The smaller my backpack the longer and further I can go.

Minimalism 

“Love people, and use things. Because the opposite never works.”

I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have had traveling and realizing what is important to me. One of the biggest realizations (as I’m watching the documentary “The Minimalist”) is that I don’t need things. It’s one of the subjects that makes me want to scream at people, non the less my very close friends.. Because I do see the direct relation, the more things that I had, the more anxiety I felt, the less happy I was, and the more I wanted.

I think we are waking up to this minimalism idea. That big or more isn’t better. Shopping is out of control and most of the time completely unnecessary. I think we realize that a week after we bought that hello kitty sweater, that we didn’t need that. But even with that, the next week we decide that it t was really the striped sweater that we needed. (Sponge-bob “best time to wear a striped sweater” soundtrack in the background please.) I’m not even sure right now why I would need a bed. Why not just a large cushion. Or bathroom, what’s wrong with a whole in the back yard. Dinner table… can’t I eat just the same on the floor and hold my plate? 

 ” Be happy and satisfied, simply with the sensation of breathing”               

= Meditation

“I flinch when my phone vibrates, even when it doesn’t vibrate. Everywhere I look is a constant high frequency of flinches. “-ABC news guy talks about worry: “Worry can be constructive, but after the 17th time of worrying about your flight, ask yourself if it is constructive.”

Children:”Crappy toys that are gendered and violent”

-“We need to be more concerned with the materiality/usefulness of goods. Instead we live in a world which material goods are so important for their symbolic meaning. What they do to position is in the status system, based on what advertising or marketing says they’re about. “

When I’m traveling, or giving advice to travel I always have to explain that I travel differently. I don’t buy things I don’t need, I don’t spend extra on what maybe a more comfortable bus, or more spacious room. I don’t get dessert most the time, and I’m going to order the most economic plate of food I can find. Which includes going up and down local streets asking prices of “el menu de día”. I will walk everywhere I can, and wear my clothes until I can smell them, so I don’t spend too much money on laundry soap or services. I wont travel with more than I can carry, and if I want to travel further and to stranger places, that will mean an even smaller backpack, so I know I can carry it longer and further. The smaller my backpack the longer and further I can go.


“I’m just like you in a way”-Eminem

My first encounter with minimalism was when I moved into the pantry closet at my fathers house. My little brothers had grown up and had their own room. I had problems with my mother and felt I couldn’t stay there. I enjoyed that small room because I could sneak out very easily, it was small enough to hotbox when the parents were gone for the weekend, and it wasn’t any more than the space I needed.

Let’s not forget I still had too much shit in that room, and my father was constantly on my case about how the large pile of jackets and sweaters that I was hanging on the curtains was going to pull the nails out of the wall and leave holes. I got more crafty in how to organize my clothes, and realized there were things I didn’t use for months, even years. 

Like most of us I was very attached to my things and clothes. I didn’t get rid of anything, I felt it still had value therefore I kept it. One day I may need it! And sometimes, years later I would spark a liking to that sweater that’s been sitting on my curtain for 2 years, and be glad I kept it. But I spent two years constantly picking it up and re positioning it, and arguing with my father…. which adds the my conclusion that the more stuff (saved underutilized things)…most of the time just add to anxiety and displeasure. Maybe not my best example, because I did end up eventually utilizing that sweater. But really most the time I didn’t. Every time, when organizing my things I always say how I need more space for my cloths. More space for my shoes. That I don’t but some day will wear. Its something I worried about and had to deal with on an almost daily basis. Its been two years since I’ve been home and had to reorganize that pile of jackets and sweaters. Being I havent felt that unnecessary stress for so long, I think I have an idea of what I what I want to change when I come back =)