I share the common romantic notion that one day I’ll just pack my two suitcases and go live anywhere I want to. The practical effect of this pipe dream is that I now have a simple way to narrow down my life essentials. If and when I am ready to pack up and go, will this go into my two suitcases?
What are your life essentials?
I found it easy to pick out my true life essentials. My journal and fountain pen were always the first items to come to mind. I could live on borrowed clothes and beg for food, but without a journal to pen my thoughts I would probably lose my sense of self.
It was also easy to know which items I would not take along. Most of my clothes and shoes, all the furniture, and painfully but necessarily most of my books. This has helped me to stop accumulating these things. They can’t be that important and worth my money if they will be left behind without a second thought.
Then there are the useless but sentimental items in the grey area. Soft toys, fridge magnets and personal letters. These serve no purpose except to remind me of the people and places I love. Surely I can hold them in my heart without the need for external reminders? Yet it’s hard to let go of these irreplaceable mementoes.
I have no intention of packing my bags for good soon. Yet I’ve adopted this little exercise in life essentials to help me live simply. I’ve started buying less stuff because I can’t fit a lot into two suitcases. I’ve also started buying better quality, since whatever I do take with me has to withstand the hard knocks of being on the road all the time.
This is a different variation of the three times as good, one-third as much approach I wrote about before to increase our quality of life. I’m having great fun with my “two suitcases” mentality and thought I’d share it in case someone else finds it a useful practical guide.
A nice side effect of this way of living is that I have become more generous. I find it much easier to give away stuff. Since I know it’s not going to fit into those suitcases anyway, if someone else likes it I’ll just say “take it”.
If you’re much more serious about living around the world, check out the Location Independent website.