3 years ago I threw out or sold all of my belongings, moved my life into a backpack, and began my travels around the world.
I am still going. As I write this I am sitting on a plane making my way from LA to Auckland, NZ and I can’t stop thinking about the freedom that this “minimalist” kind of lifestyle has brought to me.
My life consists of 3 bags:
– My backpack which holds around 20kg of clothes, shoes, etc.
– A day pack which holds my laptop, hard drives, chargers, kindle, and camera equipment.
– A small camera bag, which holds my cameras and batteries.
I have enough stuff to keep me warm and dry through those cold winter days in Canada, or while treading through the muddy jungle in Thailand. But also to look good enough to eat out at a 5-star restaurant.
Although I don’t have too much room for fashion or outfit creativity. I have more than enough to get by without feeling limited in any way.
But this “freedom” I am talking about goes much deeper than clothes or gadgets… It’s a lifestyle choice that holds a lot of benefits.
Now, before I dig in I want to be clear. I do not claim myself to be a “minimalist”. I feel like that would have too many rules and regulations to live up to from the people who do. I believe being a minimalist, or living with as little baggage as possible can reap many rewards. And being a minimalist should mean reducing your life’s clutter, both physically and mentally.
Here’s how minimalism has given me freedom. Perhaps you could give a few of these ideas a try:
I sleep on the street most nights…. ‘Just kidding’.
I do not have anyone house or apartment, and my accommodation changes often. But I will usually aim to travel to one place for a month before going to the next.
With each location, I will rent out an Airbnb. If you don’t know what that is, basically you are renting someones fully furnished house or apartment and pay per night, or month for your stay.
It can be a little more expensive than if you were to rent a house for a year. But the flexibility to travel is perfect.
The best part is that every place you go is fully furnished with everything but food. And because you have all of your belongings with you each place instantly feels like home.
When you think of your dream apartment or home, what does it look like?
– Maybe you want a little beachfront cabana that sits over the Caribbean Ocean.
– Or a beautiful high rise apartment overlooking the city of Vancouver.
– Or maybe something in the bush like a small shack in Pai, Thailand..
I have lived in them all, and each place has been great in its own way.
The reason I like living like this, is I have no bills to pay for electricity and water etc.
I just turn up and leave when I please. It’s very flexible and freeing.
*The view from my Airbnb in Spain
#2 Work & Play
Living with minimal belongings should not be limiting…
I work on my computer. I have a 15” MacBook Pro, and iPhone 8. The internet is an amazing space. From my little computer and phone, I have all of the latest movies, TV series, Books, News, and Work…
I can always figure out whats going on in the world as long as I have an internet connection.
I carry an HTML cable with me as most apartments have large TVs. My partner and I will often watch movies or Netflix together as you normally would at home.
For work, I do social media advertising. I have moved into this space so I can run my work from my computer. Unlike when I was plumbing previously and had to physically be there to make an income. I understand not every job can give you this freedom, but with a little creativity, many can. Especially accountants, designers, web developers, etc..
If you have an internet based job you’re already halfway there.
I admit that It can be hard to stay fit while traveling. But there’s a few things I do to minimise the effort and stay in reasonable shape. *I’m no fitness model lol
I do intermittent fasting. I don’t eat anything for 16 hours a day and eat all of my food within an 8 hour window. I normally eat 2 large meals a day. It takes all of the thought behind food and helps restrict caloric intake without any extra thought or dieting..
As far as minimalism goes, it’s easy. I only have to think about food twice a day which leaves a lot of time for activities.
My laptop is my gym.
There are many fitness programs you can take from your computer. I often YouTube different workouts and do them right in front of the computer wherever I am staying. I keep a couple of bands in my bag for resistance and I also find running around a neighbourhood to be the best way to explore a new city.
I love surfing too… Which is definitely a good workout!
My partner travels with me full-time too. You can find her blog here intrepid-introvert.com
Not everyone woman will want to get rid of their clothes and belongings, but Hannah has embraced this lifestyle 100%. We both value experiences over material things. Although we love scouting for the latest travel gear, clothes, bags, camera gear etc.. We keep things down to a what we can carry we can keep maximum.
You can still have a lot of clothes.
You can fit a lot into one backpack.. The one thing we do though, is throw the clothes we no longer wear.
We have got into the habit of “out with the old, in with the new”. So if I buy something new like a shirt, I will throw out an old shirt to replace it.
It took a little time to build this lifestyle, and I don’t have children so I admit it’s easy for me to do.
But clearing the clutter from my life had been one of the best things I have ever done.. I believe minimalism is not about restricting yourself from things you want, but more about carrying less baggage, wether it’s mentally and physically.
I hope you can apply some of these ideas to your life!
Nathan – World Nate
p.s If you enjoyed this, please share it with someone who could benefit from a little less “stuff” in their life… OR if you know a hoarder, just place this on their timeline and see what happens 😉