Minimalism has become my life. And, if you want to travel, it should become yours.
It’s exactly halfway through 2014, and if I recall correctly my entire theme for the year was World Domination.
I talked about it on Facebook, Twitter, on my blog… just about everywhere, really.
Plotting for world takeover is exhausting.— Anne Dorko (@annedorko) February 5, 2014
Nobody is more surprised than myself that it’s actually turning out to be a real thing.
It started with an obsession over minimalism.
It was around the middle of 2011 that I really started getting into the idea of minimalism.
It’s been several years in the making, but I’ve finally done it. I’ve gotten down to the least possible items I can own without sacrificing what’s really important to me.
I hate stuff. I hate owning Stuff. I hate having to put all my Stuff somewhere, just so I can take it somewhere else.
This is how I feel about Stuff: No. No, no, no.
Get Stuff far away from me!
How minimalist is minimalist?
You want to know what I own? I feel like every minimalist ultimately posts The List at some point, so I might as well post mine here.
I am currently technically homeless - a recurring theme in my life - and these are the items that move around with me:
- An Eddie Bauer duffle bag
- Minimal wardrobe*
- A small towel
- Basic toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, chapstick, nail clippers, lotion, soap)
- Clippers and scissors for cutting my hair
- Backup eyewear (contacts, old glasses)
- Several books for airplane rides
- A few writing utensils
- 2 small paper journals (gifted to me for the journey)
- Portable harddrive
- USB microphone
- DSLR camera
- Travel documents
- Acoustic guitar
For those seriously curious, my wardrobe consists of:
- Two collared shirts
- About 5-6 tank tops
- About 3-4 large shirts
- A pair of knee length cargo shorts
- A pair of jeans
- Two pairs of dress pants
- One pair athletic shorts and pants (double as PJs)
- Three pairs of shoes: 1) Nice looking 2) Athletic 3) Flip flops
- A week and a half worth of underwear
- A week worth of socks
- Leather jacket
- 2 medium heavy jackets
- 2 sweatshirts (pullover and sleeveless)
- 4 ties
- 1 beanie
- 2 bandanas
- 2 belts
It’s like a breath of fresh air to be down to this few belongings. At a glance it kind of looks like a long list — but I challenge you to inventory your items and see how fast it grows.
My goal has been to be able to put everything into just one bag and leave for extended travel. The guitar goes in its own case and I carry the laptop and camera on my person but otherwise I have actually now reached my minimalism goal!
Packed away with family and friends, I have the following:
- A box of sentimental items
- An electric guitar
- A violin
Technically I also have a mattress, but I’m looking for a home for my very clean and lightly used full-sized mattress.
My other goal was to have only one box of sentimental items to leave behind. Considering I am a musician, I am allowing the exception of my extra instruments. Which means I have reached both of my minimalism goals to take for travel and to leave behind.
The world awaits me.
On June 18th 2014, I took off to travel abroad indefinitely.
So when people ask, “Where is home?” all I can ever answer is, “Right where I’m standing.”
THIS PROSPECT IS TERRIFYING.
I sold my car to do this. It’s like I neutered myself.
I got out of an apartment lease. I am saying goodbye to the life and base I worked so hard to build in Austin. Every day will be starting over again. It will be new faces, new places, new experiences.
This is also thrilling and exhilarating and I am so fortunate to be able to do it under such leisurely circumstances.
Where will I be? The first three months include Scotland, Ireland, Amsterdam, Berlin, Romania, and Budapest. After that it’s shaping up to be a good stint in Australia.
What next? What comes after? Who knows.
This is a stupid plan (…because it’s not a plan at all).
This is by no means fool proof. A lot of things are being taken care of. The rest is a big “I’ll find a way to make things work” pile of hopeful thinking.
What’s not being taken care of is any real income to speak of. Intricate technical details. Visas for Australia.
You know what is a plan?
- Publishing a memoir. Can I bank on it being successful? Hell no.
- Publishing my photography. Can I bank on it being successful? Hell no.
- Publishing my music. Can I bank on it being successful? Hell no.
None of these options are failsafe. I do have skills like web development, graphic design, and I can do these online. But can I bank on clients when I need them? Will I always have internet available to me? Will I have any kind of schedule?
So, I try not to think about any of the negative parts. I’ll keep chasing my dreams and my projects and hope that with enough attempts, something will work itself out.
My point is: Kids, don’t try this at home.
(But didn’t you know you can’t actually plan for the future anyways? It’s all guesswork.)
Sorry, I’m freaking out.
Follow my insanity on social media if you’d like.