Lifestyle Tobi Talks

Wander Woman: Non-Attachment and a Minimalistic Life

“Dare to live by letting go.” 
― Tom Althouse

It seems like these days everyone is selling something; including me. I’m currently in the process of selling/donating everything I own, save for my bed, 30 articles of clothing or less, 4 books, and photos that will fit easily into a shoe box. I’ve always been a fan of the concepts of minimalism and non-attachment – I love getting rid of things just as much if not more than buying them in the first place. It’s exhilarating, watching someone walk away with something that has my memories tied to it. Seeing the empty space where it used to be, realizing I’m still myself without it.

There’s a kind of freedom that only living minimally can offer, especially with my specific brand of General Anxiety. When you only own what you need, everything serves a purpose. You don’t have to decide what to wear each morning when you only own a few outfits. Doing dishes is a breeze when there aren’t enough to pile up. There are more hours in the day when you don’t have a TV to zone out to. Everything is tidy because it has its place. Life is organized, simple, and more productive by default. The less I own, the more I am free and inspired to create.

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Since I turned 18 I’ve been bouncing around the country: 13 years, 16 homes, 8 cities, 7 states. Over a dozen years of living in new places, meeting people, growing relationships, and riding off into the sunset, often leaving what I owned behind. It hasn’t been a matter of running away (in most cases), but being open to new opportunities and experiences.  I’ve always been proud of my ability to show up to a new  place and adapt, then leave when I feel the time is right, but it’s not always something people see as an accomplishment.

I’ve been asked many times when & where I’ll “settle down”, but the idea of staying put has always turned me off. There are so many things to see in the world, so many people to love in so many ways. Since the day I moved away from home I haven’t been able to envision buying a house, settling in, and just living there year in and year out. I know that I’m in the minority here, but the few times I’ve attempted to plant roots, I’ve felt trapped. In a time where travel is so accessible and land is so expensive, it’s hard for me to imagine a stationary life.

“There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.”
— Jackie French Koller

This isn’t the first time I’ve purged my belongings and lived minimally. The last time I got rid of everything I moved from SLC, UT to Alexandria, VA following a rough breakup. I packed 2 suitcases and bought a one-way ticket, and that was that. The entire ordeal was a practice in non-attachment, and a lesson I won’t forget: Things are just things; people come and go like ships in the night, but experiences (even negative ones) can  sustain you.

The day Kyle and I met, we talked about the benefits of mobile, minimalistic living. With many years of traveling and getting to know our own flawed selves, we both came to the same conclusion: Who needs things when you can have experiences? Who needs a big house full of stuff when you can be in a new city week to week? From day one we’ve fantasized about living on the road with the bare minimum. The goal: Build out a van with a bed, shelves and a little kitchenette. Network, find painting, photography & videography gigs,  and manage social media accounts remotely. Leave the stuff behind and live a life rich in experiences and relationships, not things. Every step we’ve taken in the 9 months we’ve known each other has been a step toward this common goal.

At the end of the month our lease is up, and we’ll be one step closer. Stay tuned for updates, vlogs, in-depth plans and real-talk about fears and failures along the way. Let us know if you or someone you know needs any clothing, books, furniture or house-hold goods; we’re happy to give to those who need & sell to those who want.

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