Hello and welcome! I am glad that you found your way to my precious blog! In 2018 I learned a very important lesson for me: experiences are more important than things. And this was the beginning to my journey to minimalism.
This sentence sounds quite simple but it holds a lot of meaning for me. But let’s start at the very beginning. In February 2018 I moved to Kuala Lumpur. I couldn’t pack a lot of things and left a lot of stuff behind. Later during my trip to Cambodia I also learned that I can live out of a bag pack (a Hershel one!) for two weeks. So seeing that I don’t need that much of stuff was something that really opened up my eyes!
At the same time we had so many great things to do and it became clearer and clearer: why should I spend my hard-earned money on things I actually don’t need when I could spend it on experiences that fill me with so much joy?
Coming home to all the clutter I had left behind was quite hard. I had to rehome or donate it all together. It was a tough challenge but I manage to do it with success: By now I feel deliberated and own a lot less than before.
And How Does it Make Me Travel Better?
I am still not one of those people that only own 100 things and wear the same t-shirt everyday but this major change of perspective made me declutter and think about the things I actually own. What I was actually spending money on. What I actually think about. And this also made me think about the way I travel.
I used to do a lot of city trips: London, Paris, New York. And guess what? What did I do there? Shopping. I did not visit museums, cafés, parks, churches or took cooking classes. And this makes me sad because I could have learned so much instead of just shopping in the same stores I can visit in Germany as well!
Minimalism Gives You The Ability to Travel More
So what I started to do when I thought about minimalism was to stop buying things I don’t like or need. This includes: clothing items, that I would only wear a few times (looking at you, glittery high heels), chips & chocolate snacks (I admit, I am still working on this one), cosmetics (I really don’t need more than one perfume), fast food (come on – no one needs fast food anymore. Skip it.) and so on and on and on.
This didn’t just make my life easier but also gave me a lot more money to my hands, that can be reinvested. So as a small practice for you: Write down every amount of money you save, because you declined to buy it. At the end of the month reinvest this money into an experience!
Minimalism Changes Your Perspective Towards Your Activities
As I mentioned before the main lesson I learnt in 2018 was that experiences matter more than things. And if you keep that in mind, suddenly you want to arrange your trips differently.
Instead of looking for the best shopping streets (as I did when I was younger) you will start to think about the activities you can do. And there are tons of things to do that could be cooking classes, snorkeling tours, museum tours, etc. etc. You will create more memories instead of just bringing home some souvenirs or new clothes.
For example on my last trip, we did not do any shopping and instead we went ice skating. And let me tell you: Ice Skating in Warsaw with my friends matters more than a new pair of shoes or new Dress.
Minimalism Makes Your Packing Super Easy
When you travel, do you pack only what you need or are you one of the persons that packs 6 skirts, 5 dresses and 4 pairs of shoes to a two day vacation? Isn’t this a bit too much?
Lately I started to feel the joy of bringing just enough. Each and every item I own is meant to fit with everything else. It is actually quite simple, you just stick to neutral colors and you end up being able to mix and match everything.
If you want to know more about what I travel with, check out my post about what I carry in my toiletry bag!
Minimalism Helps You to Prioritise
It is a common misconception that minimalists only own the same shirt; one pair of shoes and one cutlery. This is not true. You could also call minimalism ‚intentionalism‘. Basically you cut down on the things that don’t serve you well, providing you more space for all the things you really want / love / need.
So to say you highlight the things that matter the most to you. And suddenly you learn to love space. Space in your drawers, in your closter or in your handbag. It clears your mind and will bring you joy.
By focusing only on the important things by getting rid off the unnecessary (or what doesn’t brings you joy or happiness) you prioritise what is important to you and what is just there. Or what is just clutter.
Minimalism saves the earth
How on earth will this improve my traveling you will ask yourself now. Well well well, let me explain. (It might be a bit tricky.)
We are in the middle of an environmental crisis. Our beaches and oceans are full of plastic, our animals are dying and climate change will fry us all. But there is hope: it is on us. We as consumers can change the world on a daily basis. Everytime we spend money, we vote. We vote for the future we want to get.
Minimalism preaches not to buy what you don’t need. For me this includes also things that are destroying the earth. Yes, we don’t really need this. So I choose to cut down fast fashion, meat & single use plastic.
So how does Minimalism really helps the environment? By you not contributing to that fatal trend. It is that simple. By giving up fast fashion, meat & single use plastic you decide to vote for no for that future. And you are not alone. There are thousands of people that feel the same. Each and every can make a change and now it is on your hand.
This is actually a pretty good ending for a blogpost but I just wanted to thank you for reading. Let me know what you think and how minimalism has improved the way you travel!
If you want to read more about my zero waste journey, check out my post about all the sustainable shops, I found in Asia!