I have never called myself a minimalist, but the topic was raised not long back about digital nomads and long term travellers leading minimalistic lives.
Why Could I be Considering Myself a Minimalist?
- I do tend to own very few things
Not as a rule, or even a conscious thought to do so. I naturally end up owning less stuff than most people for two reasons; I generally get more stressed out when my cupboards and wardrobe are full of things. I do not enjoying shopping and only shop when I need something replaced.
- I only ever carry around with me my 15kg of personal belongings
This is purely situational. I managed to pack everything into my bag which at first weighed around 17kg/18kg. After considering all the $100s of extra baggage charges that would accumulate after some years of travelling, I decided to take a few things out.
- I usually live in rooms which have white or plain walls and with no decoration
This is partly because now I move house on average every six weeks and see no point in decorating, but thinking back, I have always lived like this. The clean walls somehow clear my mind and enable much more free, creative thinking.
- I believe in working smarter, not longer
Over said by some perhaps, but this is something I have always preferred. I would much rather concentrate on what is neccessary and do it to the best of my ability than juggle and spend my life being busy.
- The music I mostly listen to is very err… uncluttered
Not that I even notice until I hear somebody else’s music recommendations. On listening, my first thought is usually “Wow, that is a lot of sound!”
- I have always seen busy-ness as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of achieving
As opposed to the traditional view that if you are not constantly busy, then you are not putting enough effort into something. I have always seen busy-ness as a signal that there is something wrong. Is there not somebody else who could help you?
- On our websites and blogs, I prefer an uncluttered, clear and easy to digest design (which, yes, some like to call a minimal design)
This is just my preference mixed with a bit of visual ergonomics.
- I tend to wear lots of plain white t-shirts
What can I say? I spend a lot of my time in hot climates and being from England, this makes me sweat quite a lot. Wearing colours only makes this more obvious to people in my presence. I don’t really have a choice. I’m not sure if it helps my case at all, but when I’m at home I’m always topless.
You’re Obviously a Minimalist Dave, You Have Ticked Every Box!
I cannot argue that I have many similarities with individuals who call themselves minimalists and who swear by it. I am sure many travellers and digital nomads would have a similar list.
The difference is, this type of minimalism is purely accidental.
I make no decisions based on the concept of minimalism.
I didn’t choose my minimalistic design on this website because it was minimal. I chose it because it was easier to read, there is much more focus on the content and because it looks clearer on different mobile devices.
I didn’t choose to not to have a wardrobe full of clothes because it was cool and minimalistic to do so. I genuinely hate shopping and try to avoid it if possible. This also makes it easy for nearly all my belongings to fit nicely into a relatively small bag.
Am I a Minimalist?
I can see how some would consider me to be a minimalist, but only in relation how they live their lives.
I probably own and spend much less than they do and the fact that I have the design and musical preferences the way I do is just the icing on the cake for their side of the debate.
Personally though, I think no. Usually I don’t give minimalism a second thought. How can I belong to a belief or a way of life which I don’t even think about?
My conclusion is that to be an [anything]-ist is all a bit silly. You may have a few characteristics which are similar to other people, but it never should be a reason to blindly stick to a certain way of life. You should be free to break rules, even if they are rules you somehow have given yourself to live by.
How About You?
Are you a traveller? Do you consider yourself a minimalist?