All that stuff.

Reading time ~ 4 minutes

When you travel, you put everything you need for the time in your suitcase or backpack. Depending on where you are going and what you think you need, the luggage varies from a small bag to an overweight suitcase you can’t handle on your own.

Most of the time you don’t have to carefully consider different things, you just pack all your pretty stuff for your 2-week all-inclusive trip. But if you decide to become a digital nomad, you get another perspective. Suddenly everything has to fit into your luggage. And I mean everything. Of course, there are different types of nomads. Some still have an apartment, a home base somewhere in the world; others have a room at their parents’ place. But if you are like me, then everything you own is in your backpack.

That means that I don’t own a lot of stuff. So do most nomads. And let me tell you (if you don’t already know) it’s an awesome feeling. But getting there isn’t as easy as it sounds.

When I started to sell all my stuff and to decide what to bring with me, it sometimes felt like a roller coaster. Consciously you know that you don’t need the candlestick or the second pair of jeans or the comfy pillow on your pretty sofa. And you know that someone else can find value in it. And that there is no reason to store stuff when you don’t know if and where you could need it again.

So step by step you get rid of all of it. Your furniture, your decorations, your shoes, your clothes and all the other stuff that you didn’t really know you had. And let me tell you, it is a lot of stuff. And it is a lot of work to get rid of it. You sell some things, you donate stuff, and you throw things away. And believe me, it feels so good. Everything you remove physically makes you lighter inside. Makes you feel more free, more independent, more ready to move on.

And yes, it keeps feeling kind of wired to own almost nothing. You don’t just walk into a shop and get a new t-shirt every week or buy all the pretty things you see on a local market. No, because everything has to fit into your backpack. Everything you own is something special, something important, something necessary that brings you value. Ok, some things do bring you joy too, but mostly it is about the things that you actually need and not the things you think you need.

And so, without knowing it, you become a minimalist. You reduce what you have, what you thought you needed to a minimum. You understand that it is more important to own the right things, to look for quality instead of quantity. You examine everything to its core. Do I need this? Do I really need this? Is it worth to bring this item with me everywhere I go? How can I improve it? And so you go on and optimise your luggage, the items you carry around with you.

But don’t stop there. Don’t just concentrate on the stuff you can see. Why not use it on every aspect of your life? Search for quality. Rethink what you do and why you do it. Question your routines, your work, your relationships. Don’t keep gathering stuff you don’t need. Decide consciously what adds value to your live, what makes you happy, what brings you joy. And be able to let go of things that don’t.

And so, step by step you don’t only optimise the things you carry in your backpack, you also start to make your life better. You free yourself from things that make you miserable and unhappy. And by doing so you can find and uncover the things you really want, you really need. The things that truly can make you happy. That add value to your life.