If you’ve ever gone on a long trip, you probably didn’t have the ability to pack an entire van with all your stuff and carry it across the country or to another country altogether, unless you were moving away. I have been to Europe for a summer, and you know how little you can take on a trip like that.
Usually, all you can take is a few changes of clothes, your camera (back in the day – now all you need is a cell phone or a tablet, or both), your sunglasses or a hat, a coat, an extra pair of shoes, and toiletries and travel documents, that would probably be it.
If you’ve ever traveled like that, you know it makes you realize that you can live just fine with a small amount of items and changes of clothes. Whether it’s a road trip by car or by plane, you can pretty much live for months out of a suitcase, literally. You know what it feels like to travel light like that. Most likely, you’ve done it. So if we can live with next to nothing, why do we have a need to accumulate stuff back at home?
Why do we need to surround ourselves with stuff that we almost never use? We tend to use about 20% of our clothes, so why don’t we get rid of the rest and only own what we love? Why do we need to pack every surface and storage space with crap? When in Europe, I had two suitcases of clothes, and that was good for me for the summer, so why do we buy and buy clothes all the time? And it’s ok to buy new clothes, this isn’t a case against buying clothes, minimalism is a case for owning only what you love and nothing else. You can buy new clothes, but why do we keep the ones we no longer wear and packing the closet with old stuff?
That reminds me of my brother who just moved to my favorite Mexican beachtown, and all he took was three bags. That’s it. He showed up at a furnished place where all he had to do is fold his clothes, set his laptop on a table, and put his shoes in a closet. He sold his car and left his bicycle at my mom’s house before he left.
I’ve been thinking of finally getting rid of all the stuff I no longer wear. I have done that a few times before, but I still have some clothes that I should give away. I’ll take pictures this time, I promise. Purging may seem like a never-ending process, but trust me, there will be a time when all you own is your favorite stuff. Next time I purge, I’m probably going to give it to charity or to a homeless shelter. My closet will look empty, emptier, since the other half has been empty for a while. It will look almost empty, but easier to clean and easier to find my stuff.
Anyway, I hope you understand you’ve lived with less before, but the excitement of being on your trip prevented you from feeling empty or like you’re missing something, no… you simply lived your trip. You really don’t need much when you are focusing on the experience, and not on your possessions.
’til next time.