Tiny Thoughts on Minimal Living

What is it?

Minimalism means taking a good look at all your stuff and only keeping what actually makes you happy. Whatever doesn’t contribute to happiness is cluttering your space and your mind: give it away or toss it out. That also means taking a good look at your daily life, and only keeping actions and activities that contribute to happiness or well-being. Everything else is sucking up your energy and making you feel bad. Let it go!

Questions you always have about the nomadic lifestyle

With such a lifestyle, you still use some money, don’t you? What do you eat?

As far as food’s concerned, about half of the production in the western world is thrown away one way or another. This is completely ridiculous, and is mostly due to appaulingly strict food standards and increasingly picky people. But one thing we can do to help ourselves and the world, is to get right in between those people throwing this good food away and the dumpsters. Farms and markets are full of food waiting to be thrown away. The forest is full of food too.

But that’s just food. What about clothing and everyday necessities? What about poor countries that don’t have surplus?

Actually, just as much clothes and other items are thrown away as food. But I know that doesn’t solve everything, and you may need money to maintain your home (as minimal as it may be), buy things you don’t find in dumpsters, or just to have fun. In that case, you can find work just as you might in a stationary home, only with no rent to pay! It’s all benefit. And with no fear of getting fired, because you can so easily move on and find somewhere else. There are so many ways to work on the road. Being any kind of street artist or performer, photographer, fruit picker, writer, online freelancer, helpx-er , wwoof-er, any kind of temporary worker or volunteer. Volunteering is awesome, and don’t think you’re working for free: you’re getting food, lodging, and any everyday necessities you might need, often including visa! Basically, if you help people, they won’t want you to leave as soon as you’re out of money. They’ll do everything they can to take care of you and keep you around.

What about medical care?

Good question. For relatively small medical care like teeth, you can easily make enough money through simple jobs, like you would in a sedentary lifestyle. As for serious medical conditions or terminal diseases that require months of hospitalisation, well, I have to admit this kind of problem can’t be solved in this lifestyle any better than in a common lifestyle. But it can be solved, and the solution is much simpler than you think: all problems can be solved by embracing what is, embracing the present experience of life, without judging and comparing it to the past and future. Being sick is only a problem if you’re comparing it to the past, when you were “healthy”. Same as old age, loss of loved ones, and death. It happens to everyone, so how could it be a problem? It is intrinsically part of life.

Aren’t you bothering traffic, travelling with such a slow vehicle?

Am I bothering traffic or is the traffic bothering me? It all depends on what kind of lifestyle you support. If you support a lifestyle where productivity is more important than happiness, and big vehicles drive hours every day at high speeds to go back and forth between point A and point B, than yes, I am bothering that cycle. If you support a lifestyle where in the name of happiness, we produce less, consume less, work less, and breathe fresh air, than the hectic traffic is bothering that way of living. Imagine a village of people going around with chuckwagons and donkeys. A speeding truck crosses your peaceful village and runs over your kids. Now thats bothering from the other perspective (and it happens all the time at the Dakar Rally Raid, for example).

But you’re still not paying for the roads you use, you moocher

That’s not a question

But you’re still not paying for the roads you use, are you, you moocher?

I am using the roads made of asphalt that we dig out miles beneath the ground, and I’m not paying any taxes for them. But the only reason we need roads made of asphalt that we dig out miles beneath the ground, is to be able to drive heavy vehicles at high speeds. If people stopped taking care of the roads, they would deteriorate very fast into simple gravel roads, which is more thant good enough for walking speed, and the only maintanance needed would be the thumping of our own steps. Wait, isn’t that how we lived for thousands of years before the car came along?