A Personal Update

During the past 30 days, I have traveled 12,000 miles to over 3 countries and 20 states. I’ve traveled by car, plane, bus, truck, and train. My destinations have included speaking engagements, family vacations, and new homes in Arizona. Needless to say, it has been a difficult, intense month of physical journey.

But my journey over the past 30 days has been far more than physical. It has also been emotional, mental, and spiritual.

I spent 7 days in the neighborhoods of San Salvador, El Salvador speaking on marriage and parenting. I met people with plenty of food to eat and I met a mother who couldn’t afford the $10 pain medication for her dying 15-year daughter. I spoke intimately with mothers, fathers, business owners, world travelers, pastors, librarians, and ex-gang members… often side-by-side. Third world countries are emotional destinations for me. They force me to wrestle with questions of wealth, poverty, and injustice. Unfortunately, the answers are never easy, but are intimately complex. But perhaps the greatest struggle of them all is to simply not forget the questions…

I have spent the last 4 days in VT saying good-bye to some of my best friends in the world. Over the past 6 years, they have become more than friends… they have become like family. It was not easy to move away from our families in the Midwest to New England, but we have been well taken care of by the people of VT. They have been our friends from the beginning (helping unpack boxes) to the very end (helping load the moving truck). They have watched our kids, cared for our kids, and served as good role models for our kids. It was more overwhelming to leave than I imagined. But each tear was met with a hug, a smile, and a kind word of love and encouragement. Thank you Vermont for making our departure both unbearably difficult and infinitely sweet at the same time.

As difficult as it was to leave Vermont, it is clear that our hearts and (soon-to-be) home are in Peoria, AZ (I am actually writing this post from a hotel in Indiana half-way through our journey to the Southwest desert). I am confident that our decision to relocate was based in wisdom, discretion, and mindfulness. I am excited about the new opportunities that await us. The best truly still lies ahead. My passion for inspiring others to find minimalism played a huge role in our decision-making process. And I am excited about the future of promoting it in (and from) a new location.

I have never feared change. I have welcomed it and have been challenged for the better because of it. But, at times, it can be hard. It can be emotional. It can be draining. But the pay-off is often worth the investment. Because we are all in this together… just trying to make the most of this short journey called life.


Where you can find me around the web:

Before leaving Vermont, I sat down in the studio with my friend Colin Ryan to discuss minimalism, blogging, and six-packs. The end result may be one of my favorite audio interviews that I’ve ever been a part of. You can find it here: A Stand Up Life.

My monthly post on Organizing Your Way went live last week. You can find it here: A Simple Path to Little Victories.

Colin Wright, Joshua Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, and myself are hoping to take minimalism to the masses at SXSW2012 in Austin, TX as a panel discussing the topic of “The Rise of Minimalism.” You can vote for our panel (which increases our chances of being selected) here: SXSW Panel Picker: The Rise of Minimalism.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. Lynn says

    Welcome to the Valley (almost). Moving here was something I never dreamed would happen, but it’s been a good decision. I look forward to more from you in this new chapter of your journey, and pray you bring cooler weather when you get here!!

  2. says

    Thanks for the kind words Joshua! It was a pleasure getting in the studio and doing the interview with you. Your life over the past few years is one of the most striking examples I’ve seen in awhile of what it means to live a stand up life. Thanks for being so open in reflecting on your story with me. And while you’re out there on the road, be sure to keep in shape. I’d hate to find you were bragging about a sixpack you don’t actually have…

  3. says

    As a resident of the valley, I welcome you! Although, I’m not a fan of Peoria, I hope you can find joy and peace there. Funny you’re moving here…we are trying desperately to get OUT of here haha! I hope you can bring your simplicity with you because this valley desperately needs it!

  4. Kym says

    Welcome to sunny AZ! Hope you’re ready for a lot of heat.

    Your site has been very inspriational to me. We are working to simplify our lives as much as possible, and I constantly return to becomingminimalist to remind me why we’re doing this. Thank you.

  5. says

    Welcome to Arizona, Joshua! My thermometer reads 113 degrees as I write this, about 40 miles west of where you are on your way to. It’s been a particularly warm summer this year; I hope it isn’t too shocking of a change of climate for you. You’ll love the shorts-and-short-sleeves winter weather though, I’m sure.

  6. Anne says

    I hope that you and your family will enjoy the Valley as much as we do. I pray that the rest of your trip will be a safe one.

  7. says

    You’ve chosen the only place that might be hotter than Texas. Mike’s 113 degrees makes our 104 yesterday look cool. We’ve managed to stay below 110 for almost all of the summer, but we’re at day 57 or something of 100 degree heat this summer. I’m a lifelong Texan, though, so I know that’s possible to live productively in this heat.

    I’ve been wondering for some time if a change of venue would be good for us — or at least a bit more wandering about.

    Good luck with your latest version of life. Your simple lifestyle should make the usual challenges of relocating easier to deal with.


  8. Carlisa Sanders says

    Just listened to the interview with Colin and was refreshed at how sincere you both are. Hope your move brings growth and expansion of your audience. We moved to Louisiana in ’09 under tough circumstances but have been blessed so much (not in the financial way but in all the ways that matter)…Clearly, in retrospect, we were “meant” to be here!

  9. tammy says

    Welcome to the Valley of the Sun. I live in Phoenix since 1990 moving from KS. I love it here. I am very excited you are in the Same state. Funny, how I have not been getting emails from the Minimalist Blogs and I decided to look in my Bookmarks. I picked your site First, for no special reason. I just did. NOW I KNOW WHY. You are moving to the same State. I love how the Universe Plans things. Hope your family travels have been safe.

  10. says

    Sounds like such an amazing journey! I was SO convicted by your story of the mother in El Salvador! I’ve been struggling so much with the idea of “living simply so others can simply live” & what that looks like. Thank you for being such a source of encouragement through your blog. I’ve been a follower for awhile now, but just haven’t ever commented. Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures on this journey :)

  11. Richard Feyrer says

    God works in mysterious ways, and I hope to be one of his mysteries for you to unravel. Welcome, and I hope Arizona’s excentrics don’t frighten you.

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