So on Sunday, myself and one of my bestest buds are leaving the crispy cool of Australian winter in exchange for the balmy, sweaty streets of Vietnam. It will be hot. It will be chaotic. I can’t wait.
As incredibly privileged and ungrateful as it sounds, not all travel excites me in the way that it used to. Perhaps the novelty of flights and airports wears out as you age, a little bit like easter time, when you realise that there cannot possibly be a giant egg-delivering bunny that exists to bury you neck-deep in chocolate every year.
Alas, such is life.
Needless to say, I am very, very excited for this trip. Not just because I get to travel around a new and exciting country with my special friend, but because we’ll be travelling around this new and exciting country with nothing but a measly little carry on bag and some swanky sandals!
You see, my friend and I are what you may call “money savvy”. Perhaps this is a euphemism. Other adjectives may include (but are not limited to) scabby, tight, parsimonious. Whatever the word, in an attempt to stay true to our penny-pinching ways, we’ve only booked carry-on luggage for our trip.
So why does this excite me?
Well, I like the sense of forced minimalism that we’ll be experiencing. Lately I have been quite taken by the idea of having less, buying less, needing less, owning less. This has resulted in me cleaning out my cupboard multiple times and piling up the mountains of clothes I previously convinced myself I “might eventually wear”. I know I never will – wear them that is – but we seem to attach a lot of significance to our ‘stuff’, don’t you think?
But I am not my stuff, I am me. So I am letting go of clutter and ‘stuff’. I am asking myself whether I really need what I think I ‘neeeeed’. It’s wonderfully freeing actually. Matthew has something valuable to say about this: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
So you see, I’m excited to travel around for 2 weeks with just the shirt on my back. Ok, maybe I’ll pack a few shirts. And maybe even a pair of pants – luxury! But I certainly know I’ll be seeing more and worrying less without so much ‘stuff’ to distract me. Less choices = less stress. Sounds good to me! And besides, isn’t that how a lot of the world lives anyways?