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Why I just sold all of my possessions (and killed my Facebook account)

written by Guest Blogger on July 15, 2010

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I’ll admit it. I’m a bit weird. I always have been. And maybe you are too, and that’s what makes us “special.” Or at least that’s what our moms always told us. I like doing “experiments” on myself. I think it’s a great way to grow as a person and to learn more about yourself — which can help in one’s personal or business life.

I once read how Leonardo Da Vinci slept only about 3-4 hours a day by taking short 20-45 minute naps throughout a 24 hour cycle. Many years ago, I tried my own sleep experiment after I found myself pulling a lot of “all nighters.” I decided to go every other night without sleep. So I would stay awake for stretches of 30-35 hours straight and then crash for 9-12 hours. I got a lot of work done by doing this.

And I was able to do this for about 3 months straight – sleeping only every other night. There was only one problem… it put me in the hospital. It had weakened my immune system and I ended up with a bad case of vertigo. Horrible, horrible stuff. I was basically DIZZY all day, everyday, for about 2 weeks until it finally went away. So I, obviously, went back to a normal sleep schedule and refused to pull “all nighters” anymore. I had bad insomnia for a long time but eventually got over it. If you’re pulling all nighters and going without sleep, I recommend you don’t. It’s just not worth the damage it can do to your health.

But I’ve done many other “full immersion” types of experiments on myself over the years, and most of them didn’t have bad health results – thankfully. My point is… you can learn a lot about yourself if you take yourself out of your normal comfort zone and really ‘challenge’ yourself by trying little experiments and personal challenges.

AND I’M DOING IT AGAIN.

Check this out. I just finished selling (or giving away) all of my personal possessions. Not too long ago my life consisted of a massive 6-bedroom house (with many rooms I never even went into!) and 5 cars. Yes, FIVE cars. I’m a car guy, what can I say.

I had accomplished what many consider to be the “American Dream.” I had the huge house and all the toys. The Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMWs, a Rolex collection, an expensive wardrobe, amazing furniture, a massive home theater, a 1,000 gallon saltwater aquarium, the works.

And now I have NONE of it. And I’ll explain why in a moment…

Here are some “quick facts.” For the first time in over 20 YEARS:

  • I don’t own a car.
  • I don’t own any furniture.
  • I don’t own a TV.
  • I don’t own any books.
  • I don’t own a huge closet full of clothes.

AND…

  • I don’t have a HOME. Not a house, or apartment, or anything.

By now you’re probably thinking, “John, what the hell are you doing!?” I decided to do all of this because I wanted to do a new experiment on myself. It’s a challenge of MINIMALISM.

If you haven’t yet heard about minimalism, or read anything about it, you should. Not only can it (I believe) improve the quality of your life but it can also make your business a lot more profitable. Minimalism is essentially focusing only on the 3-4 most important things in your life (or business) and ELIMINATING THE REST.

There many opinions on minimalism and how to apply it, and some approach it differently. Do some Google searches for “minimalism” and you’ll find lots of great blogs about it. It’s really a growing ‘revolution’ of sorts.

I don’t agree with everything he teaches, but a decent book you can read is The Power Of Less by Leo Babauta; and he’s someone with 6 kids. That will get you started. Everyone will have their own take on minimalism. But I’m willing to bet you can benefit from it.

WHAT I HAVE LEFT…

So you’re probably wondering, if I got rid of all that stuff, what the heck do I actually have left? And how will I live? Here’s a full list of the only things I now own:

  • A small 28L backpack (that holds everything below)
  • 5 t-shirts (4 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 light jacket
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of running/trek shoes
  • 5 pairs of boxer briefs
  • Assorted toiletries
  • Clothesline & large ziplock bag (for washing clothes)
  • 1 MacBook Pro 15″
  • 1 64GB Wifi iPad
  • 1 iPhone 4
  • 1 Livescribe Pen & small notebook
  • My passport & credit cards

THAT’S IT. That’s all the ‘stuff’ I own. ALL OF IT. Here’s a photo of my backpack (with everything in it) except for my 15″ MacBook Pro which is in the photo next to it.

john backpack

But it’s also important to note. I still have all of my money and investments. I didn’t pull a Christopher McCandless (“Into The Wild”) and burn all of my money. This experiment isn’t about that. So I still have all of my businesses (and their assets) as well as a valuable .COM collection, etc. But as far as personal “things” go, I currently only have what I listed above. I’ll explain more as to the “WHY” in a just a second…

WHERE ON EARTH WILL I LIVE?

