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Ultralight
8-31-15, 1:04pm
As I mentioned in some other threads today, I took a trip to Aruba for a week and a half of beaches and such. During this time I was living most simply! I took only one backpack, and it was just a bookbag, like you take to high school. I left my laptop in Ohio.

This was reinvigorating to me and gave me some new doses of simplicity inspiration. :)

Anyone else do things from time to time to get them back in the swing of simple things? Big ideas? Small ideas? And maybe more importantly... ideas for keeping the momentum?

bae
8-31-15, 3:10pm
I go on 1-3 week wilderness trips with some frequency, with nothing more than I can carry. It's usually quite educational.

I really enjoyed a wilderness medical class last year, where they dumped the whole class off in a remote island spot for 10 days so we could learn and practice in a more realistic setting, as a good portion of the class was devoted to "keeping the patient alive and comfortable in remote locations with no stuff."

I'm currently doing some trip planning to see if I can make it upside the Inside Passage from here to Alaska in a 15 foot skiff, which will involve several bags of gear, but not much compared to the Luxury Cruise Ship approach :-)

razz
8-31-15, 3:18pm
The last few times that I have travelled , i take a small carryon and that is it. If it won't fit in this carryon, it doesn't go. Amazing how little one really needs. Saves a lot of decision-making on souvenir type of purchase as well. There is no room! Amazing how that helps. Now I have a refurbished iPhone to take photos, keep records and for any emergency that might arise with contact info.

Ultralight
8-31-15, 3:21pm
Razz:

That is a great point about the lack of room for souvenirs! haha

kib
8-31-15, 5:05pm
I like the concept of starting with the small bag, rather than starting with the pile of stuff and then finding the smallest bag it fits in. I have a big carry on / small suitcase, and even though I probably only need to fill it up halfway, why would I do that, so along comes the extra sweater, pants, an umbrella, dancing shoes (if you knew me you'd be snickering) and before I know it, I'm dividing things into whether they should be in the suitcase or thecarry on tote bag ... or the purse. or the fanny pack. As I'm also one of those people who appears to be juggling elephants if I'm carrying more than two items, this really isn't a useful approach.

... at the moment I'm eyeing a tote from the Smithsonian hanging by the door and trying to imagine what life would be like if I just brought That on this upcoming three week trip. Wow.

mschrisgo2
9-1-15, 2:05am
I LOVE OBL!!!

Ultralight
9-1-15, 8:30am
I LOVE OBL!!!

Details please. :)

catherine
9-1-15, 8:52am
One of the reasons I love to travel is OBL. You realize you have everything you need, which isn't much.

My son did some acting as a child, and for his first movie shoot, we were called out to the set in the Midwest about 2 weeks earlier than was the original plan. They called us the night before with a next-day ticket, and we were to be gone for almost 3 months. So I just grabbed my one medium Samsonite suitcase and packed, not only for me, but for my two small children (ages 5-6). I told my DH that I'd call him and tell him what else to pack and send later.

Well, I never made that particular phone call. Three of us lived fine for 3 months out of one medium suitcase. It was great. Unfortunately, I never acted on the learnings from that lesson when I got home, despite my good intentions to do so.

Ultralight
9-1-15, 8:54am
One of the reasons I love to travel is OBL. You realize you have everything you need, which isn't much.

My son did some acting as a child, and for his first movie shoot, we were called out to the set in the Midwest about 2 weeks earlier than was the original plan. They called us the night before with a next-day ticket, and we were to be gone for almost 3 months. So I just grabbed my one medium Samsonite suitcase and packed, not only for me, but for my two small children (ages 5-6). I told my DH that I'd call him and tell him what else to pack and send later.

Well, I never made that particular phone call. Three of us lived fine for 3 months out of one medium suitcase. It was great. Unfortunately, I never acted on the learnings from that lesson when I got home, despite my good intentions to do so.

Illuminating story! 3 months is a good long time too.

