Table of Contents

  1. Minimalism Update
  2. Downsizing Digital Assets
  3. World through our eyes
  4. Shutterbug Gear
  5. Resources
30-weeks to minimalism update
30-weeks to minimalism update

Minimalism Update

From time to time, friends ask us, “How do you choose what to bring with you?” Clearly, they haven’t had a chance to read I sympathize with their lack of time and appreciate their wanting to reach out first hand. This gives us an opportunity to give them the cliffs notes.

Based on our 30-weeks to minimalism plan, we know the main categories of items we will take with us will be clothes (2 suitcases each), linens, kitchen items, tools, books, hobbies, camping gear, climbing gear, and some bags. Everything else can be sold or given away.

So far, the following items have made their way into new homes:

  • art reproductions - canvas reproductions of Kandinsky, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Van Huysum, Hopper, Homer, Cole, Church, Durand and others
  • original artwork - Warner Bros. animation cells, paintings by myself and by Andrew
  • bling - crystals, beads, backings, wires and other supplies used to make jewelry
  • music - Larrivée Guitar, Schafer & Sons grand piano
  • media - DVDs, games, CDs, tapes, vinyl
  • toys - Tesla Flyer, Mio Castle
  • outdoor furniture - Weber gas grill, Weber charcoal grill, patio furniture
  • office clothes - women’s office and casual clothes donated to a family in Armenia
  • athletic clothes - so far, about 20% given away or sold
  • sentimental items - 2 photo albums will be stored with mom (the rest of the photos and journals were tossed out)
  • snowboard gear - boards, boots, bindings, helmets, and visors (to a cool young couple)
  • kitchen - juicer, china, place settings, blender
  • living room furniture - coffee table, wall mirrors, accent tables

It feels liberating each time to see these items go to a good use. As we mentioned before, we primarily want to gift the items to our friends and whatever remains that no one wants, we’ll sell or give away to charity.

Serengeti National Park. Aug 2014
Serengeti National Park. Aug 2014

Downsizing Digital Assets

We do not restrict the realm of downsizing to physical objects. It is also very relevant to our use of applications and digital storage. We reviewed the apps, photos, video, songs, podcasts, e-books, etc. on our iphones and have purged anything we haven’t used in the past year.

The same goes for our laptops, computers and external hard drives. I was talking to Andrew this morning about going through an external hard drive of photos that archives stuff I’ve taken since 2011. Especially in the instance when I was on safari, I would take hundreds of photos of an animal sighting - let’s say a group of giraffes - and maybe a few can be used as a starting point for the best composition, lighting, sharpness, etc.

Do I really need to keep an archive of all of it?

The short answer is “No.”

My friend Hasmik and I traveled on that trip together in 2014, and she took time and great effort to curate the best photos among our combined collection and have them represented in 4 photo books, which she gifted to me. Back then, I didn’t make the time then to do the same based on my photos to select and process the best photos.

Given that I am now retired, I have that opportunity now. Plus it dovetails nicely with our downsizing kick.

Photo by Omar Houchaimi
Photo by Omar Houchaimi

World through our eyes

As I go through these old photos and handpick my favorites, we will be sharing them through Pexels, the world’s first inclusive library of free photos and videos. As you may have seen from some of the photos featured on our website, quite a few are drawn from the talents of photographers around the world.

While I have given them attribution in social media, I’d like to profile the work of these photographers here, including:

In turn, we decided to upload our photographic content to Pexel so that they can be shared to others. We think of it as a way to to show you the world through our eyes. Here are a few of our favorite photos.

To see a more exhausive list of images, check out our Pexels profile. In addition to having some of the photos on, we will continue to add to Pexels to archive the higher resolution photos of our adventures.

Shutterbug Gear

As some of you know, our primary camera equipment (Nikon D7000 and 18-200 mm f:3.5-5.6G II ED lens) fell in the drink on our first trip to Ft Lauderdale in March. Luckily, Hasmik had some camera gear she was willing to part with. All of her Nikon equipment was available since she had recently purchased a Sony mirrorless camera (A7) and was heavily investing in the Sony product line.

I walked out of her apartment with 3 canvas bags full of gear and only recently did Andrew and I pull everything out to take an inventory of what was there. Here is the full complement of our current inventory of camera equipment.


We think this is a pretty good start for our shutterbug needs. Depending on what we plan to do in the future, we may invest in a few more items such as a gimbal, bomb-proof storage options, and a replacement for my favorite lens but with a higher range 18-300 mm VR f:3.5-6.3G DX AF-S G ED lens.


If you want to get started in photography, there are some great online resources. Here are our favorites:

If you would like to delve deeper into our adventure as it unfolds, please consider joining the Serenade Wind Crew. Our sister site provides more information on what it means to be part of the crew, unlock the pirate’s booty, and receive other exclusive access and benefits.The first 50 members have a gift waiting.