My true love of minimalism fully unfolded in 2002 when I took a semester off from college to travel. There was a romantic fantasy around the idea of galavanting across Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. I wanted to "be" a backpacker; my life thoughtfully and efficiently packaged and hung on my shoulders.
The trip's purpose was to begin exploring the rest of the world, meet people, feel true freedom, and have adventures. I spun into dalliances, whitewater rafted, held a python, skydived, awed at mountains, took in beaches, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and felt the uneasiness of truly being alone, sometimes not knowing where I was or what to do. I slept in hostels with my backpack straps wrapped around my legs. When you have so little, you take slightly misguided security precautions.
When I returned home, so much in life seemed pitiful. There was a disproportionate energy and emphasis on things, from the latest piece of technology, to dresser drawers practically spitting out clothes, the need for so much personal space, and time spent on buying, maintaining and reorganizing stuff. I missed my backpack and the way it distilled my purpose.
While I love returning home after any trip to greet my long held kitchen essentials, a beloved pair of shoes I couldn't take with me, my record player, and the comfort of my bed, I look out the window and miss the sky more.
Freedom is more attractive than any aesthetic.
Experience will always trump physical objects.
Living without attachment to the material world is liberating.
You don't need to sell all of your possessions or move your family into a yurt. But you can pull on your memories of adventure and your knowledge of the simple truth: it's only with very little that you can live each of your days to their fullest.