The answer is… Everywhere. I am just going to travel the world non-stop for awhile. It may be for a year or for 10+ years. I don’t know yet and that’s part of the adventure. I have structured things so I can travel the world INDEFINITELY and plan to do so for a very long time.

As many of my long-time subscribers know, I love to travel. I’ve been to every continent in the world except for Antarctica. (And hope to visit their soon.) But even as much as I love to travel, I was only taking a few trips a year. So now that’s all going to change.

BUT TRAVEL ISN’T THE ONLY REASON I’M DOING THIS…

Here’s what I’ve discovered about myself. My level of happiness all comes down to my level of STRESS. And my stress level is mostly due to having the feeling of being OVERWHELMED. I had so many possessions to manage and so many things going on in my life that it was making me a bit crazy. (More than I already am.)

I found that my CREATIVITY has really suffered because of this. It’s like the brain only has so much available RAM like a computer, and everything we own and do and manage takes up that space. It doesn’t leave a lot of room left for creativity. So essentially, I wanted my brain back.

I wanted to have what I call “Freedom Of Thought.” I want to have so few distractions and things taking up space in my brain that I’m free to use as much of my brain as possible to think of exciting new ideas and fully appreciate new experiences. I did also realize that all of that “stuff” that I thought was the “American Dream” was mostly based on EGO. But that’s a discussion for another day.

As many of my customers already know, late last year I started a new company to develop Video Games. It’s been a dream of mine for many years and I finally decided to pursue it. Well, this new business (along with other projects) really demands maximum creativity from me. So I wanted to try this new ‘experiment’ to give myself the best chance at being able to come up with amazing new ideas.

AND IT’S ALREADY WORKING.

I’m currently on Day 3 of my journey. I moved out of California about a week ago, then spent a few days visiting my family in Florida, and then 3 days ago I ‘officially’ set out on this “Minimalism Adventure” and flew up to Toronto, Canada (where I am now) to visit my good friend, Dean Jackson.

In the first 3 days, I’ve already come up with some unbelievable new ideas for my businesses. And this is only just the beginning.

I would like to challenge you to look at your business (and life) and see how you can apply the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule) and eliminate the things that aren’t essential to your goals — or things that take away from the more important parts of reaching your goals.

I recently deleted my personal Facebook account (that had 5,000 ‘friends’) and it was one of the best things I ever did. I was finding that Facebook was one big waste of my time. I was logging in multiple times a day and it was robbing me of time I should have been spending on more important things.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook has decent marketing uses, but I think for most entrepreneurs it’s better used for brands (with Business Page accounts) than as a personal account. For me and all of the businesses I am involved with, Facebook does not fall into the “20″ part of the 80/20 rule. PPC, SEO, buying media (which includes Facebook Ads), and other strategies out-produce it by a massive amount. But that’s a rant for another day. ;-)

After recently telling someone about what I am doing they said, “But, John, I gotta tell you. It really sounds like you’re just running from life.” To which I replied, “No, you don’t understand, I’m running TO life.”

Okay it’s time for me to go and pack up my stuff — even, though, it only takes me about 5 minutes. I’m heading to Europe for a few months tomorrow as I continue on my journey. I’ll be in touch soon.

Yours For Online Profits,

John Reese

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{ 143 comments }

CJ July 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Hahaha,
John Chow you are a very interesting man. I guess you’re “living life on the road” lol

CJ

SEO: TopCommenter.com July 15, 2010 at 1:07 pm

That wasn’t by John Chow. It was a guest blogger.

Ryan McLean July 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Can you imagine John ever deleting his facebook account and fan page??? I don’t think so. He makes thousands from his facebook account. Who would delete something that made them thousands of dollars every month?
I certainly wouldn’t.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm

My jaw would drop if John Chow did this.
It’d be something totally unexpected.

Irish Garden Home July 15, 2010 at 11:08 pm

John Chow has a wife and small children, it would be very difficult to do this with them. SY

iYingHang July 16, 2010 at 3:26 am

A lot of people comment without really reading the whole thing. That happened to my last guest post on this blog too lol. =)

ZK@Web Marketing Blog July 15, 2010 at 10:55 pm

This is a perfect example of readers commenting without reading the entire post ..this is a post by John Reese…..not John Chow :)

Shanker Bakshi July 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

Yes, thats a guest post by John Reese, but lot of people are commenting just reading the post title and couple of lines.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 7, 2010 at 7:17 am

Hey Shanker … whats happening my friend … ?

SEO: TopCommenter.com July 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Kudos – can’t wait to see where you end up!

Lakhyajyoti July 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I am also waiting to see where you end up.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog July 19, 2010 at 7:20 am

Well you did not get the point … its not about end … its about starting and I am sure he will love it till last, if he will keep this momentum.