Float On
9-1-15, 11:02am
I've done 3 months in a large back pack.
When we traveled 42 weekends a year we had it down to a science of exactly what we needed to pack for road/set-up, show, and dinner out.

I love watching the "packing a suitcase for travel" tips on youtube.

SOS
9-2-15, 11:08am
Ha, I lived out of my backpack for 4 years when I was in the army. Not all the time, luckily, but every ounce counted so you get to being a minimalist real quick.

And Bae, I was on a cruise ship on the Inside Passage. Following the fjords in a skiff -> awesome!

Geila
9-2-15, 6:31pm
Years ago DH and I spent a month traveling in Europe with nothing but a regular school backpack each. And this was in the spring, when rain and cold have to be considered. We loved it and have never felt the need to pack anything more than that on any other trip since. It's quite liberating to travel lightly. Glad you enjoyed your unencumbered journey! :)

mschrisgo2
9-3-15, 2:18am
http://www.simplelivingforum.net/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by mschrisgo2 http://www.simplelivingforum.net/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://www.simplelivingforum.net/showthread.php?p=212402#post212402)
I LOVE OBL!!!
Details please. :)

Yes, well, OBL on vacations, even extended vacations of several weeks, is what started me on my way to majorly simplifying my life, i.e. getting rid of "stuff." To date this year I have recycled in one form or another 836 "things." And actually, some of those were whole sacks of paper, either shredded or just recycled, as well as many, many other things. Honestly, I have to look back at the lists I've entered here to remember any specific things; I remember categories, but not the specific items. So obviously, I did not Need them, not at all!

freshstart
9-3-15, 2:31am
I'm starting to wonder if I'm just a frugal person who practices some simplicity but no where near what many of you do. Because OBL on some trips would be fine but going into the wilderness with only what you can carry does not appeal to me at all. I used to camp, I've gotten soft. When I finally feel better, I am planning a major purge but I will keep creature comforts I use, I paid for and enjoy them. I don't think to be simple I have to give up say, my beloved tivo, bought at a steal and paid for. But serious simplicity folks don't even have tvs. My goal is to live more simply but not as extreme as I could make it. Sigh, time to read Affluenza again.

Miss Cellane
9-3-15, 10:22am
I'm starting to wonder if I'm just a frugal person who practices some simplicity but no where near what many of you do. Because OBL on some trips would be fine but going into the wilderness with only what you can carry does not appeal to me at all. I used to camp, I've gotten soft. When I finally feel better, I am planning a major purge but I will keep creature comforts I use, I paid for and enjoy them. I don't think to be simple I have to give up say, my beloved tivo, bought at a steal and paid for. But serious simplicity folks don't even have tvs. My goal is to live more simply but not as extreme as I could make it. Sigh, time to read Affluenza again.

Freshstart--there's no goal post here, no finish line set in concrete. There's no rule book. Simple living can mean what you want it to mean.

Certainly, if you compare yourself to some of the posters here, it may seem that you have a long way to go. But instead, try comparing where you are now to where you were last year, five years ago, ten years ago. Compare yourself to friends and family, to co-workers. You are probably living a very different life than 90% of people in the US.

I am in no way a minimalist, but I don't think you have to be a minimalist to live a simple life. I love my books. Over the past few years, I have down-sized the book collection by over 1,000 volumes, because I grew to realize that storing and moving that many books was causing me problems. But I still have a lot of books.

Those teeny-tiny houses people gush over? I'd get claustrophobia in them on a rainy day. Or a snowy day. Or any day the weather caused me to have to stay inside. I have no idea how anyone would make the bed when the mattress is on the floor and the ceiling is three feet over your head and there's no room to move around the bed. And I like to make my bed, so for me, that's a problem. Where on earth do the people living in those tiny spaces store Christmas ornaments, winter boots, a broom or a vacuum, a tennis racket or skis, extra toilet paper?

Moderation in everything.

