Seeing guys with houses, cars and expensive phones talk about minimalism made me laugh.
And there’s the minimalist version of my review of “Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things” already.
Seriously, though, this is an important subject wasted on a bad film. A film which is basically an advert for selling books. (Which in itself is not very minimalist, because you could get the books from the library.)
The film was short on practical advice, and it was especially short on exploring the “why?” behind minimalism. You don’t get rid of stuff to get rid of stuff. It’s not a competition and it shouldn’t be a fad. You get rid of stuff because acquiring and keeping it costs you time (by selling it to an employer or directly to customers), and you have better things to do with your time. Hopefully.
In my case, the better things to do with my time are traveling, enjoying nature, reading, studying and writing. I realize that I am extremely lucky because almost all of these things don’t cost much. Nature is free. Books are free at the library. Writing requires merely a pen and paper.
“But how can you afford to travel so much?” people always ask, because traveling is something that a great many people are keen on. And, to their surprise, minimalism is the answer! I can travel so much because I don’t own a car, because I don’t own a house, because I never bought an Apple product in my life. (I explain the connection in this article.)
People sometimes reply: “Oh no, I couldn’t live like that! I need 20 pairs of shoes, the Apple Watch, and let me buy another dress that I will never wear. After that, I will travel.” And then they wonder why they can’t afford to travel for half of the year, every year. Well, the answer is sitting right there in their bedroom, when they look at 20 pairs of shoes, of which they can’t wear 19. Most of us have only two feet, and it ain’t the number of shoes that counts, but where we walk.
Traveling, at least the way I do it, being away for months, is also a great teacher for minimalism. Everything I need has to fit in a backpack. There is no point in accumulating a lot of stuff if I won’t be home for 10 months of the year. (Actually, I don’t really have a home of my own.) The more you move, the more you realize that stuff is a burden, not an asset.
Also, for a film about minimalism, the movie was terribly long and repetitive. I stopped halfway into it. It would have been more fun to watch if they had invited me. But I am too minimalist to be crazy about marketing myself. I am just happy to sit under a tree.
And that’s one problem with minimalism and adventurism and many other worthwhile concepts: You will rarely ever hear from those who practice them well. Because those people don’t care about being on YouTube or giving TEDx talks.
- More film reviews.
- I find digital minimalism at least as important.
- How minimalism allows me to travel the world.
- Some FAQ about my traveling lifestyle, although I should probably update those again. Because every few years, my own approach changes.
- For me, there is a connection between minimalism and work, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case for everyone.
- More on money and finances and investing and all that stuff.