Best of luck my friend, start a new blog for this minimalism journey.

Vincent July 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I was also Believing it was John Chow but it is not, it’s a guest blogger. It seems to be John Reese from Marketing Secrets.
Please tell us more about our trip and comme and see me in Montreal and in France!

Email List Building July 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

John Reese sent this as an email to his subscribers.

It’s a very interesting move on his part and I’d say very gutsy even though he has tons of money in his bank accounts, businesses etc. so it’s not like he has to worry about making a living.

Good luck to you with your adventures and travels John Reese.

John Chow who has a family would likely never do this, at least not now.

Many aren’t paying attention to what they blindly comment on which is a pity.

You should work a bit harder for the links you’re getting here.

Vincent Ng- Conversation Arts July 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I agree. It’s good that he’s able to do this while he still can. But many of us have our loved ones to take care of and a future to plan.

I know for myself that if someone asked me…see the world…or be with true love forever then I would take the second one. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work hard to have a great life for all our families.

SimpleSocial July 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Is this THE ‘john reese’?

To be honest, I’m not too sure. But if he did, it’s great for him. God bless him.

John Chow July 16, 2010 at 12:50 am

Yes, of course it’s THE John Reese. I wouldn’t let a fake John Reese post on my blog!

Harshad July 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Seems like John Reese is about to release a new product.

Email List Building July 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Really, how did you conjure up that idea?

You really think that everything is driven by the desire to make money.

That is the first drive but once a person has more than enough if they are smart they explore life a bit deeper.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I explore life by trying to make money ;)

Irish Garden Home July 15, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Perhaps not a new product, but there is surely a lot of blog material in his adventure! SY

PC TV Software July 16, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Definately! What better blog material than real life adventures and experiences with different cultures. I’m jealous!

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 7, 2010 at 7:25 am

But did not hear anything about that … though I am also eagerly waiting.

EelynnLee August 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm

No, not everything is about making money.
It is kinda fun doing what he is doing right now.

Shanker Bakshi July 16, 2010 at 9:37 am

Yes, but it seems to me like real.

Rick Krenz July 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Every time I hear the name John Reese… I keep thinking back to that picture where a guy is cleaning the aquarium from the inside of aquarium (swimming) at his house… but I guess that is all gone now.

Email List Building July 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

It’s true that most people don’t change the way they live because they don’t want to, it’s comfortable.

John Reese is an explorer, once he explores an area he moves on.

Rick Krenz July 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Well I did find the pic if anyone was interested… I couldn’t get it off of Income.com/blog because of the stupid pop up. But I found it here http://www.neatorama.com/2007/08/08/how-to-really-clean-an-aquarium/

affilojetpack July 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Awesome! Get your head back, great idea! Yes for Facebook, it could be a lot of waste when you have 5000 friends… Keep on!

Email List Building July 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

He can get those friends back in his new facebook account in a flash should he ever want to.

He did the right thing since he won’t be around to update it.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm

He couldve left it on standby. But I suppose deleting it was for the best.

Insurance Izzy July 16, 2010 at 9:54 am

Even if you delete it, won’t all your contacts and information come back if you sign up again? Or is that the standby feature? I’ve never tried it out :)

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 7, 2010 at 7:27 am

Try it once … lollzzz

d3so July 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

What a life changing decision. I’ve thought about doing something like that myself, but only if I could afford to do so.
I would definitely love to travel around continuously.
Kudos to you for having the courage to do so :)

Insurance Izzy July 16, 2010 at 9:55 am

That is very seriously a life dream of mine. I’d love to travel the world. I don’t know about just having one backpack though :) I think I’d need a few more clothes and things than that.

PC TV Software July 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I suppose that depends on where you’re travelling. . . In February I have plans for me and my motorbike to take off around South East Asia for 6 months with nothing more that a overnight bag and a guitar – cheap living but rich experience

Rapid Automated Income July 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

That’s a little bit to much for me… Backpack with no cars, no home… But good luck to you, hope you’ll enjoy your new life!

Email List Building July 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

There are a lot of places where a car is not only unnecessary but it’s a big burden. When you travel you don’t need a home.

And he’s gor his laptop with him so he’ll be totally connected.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I thought he gave up everything including technology.

Irish Garden Home July 15, 2010 at 11:16 pm

You haven’t read the blog post then. He is taking his mac book, ipad and iphone plus his money and business with him. Read up on the reasons he is doing this… SY

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog July 19, 2010 at 7:36 am

This is awesome post and I think you should read it.

