Sunday, August 11, 2013

Own Less And Live More

I think we all go through various stages in life.  Young adults are often determined to "get ahead", as was I.  I was particularly driven to succeed.  I worked hard in various sales jobs to earn a decent living to pay the mortgage, the car loans, the boat loan, and to provide for my wife and daughter.  I worked long, hard hours and often stressed about money and paying bills.

As I got a little older, my priorities started to change.  Money was still important, but "stuff" not so much.  I decided, at age 32, to chuck my sales career and return to college.

"You're going to do WHAT??" shrieked my then-wife.

"I'm going back to college.  I want to learn a skill."

"You suck at school."

"This time will be different."

"What are you going to major in?"

"I don't know, but something where I can work an 8 to 5 job and earn a living."

Long story short, I excelled in college.  I would have gotten a 4.0 except for a B in stupid tennis.

I went to work for a computer software company and within a few years became vice-president.  I made a lot of money for that company, but it wasn't enough to undo the debt incurred prior to my involvement.  The company went out of business.  All was not lost though, and a company in New York City offered to buy us out.   They made me a very generous offer, which I declined.  I had enough of working 80 hour weeks, flying all around the country, and waking up and not knowing what Holiday Inn I was in.

The older I got, the less important money and possessions became.  I decided I had to make a choice.  I could either work my butt off to support my lifestyle, or I could adjust my lifestyle to fit my budget.

I'm leaving out a lot of details here.  This is a blog, not an autobiography, but suffice it to say that I'm living more simply, owning less and living more, and living more stress free.

Now, to shift gears.  Many of you know that Pam and I lived on a boat for several years.  We put the boat up for sale and had many prospective buyers come to look at it.  One nice couple, Conrad and Roxanne, took a liking to Drift Away.   They didn't like it as much as Pam and I did and we didn't agree on a selling price, but there were no hard feelings and we exchanged many emails.  During the course of this, Conrad mentioned that he had written a book about their travels.  I mentioned that I've edited a few books in my day and I'd love to read his.   He sent me a draft, and I made a few suggestions and returned it to him.

In our mailbox yesterday was a signed copy of Own Less & Live More by Conrad Cooper, available on

Conrad and I are truly kindred spirits.  As are most cruisers, liveaboards, and folks who live in the mountains.

By far the best sailing-travel adventure book to hit the shelves in years. We all dream about escaping the 9 to 5 and sailing away but Conrad, his wife Roxanne and daughter Logan didn’t just dream about it, they did it. Freeing themselves from jobs, house mortgages, car notes, monthly bills and all the other anchors of life that have us tied down, they managed to escape the default American lifestyle and live the adventure of a lifetime. In an extremely humorous way, Conrad describes quitting his job, medical visits and all the trials and tribulations that an adventure like this will create. This is more than just a humorous book, but a life philosophy. Conrad employs the theory of owning less and living more to live life to its fullest. Luxury cars and expensive houses mean nothing to Conrad and his family as they have learned to live more simply thereby allowing them to experience much more than they ever dreamed.

Tired of the rat race? Convinced that you need to work one more year before you retire? Read this book and get back to me.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen what you own in person-- I would say you own just the rite amount of "Stuff" and are living your dream and probably many other peoples dream too...

    I have no monthly payments but just a small amount of rent each month-- I own what I like and not all that much either... I enjoy what I own to the fullest too!! I think some people own so much "Stuff" They have no time to enjoy much of it-- I see so many boats in marinas around the Hudson River were I boat that never leave the docks... It a shame...

    Now is the time to untie my lines and get out on the River!!

    I really enjoy read'n your Blog every day Dave...

    PS-- Hi Pam!!