but would soon find myself wanting to go back to my familiar stomping grounds.

  16. my motto is to never avoid the adventure for the sake of stuff . . . sell it, give it away and go . . .

  17. You will definitely meet some interesting people in Atlanta!

  18. Yeah but Kenneth, I think that there is a bit more Winston and Donna within you then you realize. Many marvel at what you are doing now and think, “I could never do what he is doing?” All of you inspire others to continuing dreaming and that soon, those dreams may be a reality. Thank you for that lesson. Blessings and travel safely, Lydia

    • Lydia,

      well… pocketbook and savings keep telling me “Kenneth, you can’t do what you are doing!” lol….but I’m keeping my fingers crossed……Atlanta here I come 🙂

  19. I’ve heard stories of people doing what that couple did, but never actually met anyone who had. I don’t know if I have it in me to sell off everything and move to a different county, but if you think about it, that is exactly what many of our ancestors did when they came to America. As America prospered the dream of escaping the frustrations and oppressions of other countries inspired the masses to crowd to the USA to find a different life. As America starts to decline it is natural that some Americans would feel a strong desire to escape to different world that offers what the USA cannot. It is the cycle of societal life, the cycle of a country. The grass is always greener on the other side, until you run out of money to water it. Winston and Donna’s actions are not new and not really that surprising but more and more I think they are inspiring. Thank you.

    • They were a pretty awesome couple. I should have taken a photo of them but I didn’t think of it till afterwards….but she was wearing heels and told me “I always wear heels so its kinda funny that we love being in Costa Rica where there is hardly ever any sidewalks or cement!”

    • You could start a photo log of the people you write about on your travels.

    • For me, sometimes it feels a bit awkward to ask people that I’m talking to if I can take their photo… everytime people found out I am on a blogging tour my table would get packed with people and I couldn’t even keep tabs on everything that was going on let alone remember to pull my camera out……hopefully an assistant falls out of the sky to help me with all this 🙂

    • I can see how that would impeed the opportunity for photographic records. Then again, ask and you shall receive, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that as you travel some of your readers in the area would be happy to lend you a hand while you’re in their town. If people didn’t subconsciously change the way they interact when they’re on tape I’d suggest using a recording program on your phone or laptop to help you sort things out later.

    • all of those are good ideas…..

      one of these days I will get organized enough to figure out what to do….I’ve had a list of dates and locations that I want to publish for the next few months of stops that i will be making but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had 30 minutes to transfer it properly from Microsoft word to create a proper page on my site for it….things have been just going so fast, which is nice in a way because id rather have people interested than not interested….but I’m sure things will slow down at some point here so I can catch up with everything 🙂

  20. It takes a thought of determination and crazy to go all out. I left everything behind before. Sure I failed but on the way I learned a lot about me. so did I fail. NO. It just didn’t work out. But I would do it again.
    May have left with nothing and came back with nothing. I enjoy the challenge to get back on my feet again.

    And I love your endeavour of coffee meets. Thumbs up Dude.

    • “I left everything behind before. Sure I failed but on the way I learned a lot about me. so did I fail. NO. It just didn’t work out. But I would do it again.”

      and I totally love that attitude! Because some people who failed would never try again….and that’s too bad.

  21. I admire their adventurous move. How fun it would be to pack up everything you need, sell everything else and move to some ‘foreign’ place you’ve never been to. What a wonderful and educational experience that would be.

    • I wish I had the space to share some of their stories….like this one time when they accidentally found themselves being taken illegally across the Costa Rican/Nicaragua border when they actually wanted to cross legally!!! They are definitely having some awesome adventures 🙂

  22. So, after 13 months, does the blogging get harder or easier or just the same?

    • HARDER!!!! I have more than 30 articles from the past 10 days in Costa Rica that are nowhere near being completed….I don’t even know if I will find the time to write about all the different people I met and adventures…..I need a bloody assistant is what it really comes down to!!! lol

    • I’m assuming so far you wrote about 400 articles? Plus your books? Thumbs up!