Here are these things which he will carry with him –

* A small 28L backpack (that holds everything below)
* 5 t-shirts (4 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)
* 1 pair of jeans
* 1 light jacket
* 2 pairs of shorts
* 1 pair of running/trek shoes
* 5 pairs of boxer briefs
* Assorted toiletries
* Clothesline & large ziplock bag (for washing clothes)
* 1 MacBook Pro 15″
* 1 64GB Wifi iPad
* 1 iPhone 4
* 1 Livescribe Pen & small notebook
* My passport & credit cards

Christopher July 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

No, you don’t understand, I’m running TO life.

Indeed. I couldn’t have put it better. Safe travels.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I agree. I too have the same end goal, to experience life.
I hate that we’re seemingly enslaved to work just to make a living. I’m tired of the rat race.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 7, 2010 at 7:28 am

You are really confuse … ;)

Jacob Cassidy July 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Wow! I’m blown back it was John Reese writing at the end of the post. Awesome to hear other big name marketers traveling down this road. Something I been heading towards too. Please keep us updated on the adventures, John.

Cheers,

Jacob

Ivan July 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

awesome John :)…if you come to South Korea let me know…would love to meet up for some coffee..to talk about travel and being a minimalist vagabond…take care…good luck!

Mau July 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Ha! I knew I wasn’t the only one out there!
Good on ya!
Welcome to the Nomad’s Club.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 11:12 pm

lol Nomad. Such a prehistoric term. We need to redefine it.

Stephen Denny July 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

John, you’ve become Jack Reacher, the hero of Lee Child’s novels (which you don’t own anymore I guess, so just trust me). The fact that you’re still holding on to your iPad takes a little wind out of the minimalist argument, but that’s just an opinion.

I spend an hour catching up with a friend who tracks consumer sentiment for a living and he told me that The Era of Consequences was exemplified by people looking for responsibility and prioritizing all aspects of their lives. The old days of Indulgence are not, I’ve been assured, coming back.

You’ve just taken it to a slightly further step.

Good luck! And if you go down that Reacher path, good luck with that crime fighting sideline, too.

Carolyn Winter July 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Dear John – WOW – Congratulations! Many best wishes that your experiment endures and you maintain the inner peace and freedom you are now tasting. In a spiritual sense it sounds like you have completely detached from all trappings of ego, and being defined by your stuff – a move few achieve through their life experiences.

I am in constant awe and wonder about how life as we know is rapidly changing in part to the internet technologies. Humans are having to become more ‘in the moment’, spontaneous, authentic and transparent as basic survival skills. Previously, we could hide behind the illusion we created for each other with our stuff, our roles, our scripts etc. We could stay stuck and unhappy doing that for a lifetime. That drive towards higher consciousness and inner freedom is accelerating these days as I see it and life choices such as yours I think is a shing example of that.

Spiritually aware or not, it takes courage and I send you many blessings for your journey. Thank you for sharing this.

With love and light,

Carolyn

Andre July 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I think this is the most interesting topic you’ve posted ever. I don’t read all your posts, but this is a cool idea.

Lakhyajyoti July 16, 2010 at 11:29 am

Most of the posts published here are useful for everyone.I read every post.

Betsy Talbot July 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm

John Reese, we are in the same tribe! Just sold it all and plan to leave for South America in October with my husband. Reach out if you want to compare notes. (Oh, and we’re heading to Antarctica in 2/11 – now is the time to book your trip). Good luck with your new life – you’re gonna love it!

Rob Toth July 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Hey John (Chow), pretty sure most of your readers will interpret this post as having been written by you.

Let the rumours fly… lol.

I LOVED Into the Wild and it was moving and inspiring but not for me. I move around plenty. I don’t own a car (cabs, limos lol or rentals work fine since I live RIGHT downtown), I hate trinkets in the house and I don’t hoarde dust-collecting-clutter as I call it…

Simplicity is awesome, no doubt. But John (Reese)’s adventure is definitely not for me.

What’s interesting though is he started with the $100k+ in debt, dreaming about cars and fancy things… and now reverted to a ilfe of simplicity.

All the power to that creative bastard and marketing powerhouse!

Marlon @ Productivity Bits July 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I may never understand this but I admire the concept. I have read Ferris’ “The 4-Hour Workweek” and I’ve been amazed by the possibility of all-life vagabonding. This is a testimony that the concept truly works. Though I think this is difficult to implement by ordinary guys.

Baker July 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Very eye opening blog post. I’m sure the new lifestyle will bring about much growth in your own personal life that will keep your content very intriguing to read for us all. ;) Change is the only constant.

