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Feeling Light: The Benefits of Owning Very Few Material Possessions As a Nomadic Traveler

At the time of writing this blog post, I am sitting in a beautiful cafe (The Hideout Cafe) in Da Nang, Vietnam. I just had a very strong coffee that is knocking me off my feet. Around me sit other digital nomads, who are also working on their computers. I wonder if they have a similar story - leaving their home, traveling from here to there, enjoying the sights around, and not having a place they truly call "home."

The older I get, the less physical items I own. And also the less I spend, as I have chosen to live in cheap countries. From a closet full of clothes and shoes, bookshelves of knick-knacks, bags of jewelry and makeup, multiples of the same item, to just a few suitcases of all of my belongings, I feel so much better than ever before.

It was difficult initially to get rid of so much - how to choose what to bring with me abroad and what to donate? How to look pretty in just a few outfits? How to adapt to different circumstances with so little?

I came to find out that very little is truly needed to survive and thrive - a purpose in life, food on the table, a few people around us we feel supported by, a few pairs of comfortable outfits, a bed to sleep on, and self-love.

I learned to love my face without makeup on it. I gave away almost all of my jewelry in an Indian village that I just came from, feeling happy with just the rings on my fingers. I wear my pajamas out sometimes when all my other clothes are in the laundry. One purse fits all occasions. No more conditioner for my hair, only shampoo.

The better I feel about myself, the fewer physical items I rely on. I have come to rely more on my personality to shine.

Psychologically, I also feel much lighter without having so many items around me. It's like I feel more self-confident because I don't need as much around me, while I also don't need as much because I feel more self-confident. It's a nice cycle that fuels itself. With each item that I leave behind, give away, or decide not to buy, it feels like my inner "body" sheds some weight!

Having fewer items truly helps me connect to deeper parts of myself and feel more genuine, longer-lasting happiness. Like abstaining from sugar for a while before having a nice treat again - the dopamine release is much stronger and more rewarding!

Here are some of the major benefits of living light and minimally:

  1. Reduced Stress: Living lightly and minimally can alleviate the stress associated with clutter and excess possessions, promoting a sense of calm and tranquility in your living space.

  2. Increased Focus: Owning fewer material items allows for greater mental clarity and focus, as there are fewer distractions competing for your attention.

  3. Fewer ties to one place of residence: A minimalist lifestyle makes it much easier to move around and follow our heart's calling.

  4. Improved Decision-Making: With fewer material possessions to manage, decision-making becomes simpler and more streamlined, leading to greater efficiency and productivity in daily life.

  5. Heightened Emotional Well-being: Letting go of attachment to material possessions fosters a deeper sense of contentment and fulfillment, promoting overall emotional well-being and happiness.

  6. Greater Freedom: Living lightly and minimally frees you from the burden of excessive consumerism and materialism, allowing you to prioritize experiences and relationships over material goods.

  7. Enhanced Gratitude: Simplifying your life and owning fewer possessions cultivates a greater appreciation for the things you do have, fostering a mindset of gratitude and abundance.

  8. Increased Self-Awareness: Minimalism encourages introspection and self-reflection, leading to a deeper understanding of your values, priorities, and goals in life.

  9. Reduced Environmental Impact: By consuming less and owning fewer material items, you can minimize your environmental footprint and contribute to sustainable living practices.

  10. Enhanced Quality of Life: Living lightly and minimally can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling existence, as it allows you to focus on what truly matters and prioritize experiences, relationships, and personal growth over material possessions.


XOXO, Bobo


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