For nearly a year I’ve have been living out of a backpack as I travel the world. Minimalism played a huge role in making that a reality.
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There was once a time when I used to have a closet filled with more clothes that I could possibly count and I would be buying things off Amazon before the previous orders arrived.
Many of today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves.
The first thing I decided to minimize was excuses. We live in a society full of excuses, everyone has one reason or another as to why they can’t do something. People want to spend hours binge-watching Game of Thrones and then blame the government because they can’t get a job.
As a kid I remember reading stories of people who quit their jobs to travel the world, I always wondered how these people did it! Why couldn’t I?
I asked around and everyone kept saying the same thing. “Oh they’re lucky!”, I didn’t believe that as I knew how people used “luck” as an excuse. On further research, I realized that it’s actually possible to learn almost everything for free or next to free on the internet, but people are just lazy and hence use luck as an excuse.
So after minimizing the excuses, I decided to learn the skills needed to make my dream a reality from YouTube, which for me were building websites. I wanted to start an E-commerce store but I didn’t have the capital to start. So what I did was stop buying stuff I didn’t need on Amazon and I saved and invested less than 100$ in starting this blog which later on grew to pay for my travels.
Minimizing the negativity around me played a huge role, there is a saying that states that you become the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with. It’s really easy to meet negative people these days, especially people who have internalized their excuses into part of their being.
Cutting off all of the negative people from my life has been the greatest decision of my life. I couldn’t find a lot of positive people to surround myself with so I turned to the internet and books. They were my mentors and teachers. From Victor Frankel to Gary Vaynerchuk, I surrounded myself virtually with positivity and meaningful ideas, instead of memes, complaints, and excuses.
Minimizing my things made all the difference, living out of a single backpack has simplified my life in a way that very few other things have.
90% of what most people have are things they don’t really need. You don’t need the latest iPhone you want it. I’m not saying don’t buy anything. Hell, I spend a lot of money shopping but only for things I need, I buy assets, not liabilities. But an object can be either an asset or a liability based on its use.
Eg. I make money working on my phone so that makes my phone an asset. Most people my age are just swiping right on Tinder. Liability (or asset 😉 haha it’s based on your priorities!)
Right now I live out of a backpack as I travel the world. Not only has reduced my expenditure on things increased the amount I can spend on growing my businesses, but also I spend less time each morning deciding on what I want to wear as all my shirts are the same brand and color. Last summer I climbed a mountain pass in Nepal at 5416m with everything I own on my back, it gave a sense of freedom absolutely indescribable in words.
I doubt when I’m old and dying I’ll think back to all the stuff I had, no, I’ll probably smile at all the experiences I lived through. From meeting the Dalai Lama to hitchhiking across Cambodia, I believe life is an adventure and should be led like one!