Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
I think you’ll enjoy this story from Gigi, who pared down her belongings (and her dog’s!) in order to pursue life on the road. Check out her blog to read more about her experiences.
My name is Gigi and I’ve always had minimalist tendencies, but this year I took it to the next level and I am currently traveling through Europe with one hiking backpack and one carry-on backpack (oh, and my small dog, Luna!). This, of course, means that I’ve spent the past six months or so reducing, recycling, gifting, and selling my possessions.
The main ways I rid myself of unnecessary clutter were: selling things on Craigslist and Amazon, holding a giant yard sale one Saturday in May, gifting books and kitchen supplies to a newly married friend, and taking several trips to the local Goodwill. At the end of the day, I ended up keeping just eight boxes, five normal sized and three very small (for tax receipts, business files, and electronics). Plus, the things I am traveling with–which I carry from place to place on my back.
Whenever (if ever) I return to the U.S., I plan on minimizing even more by scanning my old photo album into the computer and getting rid of the hard copy, scanning all my receipts (okay, okay, hiring someone to scan my receipts), and reviewing my client files to toss old and outdated ones again.
At the end of the day, the goal is to own only things that contribute to my life and/or make me happy. Right now, that life is on the road. I rent furnished places, borrow extras that I need (like scissors), and re-pack with care each time I move onto a new destination. After all, the weight of what I own directly correlates with the weight I have to carry on my own back.
Even the dog, who is traveling with me, has become a minimalist, only owning two tupperware bowls (which double as airtight traveling containers for food or toiletries), one stuffed bunny, one small brush, one tennis ball, a baggie of dog food, another of treats, and one dog carrying case (which I call her “house”).
Living so simply is so freeing. Particularly on the road, where I find my day-to-day needs met often by the kindness of strangers or my own creativity (wine bottle openers make great jar openers and nobody minds lending you a cup of sugar or a pair of scissors). The creativity and community that minimalism creates around me on the road is something I plan on bringing home with me…wherever home may end up being.
You can find my blog at gigigriffis.com. I write about dating, writing, and everyday life on the road with a dog.