Minimalism beyond traveling

When you go traveling, you just pack a small amount of things. A backpack full. A few t-shirts, a few shorts, a few sweaters, one or maybe two pairs of shoes, toiletries, your camera, a book and maybe a few other things. Everything else is seen as “luxury pieces” you don’t really need.

I’ve heard of so many people who went traveling for a year. Or longer. And they only lived with what they had and they were all so happy with it and told everyone how that’s all they need and that’s how they’ll continue to live once they are back. Every day as it comes, only a few things in their closet, no materialism anymore. And I always envy those people for being like that.

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Photo via Joao R (Flickr)

Because I love traveling. And I love only having a small amount of things, only living out of a backpack. But I also love coming home to my closet, a full rack of jewellery, I just enjoy being a girl. Not a girly girl. But still a girl.

But at the same time, when I hear those people talking and when I listen to them preaching how this is going to be what they are continuing to do once they are back I think about it: Will they really? It’s easy to say things like that when you are away from everything back home. Away from your real life, from work, from your friends, from everything that influences you.

We all know that feeling you have after you come back from a longer trip. That feeling of change inside you, maybe even the feeling of being distant to your friends and family because they haven’t experienced what you experienced.
But still, most people are home more often than they are away traveling. And when you’re home you have to make a living. You have to earn money to live. And you might earn that money with something that doesn’t really fit into the minimalistic lifestyle you wanted to live. And then your friends want to take you shopping, or you move into a new apartment or it’s your birthday. And slowly, but surely, the “normal” life, that is unfortunately spiked with materialism, sneaks back into your live.

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Photo via Geir Tønnessen (Flickr)

Obviously this doesn’t apply for everyone, because there are enough people out there that are able to live with almost nothing, no matter if that’s while traveling or living at home. But most people I know, my friends I know from home and my friends I know from traveling, just fall back into old habits. And maybe they think less of themselves for doing so. But for me, this is normal. We live in a world where it’s really hard to get by with a minimalistic lifestyle. With a lifestyle where you don’t care about trends or about what you look like. Because that’s what today’s world is all about unfortunately.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, try to take things you learn while traveling into your daily life. Adjust them. But don’t ever force yourself to live a lifestyle you learned while traveling just because it seems like the right thing to do. Just never forget what life is about!

Cover photo via Carlos Hernandez Landero (Flickr)

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