Mark Carlson July 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I’m kinda envious of the guy… I don’t have the balls to do it but I understand where he is coming from!

Mark Carlson July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I’m kind of envious of the guy… I don’t have the balls to do it but I understand where he is coming from!

Daniel July 16, 2010 at 4:33 am

Who needs balls when you got that kind of money? lol I guess you could get lonely sometimes, so maybe it does take balls to go alone.

registry checker July 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm

This is not John Chow, it is a guest blogger. I couldn’t believe John Chow deleting his Facebook account. I always follow him on that.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I wonder how many believe that John Chow wrote this. lol
I knew this was a guest post. If John gave up facebook it’d be the end of the world.

Barbra Sundquist July 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Very cool. A life of simplicity… good for you and best wishes.

alientyc July 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm

That is a brave decision and a good one to travel around the world. Along the way, meet new friends and have fun in your very own New Rich Lifestyle.

Alientyc

Helena July 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Does “all my possessions” include your money?

PPC Ian July 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Based on my read of the post, John Reese is still keeping all of his money! :-)

wisdom teeth removal July 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm

hmm I agree that a facebook account isn’t a very good use of time but yes some readers may think this post was written by John Chow at first…

Drunk Driver July 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm

“The things you own end up owning you.”

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

-Tyler Durden

PPC Ian July 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm

What a great quote, thanks for sharing!

d3so July 15, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Truly accurate quote, I hate to admit.

Sean Henderson July 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm

This is a great idea! When I read this post, I think of the 24hour work week and I also think of Frank Kerns core value speech at Strategic Profits Live 08. Thank you for this. John, you have inspired me to build my blog back in 2006 before you made a dime on yours. You inspired me to take a leap of faith into the fine dining world with your dine like its 1999 post. and most importantly, youve taught me to set goals with deadlines in your someday never comes post. Thank you for being a leader and mentor. I just might have to sell my house, my fish tank, movie room, and hot tub yet. Great idea, great concept. Awesome. To be a minimalist… hmm interesting.

donked July 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm

So all your possesions (assuming the camers you used for the picture was someone else’s) are now in that bag. Were you naked when you took this picture?

Mohsin Rasool July 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Hi John Reese,

What a move!
Remember only warrior you sent Traffic Secrets Course to Pakistan :)

Now you are ready for Travel, if you ever stop by Pakistan, do not forget to update me please.

It will be honor to be your host.
A student of John Reese,
Mohsin Rasool

PPC Ian July 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Very interesting read! All the best to you John Reese in your travels. :-) I must say I’d never be able to do this but can understand where you’re coming from – it’s important to reduce the clutter.

d3so July 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I could see myself doing this if I had the money to sustain myself.
This is more of a spiritual journey. I wish John the best!

Marco July 16, 2010 at 7:49 am

d3so well done.

10 comments (so far) on this post.

That is not spammy at all!

Insurance Izzy July 16, 2010 at 9:58 am

He’s trying to get back up to the top of the top commentators :) Doesn’t want to lost the top spot!

Lakhyajyoti July 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I hope you will enjoy your new life.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog July 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Your back pack is showing that internet marketing really give us freedom from location.

Bidet July 17, 2010 at 3:53 am

This is one of the benefits of internet marketing, you can be on the beach and all you need is your laptop to work. The freedom is amazing.

Irish Garden Home July 15, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Good travels, John Reese! You are doing the right thing, enjoy it. If you ever come to Prague (Europe), we have a guest bedroom for fellow travelers, SY

Ian Lian July 15, 2010 at 11:35 pm

WOW! It’s just the life I’ve been always dreamed about!
Good luck, John.

Developerholic July 16, 2010 at 12:03 am

I would have just enjoy reading the post and not comment as I usually do, but this post

is worth commenting on.

Cheers John Chow

oops

John Reese :) Kudos to you!

Nabeel | Create Your First Website July 16, 2010 at 12:24 am

Well all I can say is Wow…And I wish you all the best in your endeavors!

Kindest,
Nabeel

Alex July 16, 2010 at 12:31 am

To be a real minimalist you should have MINI :)

Actually, looks like you are implementing many others dream – live web 2.0 style.

I just returned from several days trip over Europe, during which I had only 2 limits – day of start and return. I visited anything I wanted for as long as I wanted. And I should confess – it is really unbelievable :)

Alex July 16, 2010 at 12:33 am

BTW – fix your blog – you still have “Connect with Facebook” button, which is not working (for obvious reasons :) )

Sveny July 16, 2010 at 12:55 am

This is realy the dream of freedom in life

Chris July 16, 2010 at 1:14 am

Welcome to the pack! I’ve been doing this for 5 years now and have no plans to stop!

