HEY THERE! | I’m Liz. Welcome to Minding My Thirties – a lifestyle blog where I chat about living a more meaningful life through mindfulness and intentionality as I embark on this next decade. I discuss a whole range of topics from finance to minimalism and everything else in between. Hopefully there’s something in here for all walks of life regardless of age! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you stay a while.

The Short Version: This blog developed out of a whirlwind of events. I just turned 30 and my boyfriend and I decided to leave Chicago and move to Berlin. We had about six months to prepare for our cross-Atlantic move, which meant purging all of our furniture (amongst other things), getting our finances in order, pairing down our closets to two suitcases each – oh – and figuring out what the hell I was going to do for work in Berlin! Needing a way to organize my thoughts and take a beat I started writing. What started as a cathartic outlet quickly became a passion. I wanted a way to share everything I learned, things I discovered, and document how I plan to approach my 30s with deliberation and mindfulness. And thus began Minding My Thirties.

The Long Version: Born and raised outside Chicago it was no wonder my “adult” life starts here. Sure, I lived in a couple places across the States and always had dreams of moving abroad but Chicago was where I called home. I earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Interior Design where I went on to work for a high-end residential design firm in the city as an Interior Designer. My job took me to amazing destinations across the States and eventually I caught a solid case of Wanderlust in my mid-20s, hitting up 20 countries in a matter of five years. However, my Masters degree left me with a good chunk of debt that prompted me to learn about finances and money management, surprisingly, one of my favorite topics to write about.

My boyfriend, Timo, and I met when I was 28. He had just moved to Chicago from Germany (born and raised) to complete his post-doc in Linguistics at Northwestern University. Timo’s visa allowed him to stay in the States for two years. Because of that we discussed the possibility of moving abroad early on in our relationship. I was game. About six months before his visa was up he accepted a job with a university just outside of Berlin.

I immediately began a Google search – How to Downsize for a Cross-Atlantic Move. I stumbled across some blogs on minimalism and was instantly hooked. I eventually started adopting minimalistic practices in my everyday life and was able to purge nearly all of my possessions, aside from my essentials. By the time it was ready to move I was able to fit all of my possessions (mostly clothing) in two large suitcases and one carry on. However, I eventually found myself struggling with a bad case of identity crises as an Interior Designer whose values no longer aligned with her job. While I believe that design matters because our surroundings truly impact our well-being, I could no longer cope or find value in my work; designing client’s 2nd and 3rd (and so on) homes with expensive furniture and a collection of seemingly meaningless items.

Fortunately, this come-to-Jesus moment was close to the end of our time in Chicago and I now had the opportunity for a fresh start in Germany to do whatever I wanted. Also overwhelming. I started writing as a way to cope with all of the changes and help me better understand what I value, what I don’t value, and how I want to live my life. I wanted more purpose and intention in my life, less consumption, more learning and growing, and ultimately emotional freedom from things like financial debt, toxic relationships and – well – freedom from things. Somewhere along the path to minimalism I got buried in the trenches of the F.I.R.E. movement (Financial Independence Retire Early). This movement opened my eyes up to the endless possibilities of financial independence, being debt free and preparing me, financially, for a global move.

I’m learning as I go. And I certainly don’t have it all figured out but I’m glad you’re here! I hope my content offers some insights, someone to relate to and, if nothing else, maybe a chuckle or two as we are all attempting to navigate the gamut of experiences that is our 30s!