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Don’t spend money. (But do buy toilet paper.)

May 14, 2012

Re:ACT Story

Recently, we reintroduced you to Shannon, who has been with The SOLD Project for several years and is now living in Chiang Rai, Thailand, working full-time for SOLD. Shannon’s sister, Meghan, is starting a new adventure too! It’s called livefree, and it means not spending any money for an entire year.

Meghan, 22, is a SoCal native who recently graduated with a degree in Business Management. After part-time jobs and a full course load, Meghan was able to graduate early and start a full-time job at a meeting planning company. But first, she took that hard-earned spare semester and traveled Europe for a few months, included a visit to Shannon in London, who was busy wrapping up her Master’s degree. Those travels changed Meghan.

“This multicultural experience really broadened my mind and opened my eyes to alternative lifestyles,” Meghan says. “Living only out of a backpack provoked a thought process ultimately questioning the way I live and why I ‘need’ materialistic gratification to feel satisfied in life.”

Meghan’s mission is not political. Her mission: “to stimulate awareness for alternative living and to learn how to live simply.”

“Growing up in a privileged community and raised in a consumer-oriented society, I never questioned the need to supply my endless demands. A computer at age 12. A cell phone at age 14. A car at age 16. The list goes on and on. I was at least fortunate enough in being raised by wonderful parents that believe in working for what you want.  For every one of my endless wants, I worked my tail-end off to save up just enough money to empty my bank account on whatever it was I had to have. It was a vicious cycle that continued throughout my entire existence. Until now.”

Okay, so you can’t really not spend any money at all. So, Meghan has decided to counteract her spending “by donating a designated amount of money to carefully selected charities.” For the basic necessities of life (a girl needs toothpaste!), she stocked up before the year got started from “cost-effective and environmentally conscious retailers.”

Her January charity was AWESOME. Cough cough. Megan says SOLD “holds a special place in my heart.” In fact, her livefree project was inspired by her sister’s involvement with SOLD. Shannon’s excitement for moving to Thailand and living simply was contagious. The sisters discussed how, in many ways, the experience would be difficult but freeing and cleansing.

A few of us here at SOLD know that can be more than true. Besides the fresh air, the relaxed Thai lifestyle, the beautiful mountains, and the amazing people, nothing is more humbling or cleansing than flicking away a giant exotic bug from your dinner plate without a second thought.

Shannon and Meghan

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