Cody McKibben July 16, 2010 at 1:41 am

Awesome to hear you’re going out into the world on your own permanent travel adventure John! Welcome to the “digital nomad” world! I look forward to what you have to share with us during this new experiment (any chances of a new location independent product down the road?). Also, hope you’ll make it to Southeast Asia, would love to meet you if you make it in person out to the Philippines for example, or Thailand (where I’m based)…

thebloggingrobot July 16, 2010 at 3:02 am

Cool disconnect! Hope you enjoy it!

Simon Croft July 16, 2010 at 3:18 am

Hey John (Reese that is)

I wish I could get rid of all the clutter the wife keeps on insisting on keeping.

I am totally with you on this, cluttered house = cluttered mind. Hard to focus with a load of crap right by you., leads to too many distractions.

Good luck with your travels

Simon

Asif July 16, 2010 at 5:40 am

lol, John is taking advantage of the common first name.
I got this mail from John Reese as i am on his list.
Even I was confused that who copied whom, at first!

blogercise July 16, 2010 at 5:56 am

I remember when studying Psycology that it is generally accepted we all have a base line of “happiness”.

Good and bad things come along which causes this to wobble but eventually it normally settles back down to where it was – whether losing a loved one of winning the lottery.

So although the grass always seems greener – whether that’s to approach minimalism or, for most people visiting this site, a belief that material wealth will transofrm our lives, we often end up just where we started.

Of course, this won’t stop any of us from trying :)

Patrick July 16, 2010 at 7:17 am

I’d admire and understand John Reese. I too at time feel like him. My wife and I at time talk about selling everything and moving to the Caribbean to give scuba lessons on the beach and that’s it. Forget everything else and just relax and enjoy life!

Growing Up Harvey dot Com July 16, 2010 at 7:40 am

Brave, brave thing brother…I did it for about a year and it was the mos enlightning thing ever! I traveled to australia, japan, and Jebel Ali just to name a few. Good luck with your journey. Check you my contest you can win a 30GB Zune http://www.growingupharvey.com/contest

Tracey July 16, 2010 at 8:26 am

Hi John,

As I was reading this, I was cheering you on – way to go! We overwhelm our spirits by having too much “stuff”, in our Western society.
I’ve recently been thinking about reducing what I have, just to clear the energy in my home – this will kick start my efforts very nicely!

On your travels, if/when you come to London, let your London fans know how your travels are going!

And I have to add, I’m impressed at the small backpack – we girls often carry so much stuff; I could never imagine travelling so light – kudos to you :)

Best wishes, happy travelling
Tracey

imarkinteractive July 16, 2010 at 8:53 am

I have known a few people that have done this. While they didn’t have much money, they really enjoyed their “experiment”. It can be very tough to complete the journey, you can learn a lot along the way. Good luck to you John and I hope the best for you.

Shanker Bakshi July 16, 2010 at 9:40 am

Lot of people do that, we read it coz a web celebrity is doing this time.

Insurance Izzy July 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

I agree with you. This is definitely not something that everyone would do. But its great that you’re attempting it. Do you have some kind of goals? Maybe 10 countries in a week? :) I hope you keep everyone updated on your travels. I meet steal some ideas from you when I go travelling myself.

Brad July 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

John Reese is one of my idols

Timeshare Reviews July 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I hope John REESE enjoys his travels. My wife and I are fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit Northern India in October – Taj Mahal and all that. Perhaps we shall bump into him.

Eli July 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

stupid, dump and it doesn’t make sense for an adult with family (well i guess john reese doesn’t have one) to sell away everything and live on the road…. i guess if you tons of money to burn, the world if you living room

Fran July 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Wow John Reese you are a very lucky man. This takes a lot of guts and courage. Wish I could travel with you!!.
Have fun!

PC TV Software July 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Unbelievable man . . . never stop travelling, never stop living!

Corvette stingray July 16, 2010 at 11:22 pm

No need to sell everything. This business is wonderful because it is possible to do while traveling and that you can live everywhere and anywhere.

Jason Wilson July 17, 2010 at 12:46 am

Minimalism very interesting.I can see how it can improve ones life and business.Inspiring post I will have to look into this further.

