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Getting back to the basics...

Travel Forums Off Topic Getting back to the basics...

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1. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

...and it feels freakin' sweet. In the past three months I've sold a PSP, PS3, surround sound system, dozens of dvds, two camera lenses, an ipod, a couple of watches, and a few other things. I'm down to just owning a bed, clothes, two computers (for work), a camera, a cell phone (which I am severely down-grading in a month) and some art supplies...

Anyone else tired of all of the things life? Since being back from my travels I just kind of think "why do I have so many things? they just eat up time and complicate things? A tv? DVDs? video games? ipod? is this really me?" I mean people lived just fine before all of these things...I mean I'VE lived just fine before all these things...

I just feel like these things are holding me back from being more intimate and personable and creative.

most of my friends think I'm ridiculous... but have you ever just wanted to cut it all out and simplify your life?

I figure most of you have lived out of a bag for a good length of time so you know where I'm coming from, right? right?

2. Posted by tleb (Full Member 117 posts) 7y

When I was hell bent on being a writer I got really close to breaking out the screen of my TV and putting a plant or something into it. I didn't watch it much, but it was easier to blame an inanimate distraction than myself.

About 2 years ago my lady and I sold everything we had except for what we could fit in the trunk and back seat of a sunfire, then we moved to a trailer (that hadn't been moved in seven years)in the Rocky mountains. Our only running water that summer came from a hose hooked up to a neighbors house about 400m away (which was coming from up mountain and was about 200psi. We used an out house and shower bags. It was a good experience. I could probably live that way year round in the right climate.

Now, we are both in the property management business (From thread bare jeans and hemp based clothes, food and pastimes to clean clothes and company policy) and have saved like nuts to get the hell outta here for a while. We have also started accumulating stuff. I fear we are going to be like consumer bulimics. Binge and purge, binge and purge.

Yeah I know where you are coming from. I think most people would feel better if they also felt the sam way.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 7y

Quoting Cool Paul

but have you ever just wanted to cut it all out and simplify your life?

I figure most of you have lived out of a bag for a good length of time so you know where I'm coming from, right? right?

(Strangely enough (?)) I have never had the desire to do away with all my worldly possessions. I love having a wall of my favorite books, an endless line of CDs (many of both signed by the author or artist) and a comfortable home to be able to return to.
I can and do live without it all for long periods at a time, though, and don't miss them for a bit. A book and a cup of tea is all that's needed to make me feel at home somewhere. Years could pass me by without giving these things a second thought. And yet then I return home, and they're like a warm and welcome blanket wrapped around me. Sometimes I feel like I'm two completely distinct people (one materialistic one (a veritable "thingist"!) at home, one carefree and wild while on the road) because of this; but they're integrated enough, so I guess I shan't worry. :)

I do know other people who've had that exact same desire though, and done it too. The story of Issa (formerly Jane Siberry) might resonate with you. Back in 2006, she sold her house, her clothes, everything that didn't fit into a knapsack, and has been making her way around the world ever since. Of course, it helps that she's a moderately successful artist (one of the most original ones out there, constantly reinventing herself, with a small but devoted fanbase), but she's the genuine article all the same.

4. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 7y

I know how you feel Cool Paul,

I've managed to do away with the TV and cancelled my cell phone, but now I'm finding that I've just replaced it with my computer monitor. I really would like to just do away with it all, and as you say just have your bed, clothes, and a few other things. I find that it's almost socially unacceptable to do this though.

People say to me "Just text me when you want to meet up." Then I have to reply, "I don't have a cell phone." They look at me for a second and say "...oh." As if I"m the only person in the world. Ha!

I think you are bang on when you say, "I just feel like these things are holding me back from being more intimate and personable and creative." It's absolutely true.

5. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

I told my friends recently to stop texting me and to just call me...apparently that means to just stop contacting me. Seems like people just want as little human interaction as possible. I don't get it, 3 years ago, everybody I knew never texted anyone. Now those same people can't live without it and not only that.... they gladly pay a monthly bill because of it.

then they complain that health insurance cost too much...

6. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 7y

I couldn't live without my mobile phone or iPod.

And as much as I like games, I can't think of anything worse than having wires all over the place between PSPs and the TV, etc.

7. Posted by tleb (Full Member 117 posts) 7y

I never did get another cell phone after I got rid of the last one. Between my work voicemail, my home voicemail, and my email accounts, if someone needs to get in touch with me, it's pretty easy.

8. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 7y

i agree with you Paul about "stuff" holding us back. i've only been a cell phone owner for the past 2 1/2 years (we finally had to get them since we work for ourselves). Music is part of my soul, so I couldn't sell my ipod, but I did get rid of my stereo and now use ipod speakers. when we bought our first house, we moved from a larger apartment down to a smaller house, so we got rid of a lot of stuff then.

Now, I am in the middle of another binge. so i'm trying to get rid of anything that i doesn't hold a utilitarian purpose, emotional connotation, or hold aesthetic value. I am letting go of a lot of sentimental crap that i don't need. I want our home/possessions to reflect who we are from the inside out. (my husband and i have very different views of this. he would get rid of everything but his tools and direct tv.) The funny thing is though, I have thousands of photographs that are just sitting in boxes. I have been tossing the shitty ones...why did i ever waste film on that? and I hope that I can find the time to edit the ones on my hard drive!

But I am like Sander, in that I love my home, my books, and my tea!. I love having a nest to return to after having been abroad. My garden is a joy to me in the summers, and provides me with an outlet for creativity and a haven from stress when I am working my busiest season. So I don't want to shed everything I have, but instead, want to keep it simple.

9. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

I'll admit I kind of do miss the iPod, but, I made it through the first 22 years of my life without having my entire music collection available to me at any given moment. so in theory I should be able to go back to that way of living....hopefully

I guess I just want to get back to where I was when I was 10. when nothing but drawing and art mattered to me. I used to be able to just sit down and draw all day long. somewhere along the line I got distracted by gadgets and owning nice things that were supposed to make life more convenient but in reality they did nothing but congest it.

10. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 7y

I guess I am a bit of the 'in between' persons myself.
When I am travelling I just love to have everything in my backpack and nothing more than that. I just feels great and I am totally not missing anything at all, except those fat snacks of home
I have a cell phone, but only because I drive 150 k a day, so if the car breaks down, I can call someone. Otherwise, it's off all the time. I don't have a dvd, i-phone or whatever, heck even no flat screen but a 20 year old tv without text!
We have a nice house but I couldn't care less about spending too much money on furniture etc. Most of my clothes are cheap and are bought by my girlfriend anyway, because I can't spend my money on it. Hey, if there are no holes in it, they are ok....aren't they;)
Oddly enough I do like cars, but I haven't got the money to buy a real nice that I like.
I tend to spend more money on 'experiences' and as I call it 'non-touchable' products like travelling, food (ok, touchable, but just briefly), drinks (the same, even more briefly) etc.
But my travel books and camera mean a lot to me, and so does my 'touchable' girlfriend