Lifestyle,  Self-discovery,  Travel

Becoming Minimalist

I still remember my main objective in life from when I was a teen: To make tons of money and purchase all the material goods I thought I needed in order to live a comfortable and successful life. Now that I’ve reached that point, that I’ve been through numerous houses, vehicles, tons of clothes, jewels, gadgets, junk, you name it, my perspective has changed. I came to the realization that perhaps I’ve been using all these possessions to fill a void. Instead of bringing peace of mind, most purchases brought me a great deal of stress. Not to mention the time wasted buying, maintaining, securing and storing all these belongings, too.

For a while now, I’ve been secretly admiring people who’ve adopted a minimalist lifestyle or that have decided to downsize into Tiny Houses, for example. And for the greater part, my husband and I will be doing exactly that when we move into our sailboat next year, as mentioned in my very first post, “To New Beginnings.” I’ll admit to having rather conflicting feelings about wanting more or wanting less over time, but I slowly became convinced that “less is more.” And every time I get rid of something I thought I could never do without, or something I held onto for far too long, I feel like a weight is lifted directly off my shoulders. Suddenly, I can dedicate less time to material and more time experiencing the world in the most natural of ways. Letting go of how much I want to control the way I live, and the way my life looks from the outside has given space to my wellbeing and the feeling of being free, grounded and authentic.

Nevertheless, I do think it’s okay that everyone has their own minimal standard of how they want the outside world to perceive them, but in my case, I was solely living through other people’s eyes… without even realizing it. So many things I did only for appearance, and yet I was convinced at the time that it was what I wanted. What I needed, even. I had spent so much of my adult life living for others, that I never really took the time to get to know myself, nor what I truly wanted. When this realization finally hit me in the face, it was pretty harsh. And even harder was coming to terms with it, really facing it. Can you imagine living all those years without ever taking the time to live for yourself? Can you imagine soley living with other peoples’ ideas and going by other peoples’ standards? Well, better late than never, right?

So I lay all my cards down on the table. And here they are.
This is how I see things going down for my little family and I from now on: We can live on a sailboat when we decide to be at sea (we’re trying hard to make that happen by next Spring). And we can live in a Tiny House when we decide to be on land. Seeing as we’re avid travellers and  we simply cannot resist our nomadic lifestyle, I think both of these options will work well if and when we decide to move around. I, on the one hand, grew up for most of my life on a tropical island and I therefore tend to prefer land and continental weather. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a cold continental country and he tends to love the sea and the sun. Why not compromise, right? I thought of a six-month period at sea and a six-month period on land. We’ll first start with sailing and a liveaboard lifestyle, that’s for sure, but who knows where time will bring us? Maybe to a patch not too far away, big enough for a Tiny House 😉
Only time will tell.

In any case, we’ll have to downsize considerably and get rid of most of our belongings. We’ve already started this process too, and boy, can I say that it is LIBERATING!

Having the strict minimum, living in a small space, spending most of my time outdoors and doing authentic activities that I will remember with my family, like cooking, fishing, learning, reading, playing, dancing, discovering new places, enjoying the present moment in all its beauty — eating healthy, exercising, taking the time to breathe and contemplate, using natural and organic products, recycling and producing less waste… That’s me. That’s all that I want. A simple life. Where we choose how we want to live and make things work in that direction.

We used to work very long, hard, endless hours in order to make good money, and we always aimed for the “over-the-top” and the “unattainable” and “never-satisfying careers and lifestyles”. Everything was simply never enough. Well, we’re done with that. And that isn’t the model we want to pass on to our children, either. Now, we’ve decided to live first and work just the amount we need to lead authentically healthy and happy lives without crowding ourselves with superficial objects and goals that won’t mean anything to us in a few years, in a decade, or even at the end of our lives. Minimalism isn’t a radical lifestyle. Moreover, it makes a whole lot of logical sense when considering modern society and how industrialization and capitalism have affected so many of the natural resources we and future generations depend so much on.

Sarah the Digital GypSea

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“The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.” – Phillips Brooks

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