Ultralight
9-3-15, 10:23am
http://www.simplelivingforum.net/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by mschrisgo2 http://www.simplelivingforum.net/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://www.simplelivingforum.net/showthread.php?p=212402#post212402)
I LOVE OBL!!!
Details please. :)

Yes, well, OBL on vacations, even extended vacations of several weeks, is what started me on my way to majorly simplifying my life, i.e. getting rid of "stuff." To date this year I have recycled in one form or another 836 "things." And actually, some of those were whole sacks of paper, either shredded or just recycled, as well as many, many other things. Honestly, I have to look back at the lists I've entered here to remember any specific things; I remember categories, but not the specific items. So obviously, I did not Need them, not at all!

836 things! That is awesome! Congrats. :)

Ultralight
9-3-15, 10:29am
I'm starting to wonder if I'm just a frugal person who practices some simplicity but no where near what many of you do. Because OBL on some trips would be fine but going into the wilderness with only what you can carry does not appeal to me at all. I used to camp, I've gotten soft. When I finally feel better, I am planning a major purge but I will keep creature comforts I use, I paid for and enjoy them. I don't think to be simple I have to give up say, my beloved tivo, bought at a steal and paid for. But serious simplicity folks don't even have tvs. My goal is to live more simply but not as extreme as I could make it. Sigh, time to read Affluenza again.

Simplicity looks different to every SLer from what I can tell. Now there are obviously people who are not SLers and they will tell/show you so. And there are probably people who want to be SLers, or are in spirit, but they just can't make it a reality for some reason.

But I really think the choices you make about donating, tossing, selling, not buying, keeping, etc. are yours to make. I also think it is worthwhile to consider where a person starts from. If you lived the past ten years in a 5,000 sq. ft. house with a helicopter pad, and six tennis courts and you downsize to a 2,000 sq. ft. condo and drive a Toyota instead of flying that helicopter, then I would say you have become a SLer. Of course, I'd be rooting for you to take it further! ;)

But do you see what I mean? I own a car. I want to go car-free some day. But just because I still own the car does not mean I am not an SLer. And when I get rid of the car and ride my bike, I could go even simpler and just hoof it. But I highly doubt I would go to that level.

kib
9-3-15, 12:50pm
To me, it's about finding that 'enough point'. What's enough for me may not be enough for you, and vice versa. From what I can tell, Bae has lots of stuff, but he seems to have surrounded himself with the things that are truly useful and satisfy his particular needs, and is very aware of what he may require in a particular situation, and what he can do without.

I went without tv because I found it cluttered my mind. But I kept movies, and watched documentaries online, and posted on various forums. If I had just been indiscriminately discarding all media input as unworthy of a simple life, I think I'd have felt holier-than-thou and cleansed ... but in the end pretty damn bored and disconnected. Too much / not enough.

What I am fond of is pushing one's own envelope in search of that balance. Put a cover on the tv for a week, or box up the clothes I haven't worn in a while, or eliminate most carbs from my diet. What happens? How do I feel? Is it an improvement or a death march? Exploring is much more fun without a list of Shoulds. :)

Ultralight
9-3-15, 12:52pm
To me, it's about finding that 'enough point'. What's enough for me may not be enough for you, and vice versa. From what I can tell, Bae has lots of stuff, but he seems to have surrounded himself with the things that are truly useful and satisfy his particular needs, and is very aware of what he may require in a particular situation, and what he can do without.

I went without tv because I found it cluttered my mind. But I kept movies, and watched documentaries online, and posted on various forums. If I had just been indiscriminately discarding all media input as unworthy of a simple life, I think I'd have felt holier-than-thou and cleansed ... but in the end pretty damn bored and disconnected. Too much / not enough.

