We’ve been traveling for 12 days now. It all happened so fast. From six months ago when we first had this idea to become digital nomads, to now 12 days into this lifestyle, it all seems very surreal.
Since we started, we’ve been running our businesses online, sharing our travel journey with daily 1-minute vlogs, and trying our best to experience the local culture. There are a lot of challenges for sure, but I’m proud that so far we are managing it all well.
When I reflect on my personal journey so far, I noticed a few changes recently due to this unique lifestyle. One of them is my understanding of the relationship between minimalism and happiness.
I realized that I do not need a lot to be happy. Quite the opposite, I feel the happiest right now when I actually own the least I’ve ever owned in my life.
I learned this trending concept called “Minimalism” a while ago. I was trying to adopt it and doing some decluttering every once in a while. However, I was not successful until this sudden lifestyle change happened. It forced me to do a thorough decluttering and quickly get rid of as many physical possessions as I possibly can.
Leading up to our departure, I managed to sell our household belongings for a total of over $1,400 CAD, donate loads of stuff, and throw away others. What we ended up leaving behind with a friend in Canada were just two suitcases. We are only carrying with us two 40-litre backpacks and two small carry-on size luggages. The taxi driver who took us to the bus station on our day of departure was so surprised and said that “This is all you need to travel for two years?!”
I thought we would have trouble living our day-to-day life just because we do not have everything we used to have anymore. Turns out that we don’t need those things anyways. We have been living with only the essentials for 12 days now. Even though there are inconvenient moments, we always find a solution. Actually, those moments unexpectedly create opportunities for us to be creative and come up with alternative uses of things we do have. It truly is a fun process if you like problem-solving like we do 😉
Not only did I get to declutter the physical possessions I have, more importantly, but I got to clean up my mental burdens too.
Being so far away from everything I am familiar with, I am given an opportunity to just be with myself, away from all distractions and stimulus that used to require so much of my attention and energy. A distance is created both in time and in space for me to analyze all my responsibilities and worries. I then unconsciously start to reconsider if they are actually important or if they matter to me at all. For example, I used to care a lot about what other people think of me, but now it all seems very irrelevant. This natural process makes me realize just how much physical and mental “stuff” I was holding on to that had been weighing me down the whole time.
This is very good for me because I so want to let go of unnecessary or unimportant things so that I can focus more on what really makes me happy. I want more time for reading, learning, experiencing, creating, reflecting, and exploring. I want to communicate more, understand more, and feel more…
The more I declutter both physically and mentally, the more I desire a simpler life, and in turn, feel the sense of urgency to declutter even more. It’s like an “addiction”, but a healthy one!