I’m going to tell you a story about a couple. Two people that would probably we described as “young professionals”, just starting out on their life. They both had good jobs, and together earned enough money to be able to buy things like olives and smoked salmon without feeling guilty. They hosted parties, and when people came round they commented on the new things that had been bought for the house, how good it was looking, how lucky the couple were to have found such a lovely place to live. The thing is, they kept thinking that something was missing. That there must be something more to life.
So they’re giving up the stable life to chase their dreams. For him, moving to another country to start a business. For (yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m talking about myself) me, a new lifestyle experiment. Getting rid of anything that isn’t essential. Finding out what is essential for me by seeing what I can live without.
The biggest thing? Living without a home. I’ve decided to take a week-day let in the city in which I work, but spend the weekends as a nomad. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the incredible hospitality of my amazing friends, who as soon as we started to talk about emigrating in stages (i.e. him first, and then me to follow in a few months) came forward with offers of a place for me to live for as long as I needed.
This kind of living arrangement will mean that, practically, I will need to get rid of a lot of stuff. I’ve been reading into the benefits of minimalism for a while, so part of the reason I’m choosing to live in different places over the week is to force myself to commit to this. I’m looking forward to the freedom that being able to fit everything in the back of my car will bring me. I’m looking forward to carrying everything I own on my back when I leave the country.
At the moment, things are slowly disappearing from our home. Each day somebody who’s bought something we listed on eBay comes and takes it away. Despite being interested in minimalism, I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying seeing it all go. The house looks clean, empty and calm. I realise that we could have easily lived with far less stuff without noticing the difference.
I have about a week and a half left in this house. I feel sad but I mostly feel excited. Leaving doesn’t mean we haven’t enjoyed living here, enjoyed this live. It means that we know when to move on.