What I am fond of is pushing one's own envelope in search of that balance. Put a cover on the tv for a week, or boxing up the clothes I haven't worn in a while, or eliminating carbs from my diet. What happens? How do I feel? Is it an improvement or a death march? Exploring is much more fun without a list of Shoulds. :)

kib:

You are really after my own heart! haha

I engage in lifestyle experiments too, from the large to the miniature. But I always learn something and take that lesson into my life as a whole. It informs me on what I want or don't want. Powerful stuff, I think.

freshstart
9-3-15, 1:25pm
. But instead, try comparing where you are now to where you were last year, five years ago, ten years ago. Compare yourself to friends and family, to co-workers. You are probably living a very different life than 90% of people in the US.

I am in no way a minimalist, but I don't think you have to be a minimalist to live a simple life.

Moderation in everything.

thank you for this! very true

Ultralight
9-3-15, 1:32pm
I will periodically jot down on a sheet of paper the ways I have simplified my life and how these things have given me more joy or reduced stress or given me more time with Harlan. This helps me to keep my perspective when I think I am moving too slow or getting down on myself about having 158 things instead of the mythical 100 or how I still drive a car and such.

It is good to recount your victories from time to time; breath easy and enjoy the moment. Then when you get back to simplifying more, if you want, you might find yourself re-inspired! :)

freshstart
9-3-15, 2:04pm
It is good to recount your victories from time to time; breath easy and enjoy the moment. Then when you get back to simplifying more, if you want, you might find yourself re-inspired! :)

more good advice, thanks!

the funny thing is becoming ill has in some ways simplified my life. I cannot drive. I basically only leave the house for medical reasons. I'm not spending much money because I am not out and about and tempted to spend. I am no longer wasting time on people who just bring me down because they won't be hurt if I say, "can't see you today, it's a bad day." I rarely use FB because I just cannot keep up and just use it to get messages from friends and message them back. Last month, after an MD appt, I went into a discount store to get a trash can, I realized that was my first shopping trip since January! I spent $7, lol. I am living on so much less, but I need less so it's balancing out ok-ish. I cannot put money in retirement vehicles anymore and that feels so wrong after so many years of doing that. And I should not be doing that anyway, I need a big EF for possible high medical bills. I am accepting help with some costs from my parents, like some groceries. After a few trips, I give my cc to my dad and tell him it's my turn to pay. I don't like that, I hate accepting help but they can do it and want to. I don't have to buy work clothes, don't even know office politics anymore. I miss the actual work, but I'll find something to do to serve once I get better.

It is very strange that dealing with 2 medically complex things that have completely changed my life and not for the better, I can see ways in which dealing with this has changed who I am and that might not be a bad thing

Ultralight
9-3-15, 2:28pm
more good advice, thanks!

the funny thing is becoming ill has in some ways simplified my life. I cannot drive. I basically only leave the house for medical reasons. I'm not spending much money because I am not out and about and tempted to spend. I am no longer wasting time on people who just bring me down because they won't be hurt if I say, "can't see you today, it's a bad day." I rarely use FB because I just cannot keep up and just use it to get messages from friends and message them back. Last month, after an MD appt, I went into a discount store to get a trash can, I realized that was my first shopping trip since January! I spent $7, lol. I am living on so much less, but I need less so it's balancing out ok-ish. I cannot put money in retirement vehicles anymore and that feels so wrong after so many years of doing that. And I should not be doing that anyway, I need a big EF for possible high medical bills. I am accepting help with some costs from my parents, like some groceries. After a few trips, I give my cc to my dad and tell him it's my turn to pay. I don't like that, I hate accepting help but they can do it and want to. I don't have to buy work clothes, don't even know office politics anymore. I miss the actual work, but I'll find something to do to serve once I get better.

It is very strange that dealing with 2 medically complex things that have completely changed my life and not for the better, I can see ways in which dealing with this has changed who I am and that might not be a bad thing

Sincerely I hope you can get well.

Someone once said "life is a series of meaningless tragedy and near escapes."

I hope this all can be a near escape for you eventually.

