I started to think seriously about living a minimalistic lifestyle after I returned from my 2 month East Coast trip, at the end of May, 2011.
When I got back from my trip, I started to follow lifestyle design bloggers, one of them being Ev Bogue, who practices minimalism and an other being Colin Wright, who lives with 52 things, which can fit into a carry-on any time he wishes to pick up his belongings and travel.
I love the idea of being able to pick up my belongings, putting them into a carry on bag, and exploring the world, wherever it may take me. I felt like I had that when I was traveling around the East Coast. I bought a one-way ticket to Virginia, and traveled around the East Coast with no strict plan in mind. I stayed in some places for a night to a week, leaving whenever, arriving whenever, visiting all my close friends from college.
When I got back, I was reading about how Colin Wright would travel to a new country every four months, dictated by his readers. He was living in LA, decided that he didn’t want to move back in with his parents, sold all of his stuff, had only 70 possessions with him, and moved to Argentina.
Ironically, now that I’m writing this, I’m realizing how Colin’s story of how he began to travel resembles my goals. I want to get rid of a lot of my stuff and move to Argentina for a handful of months in 2012.
I was inspired to go to Argentina after reading Tim Ferris’ book, The 4-Hour Workweek. He talked about how he lived in Argentina for a couple months, and took Spanish and Tango lessons. And from all of the lifestyle design and travel bloggers I follow, I’ve been reading about arbitrage, which is about living somewhere where the cost of living is less than where you’re from. So if I’m making money from clients in the US, and from the Bay Area, and I have that income while living somewhere like Argentina, my currency and income that I’m bringing will carry more weight.
A lot of lifestyle designers will move to a new country, or a different state where the cost of living is cheaper when they’re starting their businesses, like Cody McKibben, another lifestyle designer I follow. This means they won’t have to work as much to pay for living expenses, such as rent, and they’ll be able to focus their time on developing their business or enjoying life and living awesomely. This is what I want to do.
How Does Minimalism and De-cluttering My Life Relate to my Travel and Life Goals?
The less clutter I have in my life and the fewer distractions I have, the more focused I’ll be. If I begin to eliminate the extra stuff I have, and clean up my physical, virtual, and mental space, only holding to what’s important, it will eliminate everything that’s not important in my life, leaving me with what I truly what to focus on. This will increase my focus, productivity, and free time; it will decrease my stress levels, increase my present-moment living, and increase my happiness, which is my ultimate bucket list goal.
When I got back from the East Coast, I wrote this post about De-cluttering My Space. I got rid of about 6 to 8 boxes worth of stuff since right after my East Coast trip.
I’m ready now to take minimalism to the next step, to re-structure and focus my life, my goals, my passions, and to get rid of more things. To initiate further de-cluttering, I started Project Minimalism. I’ve been getting rid of 3 things every day since July 9th, and I’ll continue to do so until my 24th birthday on August 28th. I’ve donated 2 more boxes, started another box, and have recycled and thrown away loads. My room is looking very spacious right now.