June 27, 2018

How I Became a Peripatetic Minimalist

Why I merged travel and minimalism to find balance in my life.

Travel and minimalism are perfect companions. The less you own, the fewer things can weigh you down, which in turn allows you to roam freely.

How I came onto the path of minimalism was out of my control. Turning nineteen years of age, my family decided to make a move to Peru. As soon as I left secondary school, my father sold our house. The number of things we found that once may have bared significance to us, was staggering. I think it may go without saying that moving home is stressful.  What makes the situation even worse is the obligation to move and package a million little things, many of which you can’t remember how they even came into your life.

The task of having to sell, throw out, and donate possessions made me think. How much money did we throw away with all these little trinkets? How many hours have we worked to buy something that held value for maybe a week? More importantly, imagine all the cool places we could have travelled to instead.

Now that I take travelling the world more seriously, I do not want to be tied down by possessions, contracts, and excess money. I want to travel, inspire, and help others—not flex and impress everyone.

Possessions used to mark our status as humans. But does owning more materialist things—the latest smartphone—make us happy? Not me. I find much more value exploring nature, spending time with other cultures, and inspiring people to see what they are missing out. Spending doesn’t have to involve a transaction.

Two years on, my love of travel is growing deeper by the day. I aim to live with only the essentials, and the small number of things that I do have, bring a smile to my face. Living this way, I avoid the pitfalls of mass accumulation, allowing me to hop on a plane with my backpack and go wherever I desire.  The world is my home. That is why I aim to own little but see much.

Published by Maria Hanako van Straaten in Lifestyle, Travel

Photography by Štefan Štefančík

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