Let me start off by saying that I in no way claim to be a minimalist. I am not, but after many years of living out of a backpack, I have adopted a minimalistic lifestyle which I have found to have many many benefits.
When I was in year 12 I was constantly shopping and buying new clothes and accessories. Having the latest and greatest of things was important to me because I felt I needed to keep up with the trends and impress my friends. Wearing the same outfit to a party twice, that was just totally unacceptable. Nowadays, this kind of thinking just makes me laugh. I spent the better half of 2014 road tripping the west coast of America, backpacking through South and Central America and camping across national parks in Canada. When I left to South America, I took 1 backpack with me – weighting a total of 14kg. This was all I had with me for 6 months, and it was all I needed. (see my guide to packing for South America).
It really taught me that we don’t need a lot to get by. We may want 1000000 things, but none of these are necessities.
Having moved overseas three times now and with plans to do so in the future, I know that things I buy will end up at the op shop. So I simply just don’t buy things.
Having this kind of mindset has meant that I have been able to travel the world for 2 and half years, so far. I have always worked along the way to help me out, but being able to save the money in the first place has been a result of not buying new things. I don’t buy new clothes every week, I don’t upgrade technology every time a new release comes out and I don’t buy things I don’t need. I only ever go to the shops when I need something.
I hear people say all the time that they want to travel yet spend thousands of dollars on new clothes and technology. This leaves money for travel sitting in your cupboard. I personally think of things I buy as money going into the bin, because when I pack up and leave next time I won’t be able to take them with me. And I have travelled enough to know the benefits of packing lights.
These are the reasons that I avoid the shops and stick with a minimalistic approach to life. Doing so has literally changed my life.