The Simple Joy of Having Fewer Possessions

“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.” ~ Albert Einstein

Uncle Al was on to something here. Having less truly is more.

Think about how many things you own. House, dogs, car, cell phone, boat, grill, TV, bed, couch, coats, pots, pans, picture frames, clothes, ceiling fans… the list is tremendously long if you actually try to list everything out. All of these things, these possessions, they are yours and you own them, right? Well, sure, but have you ever thought about how these things end up owning you? How having too much “stuff” can hold you back?

Where would you live if you could live anywhere? Now, where would you live if you could live anywhere and everything you owned fit into a backpack? Are these the same places? Why not? It’s your stuff!

How many people do you know that have garages that they can’t get their vehicles into? Most garages are storage sheds. And speaking of vehicles, how many have more cars than they have drivers in the household? Man, it’s all too much stuff!

As I write this, I am sitting in front of my laptop and cell phone (more on that in a second), and my shoulder bag (a Timbuk2 Messenger Bag) and backpack (a MEI Voyager) are sitting on the ground next to me. All together, I have the clothes I am wearing and about 35 lbs. of gear. And that’s it. For the entire trip. 35 lbs. is less than one of my dogs (51 lbs. and 57 lbs., because Mac’s a fatty). I can carry everything at once, easily, with both hands free and with great walking mobility – not bad for someone who could not walk 2 months ago.

The best word that I can think of is free. All of my stuff that I need for the next several months fits in two bags. I own those belongings… they do not own me. I do not need to plan to make a move. I simply hitch on my pack, straighten my cap, and start walking. And let me tell you, I plan to burn the road up.

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