Teacher Terry
9-3-15, 2:41pm
I really hope you are able to get better too & find a new purpose for your life. One of the hardest things to deal with is the loss of a career we love & our physical abilities.

freshstart
9-3-15, 5:18pm
thank you both. It's getting a little easier on the career front because I can acknowledge 100% that I cannot begin to do my job. There's no more questioning on my part, I've stopped irritating my doctors by asking when they think I can go back, my primary is very blunt and kept repeating, "never, get SSDI" and 9 months later, I finally believed I would not be going back in "one more month" and I applied for SSDI. In a way, she pushed me into reality, and I am no longer pushing so hard to go back. Letting go of that pressure was a huge relief. I miss it, but I'm realistic-ish now.

I also tend to ramble and get way off topic, kind of like now! sorry!

Ultralight
9-3-15, 5:21pm
thank you both. It's getting a little easier on the career front because I can acknowledge 100% that I cannot begin to do my job. There's no more questioning on my part, I've stopped irritating my doctors by asking when they think I can go back, my primary is very blunt and kept repeating, "never, get SSDI" and 9 months later, I finally believed I would not be going back in "one more month" and I applied for SSDI. In a way, she pushed me into reality, and I am no longer pushing so hard to go back. Letting go of that pressure was a huge relief. I miss it, but I'm realistic-ish now.

I also tend to ramble and get way off topic, kind of like now! sorry!

Letting go of some things can be an amazing relief.

shadowmoss
9-3-15, 9:40pm
Here is the blog from a few years ago where a backing travel writer took the challenge from Scottevest (who makes multiple -pocket travel clothing) to travel around the world with only what fit in the pockets of his Scottevest clothing. The guy is entertaining, and the blog was fun to follow. So, not even one bag!

http://www.rtwblog.com/

Chicken lady
9-13-15, 6:13pm
Went to visit dd for the weekend. Took one bag - change of t-shirt and underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair clip, hairbrush, essential cards (credit, ID...) phone, iPad and chargers, pack of gum, notebook, pen, two pencils, and the book I'm taking notes from for class. Really wished I had a sweater.

pony mom
9-13-15, 11:33pm
A friend asked me to join her for a trip to a huge balloon festival in NY state next weekend. I'm tempted to go just to see how little I'd pack! It's only overnight and I think all my stuff would fit in my LL Bean medium tote.

Ultralight
11-9-15, 9:48am
As I mentioned in another thread, I have right-sized my life to be able to fit everything I own (when I get a new mattress and a bike rack) in and/or on my car.

Doing this made me realize just how difficult it would be to live out of just one bag/suitcase/backpack or whatever. Beyond the obvious things like:
-You probably would not live this way in the long term anyway
-You would probably have to use a fair amount of other people's stuff

I just think one's life would have to be so meticulously manicured and right-sized. It would take quite an initial investment of time and planning and possibly other resources to go OBL. But it might also take massive sacrifice...

What I have noticed is that there are phases to right-sizing.

Phase 1: Thinking it over and being intimidated or turned-off in some way by the task ahead.

Phase 2. Something happens and you are willing to take on the big task!

Phase 3: It starts to come easy. You can get rid of stuff without much concern because you are more skilled at deciphering what you need/love and what you don't.

Phase 4: You get to a "good place" and you just enjoy a life without much clutter or annoyances from "stuff." (Note: Many people stop here, and for good reason!)

Phase 5: You still kinda know you have things you don't really want or need but the issues surrounding them are murky for one reason or another -- "just in case" or sentimental reasons or you think you're going to find the time eventually and so on. So you struggle with these items...

It seems as though stage 5 feels a lot like stage 1.

I am moving back and forth across the border of stages 4 and 5.

Tammy
11-9-15, 5:57pm
I usually get to stage 4 and then stay there until I move. Moving puts me into stage 5 cause it forces me to look at and touch everything I own.

Then because of living in a new space, I have to return to stage 3 briefly while I figure out what I need again and can return to stage 4. Each living situation has a different set of needs.

I like moving got this reason.

I hate moving because of one thing - address changes! For some reason that bugs me the most,