So what triggers the yearning for a simple life, what triggers the urge to no longer want more, better, best?
There can be many deciding and contributing factors, but I think for me initially it was moving back to a more basic way of life. Growing our own food, rearing our own animals, jumping off the conveyor belt that is modern life and realising that you don't have to go out to earn money to buy stuff that really does not benefit the life you wish to lead.
There's a lot to be said for the make do and mend mentality that goes along with living simply. Once you start to look after and appreciate the things you have, buying more becomes gradually not as necessary. Having the latest or the best is no longer a need or a want.
You learn to appreciate what you have, to make the most of the smaller things that make your life special ... a beautiful day, a well-grown courgette, a doggy walk over the sands with faithful companions.
What do most of us like best about holidays?
After chatting with friends, it came to light that the most appreciated holiday bonus is the lack of excess. You pack just enough for the week, so you don't have to think too hard about what you are going to wear each day. A good holiday is a t-shirt and jeans or shorts each day, and maybe alternating a nicer dress or two in the evenings.
If you self-cater the kitchen has everything you need ... and no more.
So there's no worrying about which food will be better on which plate, you plate up with what you have, and the atmosphere is all the happier for it.
You can choose to go all-out luxurious or plain and simple, but what is the same for both is that you do not have lots of possessions to look after. What you took is what you must care for and the limited brainpower needed for that is refreshing.
Pretty, simple cottages make your heart happy when you get 'home' after a day out exploring your new surroundings.
There's not lots of housework to do, and even if you give everywhere a wipe down each day there are usually few trinkets and unnecessary things to move out of the way. So any clean up takes minutes not hours.
With less stuff comes less to think about and that is why holidays, even self-catering ones, are relaxing. Your brain is in 'holiday' mode and can chill out.
It was holidaying in all these cottages that set me on this new path, one which crept up on me in a very unassuming way. Sneaking into my subconscious without me realising what was going on. Going home after a week living so simply just highlighted the excesses we had acquired without even noticing.
Jettisoning all this excess has left us both feeling freer, calmer and much happier. Our current year-long amnesty is proving very liberating. If we don't like something, simply no longer want it or have a use for it, it can go into the car boot sale pile or be photographed and sold on Facebook Marketplace. No questions, no guilt, no recriminations.
Truly liberating and the start of a whole new raft of adventures.
Learning what matters, and what is really necessary to enjoy life is the best thing ever.