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4 Tactics For Becoming an Unconventional Tourist

The following is a guest post. My love of unconventional travel started when I was 12 years old. My dad had decided that, of all the ways to spend Christmas, we should go on a cycling tour around Cuba. And so we did it. We figured out how to...

I Hate Hair: Reasons Why Shaving Your Head Skyrockets Confidence

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Aron James: Hair loss is something that happens to our grandfathers. It is the sign of the wisdom that comes with old age; a rite of...

How to Be a Solo-Female Hiker: Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes shares how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Hayley Turner (a.k.a. Little Foot): I can still remember everything about that day, from waking up and walking 12 miles by noon, the dogs...

Do You Really “Find Yourself” When You Travel?

"I know this sounds cliché, but I have to ask—do you really 'find yourself' when you travel?" the girl asked me. Her young friend crouched next to my table, gently stroking the cats as they slept. Café Neko is a small coffee shop in Vienna that allows cats to wander...

When Not Everything Goes as Planned, It Still Goes: A Story About Finding Your Passion

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Jen: As a kid, I was told that I was lucky that I already knew what I wanted to do with my life. From age four, I knew I wanted to be...

The Digital Nomad’s Roadmap – A Complete Guide: Successfully Live, Work, and Travel Anywhere

So you wanna be a digital nomad. I’m not surprised: the future is bright for freelancers and location independent workers. Statistics show 40% of Americans will be contingent workers by 2020. That’s a lot of potential for digital nomads! Yet there’s no hands-on guide...

Limitations: Why the 9–5 Job Doesn’t Need To Stop You

Over the years I’ve had a number of conversations with people who talk about cool things they want to do, see, or make. A lot of these conversations end with “Well, I’d love to do it, but unfortunately I have XYZ,” and many times those XYZs are very valid limitations...

Stealing Second Base: From Side Gig to Self Employed Full Time

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Katherine Stimson: “You can’t steal second base with one foot still on first.” In the spring of 2010, a Facebook ad posted by a total...

Dreams Are Like Pirate Treasure: Hard to Find, But Worth the Risk

All dreams start somewhere and typically, no matter the size of the overall dream, most dreams start small. Let’s say yours is to feel better at work every day. You focus on sitting up straight in week one. Week two finds you taking a 10-minute walk at lunchtime. Week...

Change Is Sort Of Inevitable (But Stability Can Be Really, Really Nice)

My cell phone died recently, which meant I had to go to the cell phone store. Just typing that gives me the shivers.

Going to the cell phone store is a huge pain. There are a lot of shiny lights and expensive gadgets and people wanting to sell me things I really don’t want to buy. I hate buying stuff. Especially new stuff.

Plus, word on the street is that it’s no longer acceptable to have a flip phone.



This is my NOT PLEASED face. I usually make it when I’m not pleased about something.


I really liked my flip phone. I mean, OK, I really liked my flip phone. You know what a flip phone represents? Stability. Practicality. Dependability. A lot more –ility words that I can’t think of right now. Flip phones fit in any pocket. Remember iTapEng? I’ve got that down pat. I can drop that sucker onto the pavement and it will bounce right back up into my hand, good as new–no OtterBox needed.

(But apparently I can’t shove it down a knee sock and go on an off-trail run, because then it will die a sad death between colorful cotton and my sweaty calf. Thanks a lot, calf sweat.)

Mastering Adult Responsibilities

I like to pretend that I’m a master at life’s little obstacles and adjusting appropriately to those little obstacles. After all, I’ve managed to wave goodbye (albeit a tearful one) to my belief that Double Plaid is an acceptable alternative [pullquote-right]That right there is what we call being adult[/pullquote-right]to business casual. (It’s actually not, I guess.) Recently my laundry bag cord got in a fight with the washing machine, and so I might need to revert to washing clothes by hand until those two resolve their differences. Last year I did a very grown-up thing and scheduled dentist appointments by myself. Twice.

A few samples of clothing that have been retired from my work wardrobe.



Everyone talks about change and how important it is to having a fulfilling life. Sometimes change is necessary to have a successful job or relationship, but other times it’s optional and just makes life even more exciting.

But is a change always the answer to everything? What about some occasional stagnancy? Is it OK to sometimes be stubborn and refuse a change? Can I just keep my flip phone, please?

So, I Need A Bigger Backyard

I do my best to keep parts of my life stable, like having good relationships with my friends and family and occasionally maintaining my blog, and pepper the other parts with positive changes, like planting 20 tomato plants in my backyard. 20 tomato plants take up a lot of yard space, by the way.

Change is often trumpeted as necessary, but it’s easy to forget that some changes can be negative, especially why you find yourself changing to impress others or making changes that benefit you and few others. In truth, I think a little mixture of change and stability is key to a healthy lifestyle.

 Let’s take the Change Test, shall we?

Well, Hey There Change…

Change might be necessary if…

  • It betters a relationship, job or opportunity you care deeply about and that person, job or opportunity makes you a better person.
  • Fear is the driving force behind your refusal to change. (Note: fear can be a great motivator, but there can be a fine line between adventure and stupidity. So adventure smartly and safely and don’t be stupid.)
  • Life’s getting a little too easy, a little too predictable and a little too unfulfilling.


Hi Ho Stability Away! (Totally Joking. Let’s Stay Here Forever N’ Ever.)

Stability/Stagnancy might be necessary if…

  • The changes you make are positive for you in the short run, but negatively affect relationships, jobs or opportunities you’d like to keep around. Life is supposed to be fun, but it’s not always about us.
  • You’re changing just to change, because you think it’s what you have to do. If your changes aren’t making you a kinder, more interesting, more productive person, than why are you changing?
  • Change is making your life uncomfortably hard. If you’re going through rough, unpredictable times, perhaps stagnancy is going to be a better friend.


Change is necessary, but so is stability. It’s finding that happy balance that makes not only your life rewarding, but your relationships rewarding, and if that happy balance benefits others, even better.


P.S. I totally still have a flip phone.
Kat hails from the land of long winters and hearty folk, also known as the Midwest. She currently resides in Tennessee with her very soft cat, Koz. Kat keeps a poorly-maintained blog and an even more poorly-maintained garden. She is a full-time nonprofit worker, part-time freelance writer/photographer and a terrible bed maker.




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