Simplify with a Change of Scenery


When you simplify your life and reduce stress, you eliminate the need to escape from your life. That doesn’t mean vacations and getaways aren’t nice, but you can enjoy them differently. I remember going on vacations where it felt like by the time I had completely unwound, it was time to jump right back into the craziness I had left behind. I also remember feeling like I never wanted to leave my beach chair or any vacation spot because I knew what was waiting for me when I got back to the real world.

I didn’t want to go back to the job, the debt, the stuff, or the stress.

This weekend, I left my tiny space in the city and spent a few days with even less. I packed up my yoga mat, journal, camera and some tomato sesame soup to enjoy a change of scenery. A couple of days without a phone or internet connection allowed me to focus on what was right in front of me …









I was reminded that the things that make me happiest are not things. My job, clutter, and debt is gone, but a change of scenery helped me let go and simplify further.

And the best part … I couldn’t wait to get home.




  1. says

    We’ve found that even a day trip is enough to push that switch in our brains, to get out of the regular busy of mode of living and just enjoy what we’re doing.

    Luckily we live in a place with tons of options for day trips, an hour and a half to the ocean, an hour and a half to the mountains, 3 hours to the desert.

  2. says

    That sounds and looks beautiful, Courtney. I can definitely say that the dreaded ends of vacations are behind us, but we needed to take a hard look at everything to get to this point. Much had to go!

  3. Julia says

    It looks like you had a lovely weekend and a chance to reconnect. I’ve just taken a 3 day weekend as well – no internet etc and plenty of time to walk in the forest, along wild beaches and talk to people in their spots along the river bank waiting patiently for the tide to bring whitebait into their nets. I’ve come home feeling so refreshed and inspired to do more foraging for my food.
    A lovely post, thank you.

  4. says

    I changed totally my lige a couple of years ago. And even if my job is not easy and far away from home I do enjoy to spend my weekends at home in the countryside. From a rush of big and cosmopolite city I switch to a tiny village life. I slow down , prepare my “confitures”, stay with my husband and our cats. Adn I do feel happy. At the end my batteries are full to start a new week…
    Greatings from Brussels (that is my working place)

  5. Hedeel says

    I always read your posts, and you have inspired so much change in my life, but this is my first comment! I have always quietly enjoyed your work but I thought it was high time I said thank you for what you have brought into my life – and I really love these photos! They are truly breath taking. Thanks for making me think – its time I rolled out simplicity to my vacations!

  6. says

    Amazing pictures Courtney and I loved the short but powerful story,

    I watched the movie “Into the Wild” once again last night. For anyone who has not seen it yet I would encourage you to do so. Basically, it is about a college boy who wants to escape from the material world in order to find himself: experience happiness and find the true him. Cuts his credit cards, donate his savings to charity and goes into the wild.

    Must watch for supporters of Courtney’s great blog.

    Anders Hasselstrøm
    Motivational speaker @

    • Christine says

      I love that movie! The book was phenomenal too. If you enjoyed that you might like “Beyond Road’s End” by Janice Schofield Eaton. She and her boyfriend move to a remote part of Alaska, build their own log cabin, and live off the land. It’s a true story and really quite wonderful in my opinion.

  7. says

    These are really wonderful photos … and while am watching them, I think that you are so right: Its not the stuff that makes us happy. I feel much more happy and alive when I am outdoors and experience the beauty of nature (and catch them in my photos, of course)

    I have been following your blog already for a long time – mostly because of your inspiring words and thoughts. But at least it were these pictures that gave me the last kick to say THANK YOU for your great blog :-)

  8. says

    I quit my job this year and launched my own design company. My husband has worked remotely for years, and we’ve been looking for a way for me to do the same. The answer finally came this year, and despite the uncertain income, I have felt a sense of peace and calm that I haven’t felt since I was a child! I spend my days doing what I really love and seeing the wonder in the smallest of things.
    Last year I gave up one week of my vacation because we were short staffed and I felt obligated to stay and cover the hours. That one week meant so much to me that because it was the only time of the year I could get away, unwind and feel natural again. I resolved to never give up my vacation time again. However, now that I work from home, I do not have that strong urge to get away from it all and escape. We couldn’t afford our usual trip to the beach this year, but it didn’t upset me because I am renewed daily in body, mind and spirit just by taking a walk in the woods or riding my bike– both free and yet priceless. Thank you for this great blog, and this entry gave words to many of my feelings.

  9. says

    Such beautiful photos! I love the horses and nature, though it does look a little bit cold.

    Simplifying seems to always be the best option, whether at home or on vacation, to be able to enjoy the real important things in life :)

  10. Dianne says

    We camp out in the Australian bush from time to time for our escape. We have no internet, no T.V and often no mobile phone reception. We can be out for several weeks at a time. We live simply – cooking over a campfire and have very few possessions with us as we have limited space in our camper. It is a joy! It is amazing how few things you need in your life to live happily and healthily.