Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cuz it's the...bare necessities...

After about a week of living in my own place I've come to discover that when you live a minimalist lifestyle, objects that you don't have often just happen to come your way.

I just moved into my own place with no bed, sheets, lighting, or anything. Instead of panicking and heading straight for the nearest Target to buy brand new stuff, I decided I'd see if I could get the objects I needed elsewhere. Except for the air mattress I bought in a moment of weakness.

Lo and behold I came across some lamps that were in a free bin on a street corner I found through Craigslist. Then I learned that the previous tenant, instead of taking the mattress with her when she left, had instead left it in a storage closet in the basement! After that I also happened upon some blankets and even some posters and furniture to put in my room. Even breakfast was offered to me by my wonderful housemates!

All this made me think about the mindset that we have when we decide to pack for our travels. Often we tell ourselves that we might need this and we might need that and at the end of the trip we realize we could have cut out at least half of the “fat” we carried around.

Instead of packing what you think you might need, just pack what you know you will need. Clothes, food/water, first aid kits, etc. are necessities, but carrying around that tape player just because you may come across some tapes somewhere isn't. I know you may think you're the only person out there who doesn't do this, but trust me: you do. We all do.

If you actually end up needing something on a trip, you'll find a way to compensate. Keep your eyes and ears open and something is bound to come up. You could either borrow or buy it from someone, or you'll gain the incredibly useful skill of improvising with what you already have! More importantly, though, it's a far more rewarding experience to bring just the bare necessities and adapt to the world around you.

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