    • lol no not 400 articles….more like a bunch of rambled things I’ve written that I need to take the time to write out coherently 🙂

  23. That is exactly how my husband and I moved to Germany this past May. We sold almost everything we owned minus the necessities and sentimental items and moved back. Granted, my husband is German so that obviously makes it easier as far as residency, but we had no jobs and a 12 month old son. We just weren’t happy in the states and we knew we were the only ones that could change our life. Just wanted to share that with you since it coincided so well with Donna and Winston.

    • My muted voice,

      awesome! Some people enjoy living in the States…others don’t…..ultimately it comes down to following what is in our hearts 🙂

    • It’s more easy when you have nothing to sell however the roots, the family’s call are heavier than to leave behind a house even if we called it home. I experienced some movings (Italy, UK) though here I am, home again. With these two fails I will do it again knowing I will get back home 🙂

      From another perspective would be fun to ride on RVs this world knowing that I can stop once in a while to see my family. 🙂

      Then if I could have the gift to make a prediction I would say that Kenneth will choose a peaceful place where he will write his books and keep us posted through his blog then he’ll get back home 🙂

    • Dana, that would probably be my dream; find a peaceful place where I can write books and earn enough money to not have to stress about paying my bills 🙂

  24. Yet another great post.

    I’ve done that before. I was 26 when I sold everything I owned and headed off to Asia for some mission’s training and experience. Didn’t know what was waiting for me in the future either. While there I really sensed a call to move to Brazil. Did so and have been here for over 11 years now. I guess it’s not so difficult to do that when you don’t have much to begin with and no kids or heavy responsibilities.
    Would do it again though, God willing (and calling).
    Blessings =)

    • Staci,

      you ‘got’s’ more guts than me I think! I’m so impressed by people like you…..I wish I had the mental fortitude to simply drop everything and pursue what is in my heart….I guess in some ways I am slowly trying to do that but it will take time for me to demonstrate the level of energy people like you have 🙂

    • You’re too kind. It would have been more of a sacrifice for me to stay put and not go.
      Also, I would absolutely love to do what you’re doing right now. God willing , one day.
      Know that there are many that are loving and possibly even living through you and your experiences right now.
      Bessings =)

  25. Well I guess “no guts, no glory” in whatever form that takes! Have a fun trip!

  26. speaking of keeping up on your blog…. I was going to ask you if you had any tips on that – more on managing the blogs you follow and comment on – just wondering how you manage that. I went to the weekly digest for most of my blogs and that has helped – but it really does need to be managed or it can drain a lot of time…..hmmmm

    • Yvette,

      no tips really….its a full time endeavor at times, I honestly don’t know how I keep up with everything, my only saving grace is that I can type really fast, other than that I dunno.

  27. I don’t have the guts to sell everything forever, but man if I did. This was a valiant effort at making a massive change look really good, Kenneth. Costa Rica is beautiful and what you’ve done to make it feel real to the rest of us…well, thank you. Turns out, this trip looks good on you. 🙂

  28. Wow if only I possessed more than what I currently owe! I would have left in a heart beat. I think when a dream calls for the extremes, deep down there is an undeniable longing that rules out any sense of conventional logic that helps you to do what seems impossible and utterly crazy. It’s just right and there’s nothing more to it.

  29. Did it. Sold it all. Been traveling for over two years now. Too much of the world to see and not enough time left in these old Baby Boomer bones. We’ll keep moving and learning for as long as we can and then decide where to live in our ‘golden years’.

  30. The greatest risk in life is decision to marry! I made it after meeting with my wife for only 19 hours and we are happily married for 54 years.

  31. I, for one, am glad that you invest the time and energy into these blogs. I do not get around to reading every day, but, when I do, I always enjoy it (and usually read a week’s or month’s worth of posts in one setting to catch up, lol). Also, I think, if you really wanted to (and I know you don’t roll that way), your readers would be happy enough to buy you coffee or a few bucks or whatnot to help make this adventure possible. And, even though you’re not one to go for that, that *is* a kind of pay off for this entertainment you provide us all completely free of charge.

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