Minimalism is a way of life I had always admired but found difficult to do. There was always a pretty nick-nack I needed to fill an empty spot on the bookshelf, the latest kitchen appliance to make cooking meals easier or a new dress when I had nothing to wear. Embarking on full-time travel in August of 2019, minimalism became an essential way of life as I had to be able to fit everything we needed into the back of our 2015 Hyundai ix35.
There are quite a few different ways that people define minimalism, for me, I see this type of lifestyle being about owning only what adds value and meaning to my life, so I can use my time and energy for the things that matter. I can definitely say I have learned so much about living a minimalistic lifestyle since we started travelling and am so much happier for it.
5 Things We Have Learned About Minimalism:
The bigger the house, the more stuff you accumulate.
As a population, it seems we are hardwired to always have the bigger house. We might outgrow a smaller one, or we get a job promotion and more money so we can afford a bigger home, or we are sold the dream of the 4 bedroom 2 bathroom home with double lock up garage. The larger our homes, the more things we end up buying to fill the space. I have a huge sea container with all of my things in storage from when I sold our home to go travelling. And I have no idea where I am going to put it all. Because the truth is, I don’t need most of the stuff in that sea container. I don’t need the two couches, the 3 queen size beds, the 8 bookshelves and the numerous boxes of kitchen appliances that never get used. What I have learnt is that becoming minimalist and downsizing frees up time to go and do the fun things. And that is something that is super important to me.
I don’t need a huge variety of clothes
If you are anything like me, you overpacked every time you went on a holiday, just to be prepared. You took that dress just in case, or 7 t-shirts, one for each day. And in the end, you only wore a few of your favourite items. One thing I have learned from travelling is that you do not need a heap of clothes. These days, I only wear my favourite clothes, most of which are very practical. Having fewer clothes saves time packing, time and money doing the washing, and I rarely have the conundrum of having nothing to wear. I only buy new clothing items if we don’t have it and need it – for example – a raincoat, when items need replacing, or if Marcus has outgrown something.
Minimalism is time saving
Not having so much stuff is time-saving. I can pack up everything and put it into the car in under 20 minutes. I don’t have to worry about maintaining as many things. And I spend so much less time cleaning and much less time clothes washing – there is no way Marcus wears something once and throws it into the wash anymore.
Minimalism Saves Money
Only buying the things we need, or the occasional want, means that we have saved heaps of money. This has freed up money to spend on fantastic experiences like taking a scenic flight out over the Abroholos Islands, or spending a few nights in some fancy accommodation.
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Minimalism has been great for my mental health.
I am so much happier without lots of stuff. I don’t have the clutter in my life ultimately cluttering my mind. When I do buy new things, I truly appreciate them. I am not as materialistic as I once was, and I prefer to spend money on experiences and living life rather than buying stuff that just gathers dust.
Travelling full-time and being forced to live minimalistically has taught me that most of what I owned was unnecessary and actually holding me back from living life. When I eventually stop travelling and settle down, my dream home is a small 2 bedroom house with a beautiful tropical garden and a veggie patch, all in walking distance to the ocean. I now know the more space we have in a house, the more time it takes away from having fun and living life and that we didn’t need all the space in the first place. And we definitely didn’t need all the stuff.
Except for books. We will never have enough books.
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