Gillian July 17, 2010 at 12:56 am

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by possessions for a while now – perhaps unsurprising since I have a whole lot in storage in the UK where they’ve been since I moved to Montreal 10 years ago; another lot in my appartment in Montreal; miscellaneous things at my mum’s and I divide my time between my mum’s place in the UK; Montreal and now the Netherlands as I teach periodically at Webster University and going forward in Prague where I will also be teaching. Unlike John I don’t have the financial assets that facilitate this type of life and my online biz is embryonic but…. I have decided to get rid of the appartment in Montreal (why pay rent when I’m away for 5 months of the year) and therefore all the furniture and electricals etc etc. My books I can never let go of – I have over 1500 in storage in the UK. Don’t suggest a kindle – I am a book person.
Good luck to you John on your travels – your decision has certainly a lot of blog posts and comments thereon. Good luck to you John – enjoy your travels and … where will we be able to read all about them ?

Bidet July 17, 2010 at 3:47 am

Wow that’s impressive that you did such an involved experiment, how long do you think it will last? You should keep us updated on your experiment, its quite an interesting one.

Graham Phoenix July 17, 2010 at 8:16 am

It’s a great idea and a way of life I would recommend. I don’t own a home and just travel, although I haven’t gone as far as John. I own a car and have a small store with some bits in.

The problem with it, IMHO, is that you have labelled it an ‘experiment’, John. As long as you do this it will never become your life. You have left the door open to going back and leaving it behind you, as an experiment. I would be more interested if it just became your life rather than a temporary move. If this is the case then you need to accept it as that and talk about it in a different way.

We get what we wish for and if we build in the possibility of failure, that’s what will happen.

Good luck.

Astrit July 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

Interesting..but, you still have the credit cards, so its not like THATS ALL I HAVE, its more like “Thats all you can see I have, because that credit card has all your: 5 cars, big house with 6 rooms etc etc.” however I like your experiment and don’t get me wrong and go destroy your cards rofl..I can’t give you a flat :P

Google Cash Generator July 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

Good Luck on your journey I would love to be able to travel the world like this it would be such a dream. I totally understand how all of these possessions would cause your head to be cloudy

jules July 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

That’s a lot of connectivity – Iphone, Macbook and Ipad!!

Suggest you take a sweater and rain jacket – you are heading to Europe after all!

king bedding July 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Awesome, inspiring stuff. I can’t wait to hear some updates down the road!

ibnujusup July 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm

am i dreaming… what happen to jon.. :-(

Ernie Zelinski July 18, 2010 at 1:44 am

As soon as I got the e-mail directly from John Reese (the content that John placed on this blog post), I congratulated John, particularly on having the guts to kill his Facebook account, on my Redroom Author’s blog:

You can see the post here.

http://www.redroom.com/blog/ernie-j-zelinski/congratulations-john-reese-killing-his-facebook-account

But I knew immediately that there would be critics downplaying or critisizing John’s decision.

Fact is, the critics are people that wouldn’t have the guts to do what John is doing.

This is one of my favorite quotes ever:

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain … and most fools do.”
— Dale Carnegie

It is easy to say, “Oh but John Reese has money and can buy things again if he wants.”

True, but the vast majority of people with money (over 99.9 percent) would not have the courage to make such a move as to give virtually all their possessions.

Also, most people – rich or poor – wouldn’t have the guts to kill their Facebook accounts ( with 10 friends or 5,000 friends) even though the “friendships” on Facebook are highly superficial.

For the pessimists who want to downgrade the importance of his decision I leave this quote:

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
— Helen Keller

Again, from the bottom of my heart, I want to congratulate and support John Reese in his decision.

Bon voyage John.

Ernie J. Zelinski
Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Timon Weller July 18, 2010 at 9:14 am

Nice challenge, i have been doing similar, living out of my back pack and travelling the world for a few years now and there is something very liberating about being able to go some where different every week.. addictive and reflective..
Have a good trip Reese.. Many good travels.. :)

Rich Cook July 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

Amazing & inspiring. Two questions, however: 1. What about socks & 2. What kind of pack is that?

To answer those who’ve said this is easy for a single person without family, it’s also possible for families. I know of several who travel with kids. And what a FANTASTIC way to grow up. Beats a ‘normal’ education any day!

Ferry to Europe July 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Inspiring post – Short comment to begin my own minimalism challange.

Sandra Lee July 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm

John Reese and Chow, This is a fantastic read and yes, I did read the whole thing. John Reese, I love your definition of minimalism – the whole idea of creating more space in life for a few select priorities. Like most ideas, ‘minimalism’ isn’t new. Many Buddhist masters have practiced it for centuries, owning just a few possessions, so they could focus on spiritual priorities. They understood that too many possessions creates distraction and attachment and just lead to suffering.

Fran July 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm

The dogs, the dogs … what happened to your dogs?? Curious. Good luck on your lovely voyage.

