Day 2 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
As we get older, we collect more stuff. We move into bigger houses, with more room to store our gear, gear that multiplies with every birthday, Christmas, and shopping spree. It is normal. It is what happens. We work full-time, we make decent money and then we treat ourselves and our family members with new things. The old things disappear in a closet, the attic or the basement, maybe accompanied by some of the nice items we recently bought, that don’t prove as useful or attractive as we thought, back at the cash register.
When you are a nomad, like Mark and I, this behavior is not normal. Nor is it recommended. Unless you want to rent (and spend money better used for travel) on a storage unit. The we from the first paragraph and the we as in Mark and I are not the same. The we above are people who comfortably live in a house or apartment, the majority amongst us here in the western world. Mark and I don’t have a house, don’t make decent money and cannot afford to have – or desire – lots of stuff. It is liberating to pick up shop in a jiffy and move to the next house where we will be pet sitting. Life is easy and straightforward without heaps of belongings, clutter and with the knowledge of where to find everything. We try our hardest to not collect more stuff while temporarily being semi-settled in the United States right now. It is good for our purse, our backs and our spirits, which soar with the thought of another adventure in the near future.
At the ages of 40 and 45, while most of our peers are settled with their families in a cozy home full of gadgets and conveniences, Mark and I are still kind of “roughing” it, being minimalists. Our most important belongings are our computers (replacing pen and paper for me), my camera and three suitcases of clothes. We also own some books, and electronics needed for our business. What we miss the least is TV, since we can watch movies on our hard drive and TV series and news on the internet. Apart from some keepsakes at our parents’ houses, all of our personal goods fit in the trunk of our biggest asset: a red Toyota Prius.
As choices and opportunities these days remain overwhelming, the “back to basics” attitude is getting a bit of momentum. More and more people decide to downsize (one example is the Tiny House Movement, another the growing amount of people selling all their stuff and moving on a sailboat or an RV) and use their resources for a change in lifestyle, creating more inspiring and precious moments, like extensive travel experiences and/or increased quality time with family. You don’t need a lot of belongings to be happy. Most material goods are overrated, unnecessary and distracting in my mind. As a matter of fact, I feel like Mark and I still have too much stuff we don’t really need (and hate carrying around). Time to create another pile for the thrift shop!
Are you a hoarder? What are your most important belongings? Do you see material goods as a burden or a pleasure? Have you ever thought about downsizing and changing your lifestyle?
Yesterday, I wrote about “A is for Adventure“. Tomorrow is a day off in the A to Z blogosphere, but Monday I will be back with “C is for Camper” in the “Thoughts about Being a Nomad” series.