Terry Bowman in her room (Courtesy of Terry Bowman)
Terry Bowman in her room (Courtesy of Terry Bowman)

QCOSTARICA – M. Terry Bowman, 51, an occupational therapist, writer and photographer in San Francisco, told Forbes how traveling with a boyfriend to Costa Rica in the ’80s inspired her living a more minimalist lifestyle.

Bowman transitioned from an adult lifestyle — two-bedroom, two-bath condo — down to what she calls a teenage one — living in one 10’x13’ bedroom.

In Costa Rica, “from the train, we’d see families in really small shacks, and I remember thinking that even though they had this little shack, they looked happier than I was.”

“Then, when I lived in England and traveled, I’d stay at people’s places via couch surfing or Airbnb, or stay in a hotel, and I’d always look at the place I was in and think, I could live in a space this size. I’d also bring one suitcase with me and be aware that I had only core stuff.”

Cick here for her story of how living overseas started her on this path, and how she got rid of her things.

“I think if I had never moved overseas or traveled the way I did, I might still be in the same situation as I was before (…),”  Bowman told Laura Shin at Forbes.

“It’s important for us to step back and say, is this really the best thing to do? Do we really need this mega home and multiple cars and 10 different coats? There are so many other people that need things too,” says Bowman.

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