When I started this experiment back in November, I knew that I wouldn’t be leaving the UK for at least 3 months, because I had two events (both in Wales) that I wanted to attend in February. Some time after setting off, two became three, as my ever-generous new employer invited me to stay with him and his family for a few days on the beautiful Pen Llŷn so we could discuss business and stuff and get some work done.
(This was all very well, as far as plans go. Unfortunately, the weather had its own plans, and while we definitely did manage plenty of discussion, the actual work part of the bargain was somewhat restricted, on account of the house being without power for well over two days.) Continue reading
I’m an urbanite at heart. I’m not originally “from” a city background, having done my early growing-up in a small town right on the doorstep of the Lakes, but I spent most of the latter part of my childhood in Manchester, and have been shuttling back and forth between city and countryside ever since. As such, I’ve had roughly equal experience of both environments, and cities have always been where I prefer to be.
Sorry guys – high time for an update, isn’t it?
Okay. So my first month of living as a nomad had a pre-arranged itinerary, planned well in advance. The week in London, Christmas in Cumbria and New Year in Hamburg were all part of that. Continue reading
Photo credit: Antje Bendrich (CC-BY)
Don’t worry, the blog hasn’t died already, but I don’t want this to turn into some kind of dull personal diary – so rather than writing posts purely for the sake of doing so, I figured I’d wait for something worth writing about.
First though, for the sake of a quick update – the minimalist lifestyle is going great so far. Since the last post I’ve spent seven days in London, six in my homeland for Christmas, and am now currently half way through a seven-day stay in Hamburg, Germany.
A little over a year ago, I happened to stumble upon this:
Pictures of millennials with everything they own (and it isn’t much)
I said before that discovering Benny’s blog was responsible for this whole crazy idea finally forming in my mind, but it’s probably fair to say that the above article was equally to blame. Especially the phrase:
“…tend to live in sublets, traveling with a few boxes (or ikea bags) from one short-term arrangement to the next…”
I’m fairly sure this wasn’t the author’s intention, but that article made me feel envious.
Apologies for the lack of news about what I’ve been getting up to, but to be honest I’ve been far too busy getting up to it! The last couple of weeks have been entirely taken up with working, making preparations for leaving, catching up with people before I do, sleeping, or indeed trying and failing to sleep (yay, insomnia).
Anyway, a quick update on progress…
Okay, one last introductory post before I start talking about practical stuff, honest!
The first thing I want to point out is that this is not a financial extravagance. Yes, I do hope to do a fair bit of moving around next year, some of it overseas; however, I won’t be spending a fortune to do so, for the simple reason that I don’t have a fortune.
While I’m at it, I should also point out that I’m not going too far in the other direction either. I’m not “going travelling” in the expand-your-horizons, gap-year sense of the term, wearing a giant backpack with a flag on the back (though I will, as it happens, be taking both a backpack and a flag). So I don’t intend to sleep in hostels, airport benches or anywhere else with an overabundance of people and a shortage of sensible internet access (especially since internets are kind of crucial to my job!).
In my first post I promised to explain the “why” and the “how” of my crazy scheme. I think I’ve now done a pretty good job of the “why” (do let me know if I haven’t!), but before I do the “how”, I should probably have a go at some of the “what”.
I’ve already told my landlord that I’m leaving, so I’ve gotta be out of this flat by the 12th of December, which is in 16 days. Looking around me right now at my remaining stuff, that’s a pretty scary deadline.
So in the previous post I explained how much I love the experience of new and unfamiliar surroundings, and ended on a question – why not keep that feeling going?
It’s easy to find practical reasons why not, but they all boil down to being tied to one location. Modern society seems to be built around the assumption that most people want to have a single permanent base, a place to call home, a place to put down roots. We get tied down financially, by jobs and contracts related to our homes – and emotionally, by relationships, dependents and family obligations. And of course we’re tied down physically by all the stuff we own.
Which is fine if you’re a put-down-roots sort of person. But what about those of us cursed with so-called wanderlust?
OK, I should probably try and explain my reasons for this crazy scheme. I’ll start with what I’m using as the title of the blog – what I like to call Fear Of Stuff.
In the nine years since I’ve been employed and living in rented accommodation, I’ve moved house six times, and each time I’ve had to physically touch and account for everything I own. Even though I’ve always striven to be minimalist in the amount of crap I have (my collection of possessions probably looks rather paltry by most people’s standards), confronting it all always makes me feel uneasy. How much of that stuff does a person really need? Continue reading