Our Journey

Our Journey

I’ve always found inspiration in the developing world where the pace is slow and the people have so little. Usually it’s the strength and resilience in the women that I admire the most. However on a recent trip to Central America I have been changed forever by a group of children – many of them teenagers!! In fact the most respectful, thoughtful , smart, gentle and happy teens I’ve ever come across. Not a lick of attitude amongst them! “Who are their parents?” you ask. No parents, just an amazing organization and a lot of love and structure. As many of you know each summer [...]

Why I created HipMum

Why I created HipMum

I believe women in general are extraordinary, but mothers (not to blow my own trumpet) never cease to amaze me. As the proud mother of four incredible little people (ages 11,9,6, and 4) I understand the meaning of selflessness. Like most families, there is never a dull moment in our house. I’m constantly wishing I had more time to spend with each child and more time to myself. And I wish my bathroom felt less like a highway! Regardless of whether we’ve chosen to work from home, climb the corporate ladder, start a business or stay home with the kids – mothers are the busiest [...]

Goodbye Stuff

September 6, 2011

Our life is in boxes and shelved in storage for an undefined period. Not exactly sure when we’ll see the contents of our Chicago life again. I leave for Nicaragua with the kids in 2 days the hubby will join us in 3 weeks.

Much to my husbands dismay I’ve found it very liberating giving our belongings away. I filled bags and bags of clothes, toys, linen, shoes, plastic crap, pots, pans, more plastic crap, books, stuffed animals, puzzles, bikes, more clothes and more plastic crap.

I would wait for the kids to go to bed and make toys and games magically disappear until there was barely anything left on shelves. No one noticed.

I would wait for my husband to be at work and hit the garage and basement – my theory – if it hasn’t been touched in 2 years, it’s gone. The more I donated the lighter I felt – it was like being freed after being stuck in a big knot. How on earth did we accumulate so much?

I’m sure if we were moving to California or another house in Chicago I would be holding onto many of these things but when you’re moving to a place like Nicaragua you suddenly feel like none of it is necessary. I can’t help thinking how kids in Nicaragua would love to be receiving our multitudes of excess – if only I could carry it all down with me.

As the moving van pulled out of our driveway we stood on our front porch and waved.  Goodbye current life, goodbye stuff, goodbye big house, goodbye big mortgage.




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  1. Kristi said...

    Thank you for sharing your story. We’re beginning our journey of saying goodbye to stuff and hello to experiences. We’re coming to Nicaragua next month to determine whether it’s the right place to do that but reading your blog has strengthened my belief that it’s the perfect place. Assuming the visit confirms that for us we will return home and sell everything that we can, pack the rest in a storage unit and hopefully be in beautiful Nica before the end of the year. If you’re still down there we’d love to touch base with you when we visit next month. If you’re not any advise you have to help our “fact finding trip” next month go more smoothly is greatly appreciated.


    Apr 03, 2012 at 1:42 pm
    • HipMum said...

      Hi Kristi
      Firstly i have to tell you how excited I am for you. I remember the exact moment that my husband and I decided to do this and it felt amazing. I have a lot of advise and tips for you. We will be back in Nicaruagua in June so I won’t be there when you visit next month but I have some wonderful people to connect you with on the ground. I will email you directly.

      Apr 03, 2012 at 2:00 pm
  2. Carina Whitmore said...

    Me and my husband have been dreaming about moving to SJDS with our two little boys (3 and 1) ever since we visited about a year and a half ago. We would love some help to make this dream a reality. We currently live in Las Vegas and are tired of the pace and stress of life in the states right now. If I had a choice, we would be leaving now, but there is a lot of preparation and planning that needs to be done. Your down sizing story is inspiring, I’m going to start with
    that. What’s next? How much money should we have saved?

    Oct 07, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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