I LOVE travel, yes, I definitely do, I always have. I
blame, thank my parents for that. We wandered a lot.
During our annual family holiday to Byron Bay back in 2014, I realised that I wanted more of it (travel) and less of the hustle that Sydney had become for me.
We’d only been in Sydney for 10 months but for the first time in our lives, we were both stressed, working more than we previously had and feeling that life was a bit of a grind. I know, 4 kids and a mortgage, normal. But, I refuse to think that life should feel like a grind, I’d never had that feeling. What’s the point of living like that? It’s not living if you’re just existing right?
I’d just read Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod, a little bit romance but her story captured me. Janice simplified her possessions down to one suitcase, yes just one, and all while saving enough money to buy herself a year-long sabbatical in Paris.
Something had sparked in me, I devoured stories on minimalism. I also discovered the world of blogs, woah – so many real people also minimalising!
Right, we were going to simplify, become minimalists and travel loads, because minimalists seemed free to do that.
No, not that simple, it’s a lot of work simplifying, peeling off the layers but it does get easier.
I’ve been at it for 2 years now and we’re not down to one suitcase…yet 😉 and I don’t think my husband or kids would call themselves minimalists but we sure do travel more.
“Once we let go of the things that don’t matter, we discover all the things that really do.” – Joshua Becker
A big part of simplifying is learning to say no to some things and YES to what matters, it’s about finding what matters to you.
While travel is not what matters to everyone, to a gypsy soul like me it sure does. Finding a way to say yes to more time, adventure and exploration as a family is important to us. If we could get down to a suitcase, jump in a camper and hit the road with our kids…we’d say YES. What a gift, time out to experience the world together.
As a family we’ve created stacks of time together and we save to travel by saying no to some things that matter less.
- We’ve said no to buying convenience by doing, making and growing more at home. Cooking, ironing, growing a few veggies and cleaning products are a few examples.
- I committed to buying nothing new (for me) for 2016, no new clothes, shoes, make-up and it’s changing me and saving a fortune.
- We rarely buy new or upgrade, we make do and reuse what we can.
- We waste less by budgeting and shopping with meals in mind.
- We say no to busy. Kids activities and schedules are carefully considered, we don’t fill their days.
- I’ve learnt to say no to working when is costs more than it’s worth, one of us works big hours and it’s enough, one day hopefully this will also change.
- We regularly say no to weekend invites if there’s a family camping trip or family activity planned.
- We just ‘want’ less, no to excess stuff, jumping off the consumer wagon is quite liberating.
Last year my Dutch family was having a reunion. It’s a BIG family, my mum is one of 13, cousins upon cousins upon even more cousins.
I said YES. The timing aligned. So the littlest one (he was 3) and I packed my backpack and off we went to the reunion. We then spend 16 glorious days slowly wandering around Europe.
It was an amazing trip and it wouldn’t have happened a few years earlier on so many levels.
My uncles ‘grape’ greenhouse where the reunion was held.
It’s the nicest thing to get into your groove. What’s your groove?