Minimalism led our family to explore new places and chase experiences instead of things.
My family has especially loved the way that minimalism has taken our focus off of accumulating things. Instead we focus on having new experiences together. We all enjoy travelling and have fun exploring new places as a family. And by spending less money on stuff we have more money for travel. When we focus less on acquiring more possessions there is room in the budget and calendar to add new experiences.
This past summer our family traveled for five weeks with only one backpack each. We travelled to Amsterdam, Ireland, and England. We packed light for the month of travel and had backpacks that were small enough for the kids to carry on their own. Packing light literally shows us how excess stuff is a weight on our shoulders. It necessitates intentional packing and mindful consumerism. As a minimalist family we didn’t intend to spend money stuffing suitcases with stuff to bring home.
Experiences over things
Experiences can be big adventures or small every day occurrences. Kids have a special talent for seeing new things as exciting and fun. For example, when anything looked different than it does at home they were interested and enthusiastic to show me: the light switch looks different, there are new cookies to try at the market, and we’ve never been on a tram before!
I hope we can hold onto these minimalist lessons learned through travelling light. Slow down, revel in a new experience, and choose to put the people in your life ahead of things. In the end we don’t need to clamor for more things or prestige, but we can be thankful, satisfied and fulfilled in ‘the now’. Travelling through life isn’t a race or a straight line, and there’s no set list of material things that can make us happy. Live with less stuff and more life.