My Minimalist Journey

Last year during my Twitter beginnings I came across Joshua Millburn’s “Why I Quit My Six-Figure Corporate Job To Pursue My Passions”. I thought this move was incredibly bad ass and immediately retweeted the essay. He just quit his six-figure job, hell yeah I’ll follow him. Then, while visiting Austin for SXSW, he offered to meet up with whoever wanted to and I thought, “Why not?” Soon we were sitting at Torchy’s on South 1st talking about minimalism (didn’t even read the rest of his blog so didn’t know what this was), blogging, and Allen Edmonds. This meeting made a huge impact on the direction I am now headed (can’t thank him enough).

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What a Mess

My freshman year of college I was really fed up with the way I was living. Many nights I would lie in bed pissed off about my entitled lifestyle, the easy path I was on, and the uselessness of the education I was getting. Over and over I told my roommate I wanted to sell everything and just move away. It took awhile but eventually I dropped out and took some time off to figure out my story but it wasn’t until I met Josh that the “sell everything” idea really started.

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Another Goodwill Trip

Shortly after Josh and I met I started following his site and began thinking about minimalism. And not long after that I started minimizing.

One day I went through my apartment putting everything I DIDN’T NEED on a blanket.

Then I took the hundred-ish items to Goodwill. Then I kept doing this. Slowly more and more material goods left my apartment never to return.

Then I reached a point where I needed everything I owned. I had about 14 shirts, 5 outerwear pieces, 3 pants, 3 work out shorts, 7 socks, some art, and some books. And then I met Crew Spence. When he showed me his closet it quickly inspired me to go even more minimal. At this point I still clung to the fashion part of my life. Even with the 40-ish pieces of clothing I still got compliments on my attire. (“You look like you work at a boutique.”) I’ve always been good with clothes (thanks sisters!) so I could make my few pieces of clothing work fashionably. Crew does the same except with about 6 things.

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One of the Many Piles

And then I started thinking about travel. And then I really started thinking about travel. And then I read Tynan’s Life Nomadic. And then I decided to get super minimalists. I decided that I was going to sell / donate everything I own and travel out of 1 backpack. No, not a huge “missile-silo” backpack. A 33 liter light-weight pack. To do this, though, I had to part with my “I want to look good” characteristic.

So I started giving away my awesome clothes. And not giving them away randomly but specifically.

These three shirts go to this guy who will use them well. This shirt goes to this girl. These lulu’s go to these three people. (This feels great because it takes thought and care). This process is still happening but I am minimizing my possessions quickly (If you want something, ask!).

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Hardest Part

I don’t leave for Europe for about 5 months but I am starting to live as if I am already traveling. I am in the process of exploring my gear options in order to have the most efficient gear possible (suggestions?).

The more items I pass on the more excited I feel. One of my themes for 2012 is agility and the recent choices will allow me to be even more agile. I will be able to go anywhere with everything I need in a matter of seconds. Packing, pshh, done. Worrying about forgetting something important, won’t happen. I can’t wait for the moment I sell the last few big things that I own (my car, my two bikes, and some furniture) and then hop on the plane with everything I treasure.

Sure, it’s been a big change. Going from wanting 250 pairs of shoes and a full closet to wearing 2 shirts is a big jump. However, it has made me realize what I’m really about. Not having anything to hide behind encourages me to be the real me. I don’t build up layers: everything you see is the real me.

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