I stumbled upon the idea of minimalist living around 5 years ago now and have been hooked on the idea ever since.
I believe it fits in really well with the travelling lifestyle, where people tend to value experiences more than material possessions. It enables you to travel light, with less clutter, and i find it very freeing to have much less ‘stuff’ than before…
So What is Minimalism?
For me and for many people it’s about living a more meaningful life through concentrating on experiences and personal growth as opposed to accumulating more ‘stuff.’ Investing more in ‘yourself’ instead of material goods.
By getting rid of excess stuff you become freer; freer to spend more time with friends, family and of course girls…
It’s not about getting rid of everything or living as frugally as possible, (although i do try and live on a budget whilst still having a good time in Vietnam.) I like nice food and relish social time spent having drinks or meals with family, friends and girls a lot more these days than spending money on the latest gadget.
By adopting a more minimalist attitude i can concentrate on these things more, the things that add pleasure, value and memories to my life as opposed to something new and shiny i can put on the shelf.
Since around the age of 30 I started to realise that actually there is a lot more to life than accumulating wealth and working all hours just to have a better car, house or ‘job title.’ I gave up a decent job to travel and took a drastic cut in my income. I feel now that my life is ‘richer’ than before due to the experiences i have had, people i have met, and girls i have dated.
If you truly believe that being rich and pursuing material possessions will make you happy happy I say go for it, however I’m sure like me you know loads of people who ‘have it all’ on paper and are miserable or just feel ‘unfulfilled’ and a bit empty.
This was me to some extent in my late twenties…reasonably successful, able to buy most things i thought i needed and consuming not creating.
I often thought to myself ‘is this it?’ I felt a little stale in my existence, had stopped growing as a person and was craving something else.
There was a void inside.
I’d followed the typical Western pathway of working hard at school and university, getting a decent job and constantly working for somebody else in order to accumulate more things. The route to happiness or so i was led to believe.
Minimalism was a bit of a revelation to me. I like many twenty something Westerners would almost tend to base much of my self worth on my job/salary/what new gadgets I could buy and show off etc. This soon became tiresome however and i yearned for something a little different and a new perspective on living.
I’m not saying minimalism is a cure all and by getting rid of some things you’ll suddenly become an enlightened and balanced individual.
It’s not that simple, it’s a small piece of the larger life puzzle and a way of living that resonates deeply with me and something i hope you’ll look into too.
Minimalism is a set of ideas and practices that allows a more purposeful existence-a life more deliberately focused on experiences and growth as opposed to accumulation and short term feelings of satisfaction primarily derived from pursuing more and more material possessions.
Short lived material based satisfaction left me craving the next best thing, and a chance stumbling on theminimalists.com blog really opened my eyes and got me thinking outside the norm and what is often coined ‘social conditioning.’
So i read and read, working my way through the many blogs out there about minimalism and learned how different people had adopted the concept of minimalism into their everyday lives.
Over the last few years I’ve sold, donated or cancelled items I no longer want or need and adopt a six month rule:
‘if I don’t use, wear it, play with it or find a use for it within a period of six months it goes.’
Recently i’ve dropped this down to 3 months. I just don’t like having shit hanging around cluttering up my space if i don’t need it.
Whether it’s sold or donated doesn’t matter, i believe we just don’t need many of the things we think we do. A simpler life from a material perspective allows more time for hobbies, learning, time with friends and family, growth and of course meeting beautiful girls in exotic places such as Vietnam.
I’ve downsized my apartment as i figured i don’t need so much space anymore. People tend to fill up unnecessary space with unnecessary items. This has saved me some money so i can go on more trips and expand my horizons even further.
It’s hard at first but trust me try it and I guarantee an intensely liberating experience that will have you hooked too.
Let me know your thoughts below.