Why I Sold My House and Moved into My Car

It's never too late to change your mind.

I know what I’m supposed to be doing at 31 years old. I’m supposed to be settling into a long career, maybe move up the ladder at a large corporation, make some money and start a family or already have one. I graduated right before the financial crisis so I’ve always had decent software engineering jobs even in my small-ish exurb of Temecula, California. So why did I do it? Why did I deviate from the plan by selling my one rock solid asset that is guaranteed to go up in value in the long run and move into my car with my wife and my dog?

Freedom

Most days before I had a remote career trajectory I thought about escaping. I’d wake up in the morning, take my dog on a walk, drink some coffee, try to make progress on my side projects, then go to work, day dream about being anywhere but my cube and what life could be like if I could just escape my little corner of the world and get out! So that’s what I did, my wife and I have been traveling the world the last few years and it’s opened my eyes to how small my world really is.

Risk and reward

I always read inspirational quotes that probably weren’t ever said, but they sounded great. Quotes like, "it’s not the days in your life, it’s the life in your days." — A remix of different people.

After 10 years, and after marrying the most daring person I’ve ever met, I finally managed to make those inspirational platitudes real. The feeling of freedom is frightening and liberating at the same time, just like I always thought it would be. Selling a house is risky when you consider what you might lose in the future, but it’s even riskier when I’m older and thinking back on what my life could have been like when I was younger.

Timing

There never really is a right time to make any major change in your life and this is no exception. If I’m being honest, I should have done this 10 years ago when I had no debt, no commitments and no job right after graduating college. Of course the old me was never one to question authority or much of anything in life, I just started to day dream instead. Fast forward and now I’ve got a wife, a dog and a house. That’s a lot of forward momentum down the path of a good boy’s good life. Luckily my wife is artistic, daring and wears her heart on her sleeve, so after confessing my day dreams, she quickly hatched a plan to get me out of my cube and into the world. Step 1. Find a job that lets me work from anywhere, it was a struggle, it’s competitive out there, but I got lucky again and an amazing company with an amazing team found me. Step 2. Sell the house. This was also a lot of work but it paid off in the end with our new found location independence. Step 3. Hit the road, and since we love to get outdoors, why not visit all 59 National Parks in a year? Call it a 2018 New Years resolution to get outside more.

In the end

It’s amazing what two people can accomplish when they put their minds to it. We set out on this journey to test the limits of our patience with each other and the limits of what my boss is willing to put up with. It’s a crazy adventure, just like I always dreamt it would be.

Published: January 9, 2018

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Sean Walker

California

Me, my wife and our dog are on a road trip across the U.S. to see as many beautiful things as we can in 2018. Maker of https://www.outsidelist.com