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The Hypocrisy

I feel the need to acknowledge a somewhat hypocritical aspect of this site - should I really be making product recommendations, while touting the benefits of minimalism? Can I really say I'm a minimalist when I pay $80 for a set of socks?

It's something I admittedly struggle with..

On one hand, I love the concept of minimalism and the freedom that comes with not caring about material possessions... knowing that all the important things in life - love, connection, happiness, creativity, expression, creativity, contribution, novelty, exploration, etc. are all free - they're available everyone, at all times, wherever you are in the world - there's nothing physical or material in that list.

Minimalism can serve as an incredible reminder that we already have everything we need; the basic necessities for survival are universal, and everything else is internal.

Minimalist travel is like putting your phone on airplane mode and realizing how much happier you are; it's like going for a long, solo hike and remembering that you're surrounded by beauty; it can help you recognize how lucky you are, how little some people have or how unimportant your material possessions are; it can help you notice the weight of material things, how we get emotionally tied to our stuff and how those emotional ties can wreak havoc on our minds; and it can help you identify the true value of things, what means a lot to you, what doesn't, and why.

There are many, many reasons to consider minimalist travel; but it's the philosophical concepts that are so eye-opening and, potentially, the most beneficial.

On the other hand, I'm a technology enthusiast at heart; I love the ingenuity and creativity of the human race, I love thinking up new products, designing and building things that make people's lives easier, and finding new tools or products that simplify life and travel - it's just fun.

In my post What IS Minimalist Travel, I mention that minimalism is, for me, a combination of some of the core concepts of minimalism and our inherent desire for some level of comfort, flexibility and style.

Note that I say desire and not need; there's a fine line between desire and need, and it's different for everyone. I would argue that I need my phone, and you may argue that you need five pairs of pants.. and neither of us are wrong, but my hope with this site is to help you define what's necessary for you, while sharing some of the tools, methods and mindsets that can make travel easier and more enjoyable. some options and alternatives to minimize your stuff through a mix of sacrifice, creativity and yes, occasionally, the right tools.

At the end of the day, I hope to simplify the travel experience, to make it more accessible to more people, and to show that you don't need a million things or a lot of money to enjoy traveling.

Lastly, and on one foot, I have an immense respect and appreciation for high-quality, long-lasting tools and products; they're frequently beautiful, eloquent, well-designed and simple to use; you can feel the thought, energy and time that was put into them; like an amazing piece of art.. and I like to think that high-quality, long-lasting tools are better for the environment long-term.

I have this beautiful, black leather duffel bag that was my grandfathers, passed onto my dad and then on to me when he passed, I've had to get the zippers re-stitched, but other than that, it's in great shape; I wonder how many duffel bags I'd have gone through if I didn't have this one? How much money would I have wasted trying to find one I loved? How many of those bags would be in a landfill somewhere, waiting to decompose over their 10000 year life-span?

My point is, you can be a minimalist and still appreciate and respect high-quality products, you can be a minimalist and still embrace the creativity and usefulness of a well-designed tool, and you can be a minimalist and still embrace the necessity of new technology that makes life and traveling easier.

Note: This post is a work in progress, check back later for full thoughts and sentences

"Do you see yourself using this for 10, 15 or 20 years?"

"Could you see yourself passing this down to your children, or your children's children?"

"Is it useful, beautiful or necessary?"

That's the question you should be asking yourself; whether you're cleaning out your closet or packing for a long trip; if it doesn't fall into one of those categories, donate it - and notice the weight come off your shoulders.

My grandmother was a hoarder, my mother.. a semi-hoarder.. she has thousands and thousands of pictures, antiques, trinkets and memorabilia.. and it's incredibly hard for her to part ways with certain things.

One of the most helpful things to remember in this case is to ask yourself if that cherished memory of yours.. could become a cherished memory for someone else...

If you'll never wear that shirt again, but it reminds you of your best friend... could it perhaps, someday, provide the same value to someone else?

If you'll never use that cup again, but it brings up memories of some of your favorite times at your favorite bar with your college friends, could it mean the same to someone else down the line?

(need to finish)

Okay, I've gotten off-track a bit... let's get back to the conundrum.

(need to summarize)

Ultimately, minimalism can help you recognize how little you need and how stuff can weigh you down.. but it's equally important to acknowledge and embrace the ingenuity and creativity behind the products and tools we can't live without.

Note: This post is a work in progress, check back later for full sentences and concepts


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