Peter J July 19, 2010 at 4:52 am

how horrible would it be if you had your laptop stolen? Then what would you do?

kumo July 19, 2010 at 6:39 am

wow… That is impressive. I definitely love to try it. But before that perhaps let we own these things first. I still need to get to my first step before moving to the second step of giving away.

bigmovingstock July 19, 2010 at 6:53 am

What a great article, I though it was John Chow at first as well until I got to the end and noticed “John Reese”. Almost makes me want to do the exact same thing! You know it is true, “the diamonds lose their shine after awhile”

jolieb July 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Very cool experiment ! You cut all the attachments. You’re right – you are running TO life, the life we are supposed to live with no material hindrances. After all, we can’t take it with us !!

Zach July 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Wow. I have just done this in preparation for moving to japan for a year. I find a lot of encouragement in this article. Thankyou!

Harshit Singhal July 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Nice concept. But what’s the need for an iphone if you are practicing minimalism !

THEOdoRA July 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm

It isn’t the gut I am missing to pull this off it is the money. I love this idea/experiment. Adventurous and safe travels my brother! Oh @Harshit Singhal I feel you but on the other hand in the big picture I think an iphone being part of his now minimal posessions is still mininmal. :)

Internet Marketing with John July 28, 2010 at 7:20 am

I think this is a great thing for John to do as long as he’s able. I do wonder though, what impact (if any) it’ll have on the people who’ve just invested in Outsource Force…?

I recently went through Andy Jenkins Video Boss training and part of what really made it great was having Andy as an active part of the online community. I’d hate to think that John gets so caught up with his new adventure that his new students suffer…

-John.

lladro porcelain figurines July 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Hey John, you’re one of those people that I”d love to talk to when you’re about 80 years old. You’ll have so many interesting things to tell people.

You’re right about stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself. There is a lot we can learn about ourselves, some of it can be good but for many of us we know some of it won’t be :-) Enjoy!

Shiva | Web Magazine August 2, 2010 at 3:12 am

I am sure John Reese is doing the right thing….You got only one life and we have to take the most out of it…Minimalism is quite an interesting thing…If I too was a millionaire like a Reese, I too would have loved to do something like that. It certainly helps to chill out all your stress and bring back the creativity in your life

Christian Home Based Business August 2, 2010 at 7:05 am

This seems a bit extreme to me, but I guess we all have different outlooks on what is important. I do agree that a lot of “things” can take a lot of your time and be distracting.

It will probably be a very innovative time for John.

Irish Garden Home August 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Any updates on where John Reese is now and how he likes his new, minimalistic life? SY

Rich August 4, 2010 at 12:17 am

Hey John, what backpack is that? Going on a trip in a couple weeks and am looking for something like this myself.

Ilija Brajkovic August 19, 2010 at 12:43 am

Congratulations!

If you ever come to Croatia drop me a note :-).

Kevin August 19, 2010 at 2:22 am

Great move John, and an inspiration to the rest of us.

I’ve done roughly similar things moving to different countries with just a couple of rucksacks and bags, but nothing like this (yet).

Moving’s a great way to “minimalize” your life – as long as you don’t take a container load of stuff with you.

It forces you to take a good hard look at all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years and gives you the opportunity to get rid of most of it. If you’re willing to!

pootzko August 19, 2010 at 7:39 am

morphing all your possesions into money and keeping all the apple products isn’t called minimalism… what you need is not a radical change from one extreme state to another but rather a balanced life and a wife and family that will love, understand and support you… good luck ;)

J McDowell August 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I really hope there is a way to follow up on this.
Like some of the others have commented, I hope he does a travel blog of some kined.

ADI August 22, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I do not care who deleted the account facebook Because i do not have facebook

Anonymus September 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Travel is always good, but what happens once you’ve traveled the world? What do u have then? Possesions are not important, but true contentment is. What about family…love…and maybe even God? Traveling and money in itself will not fill the void. Good luck on ur
journey, but lifes true journey is much more than that.

jack July 15, 2010 at 11:43 pm

john wouldn’t last a month… probably can’t handle it physically. he also needs his foie gras, 1000 thread sheet and iphone in order to live.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog July 16, 2010 at 7:35 am

Name of this Guest Blogger is also John.

John Reese.

Make Money Online July 16, 2010 at 8:13 am

Yes, i actually thought it was John Chow that sold up and went on an adventure, then i found out that it was a guest poster. Great post!

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog July 19, 2010 at 7:23 am

Stupid question.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 7, 2010 at 7:16 am

Yes many visitors confuse in this manner.

This was one of my favourite post.

Read many times … and come again to read again.