recently, david r. shared his story of becoming minimalist through our share your story page. we hope you’ll enjoy hearing his story:
My story is interesting in that I’ve always held minimalist beliefs, just never knew until recently what exactly to call it.
I started out with my belief system in my 20′s after a surfing trip to Costa Rica and a growing, panging feeling inside me that as a society we were just spinning our wheels with uselessness. This feeling was strongly confirmed after I was given the book Ishamel by Daniel Quinn and I spent the next few months digesting it slowly.
I jumped a bus with some friends for Mexico from Houston with nothing but backpacks, some laminated surfmaps, a tent and some surfboards. I spent a month there surfing, living and exploring the country and its people. I had an amazing time and a first hand experience at just how little we need to live. When I returned home, I was destined to get on a right track. As my lease expired for my apartment, I moved back home and that was the defining moment for me.
I found myself packing my things and cleaning my apartment knowing good and well that I was planning on moving back in with my parents to get the ball rolling on something massive, so I just began throwing everything away!
I worked and examined my life for another year until the following summer came and it was time to embark on yet another trip south of the border. My friend and I jumped in my Toyota RAV4 with a propane grill, snorkling equip, fishing equip and surfboards and headed out for the unknown. 73 days, 7015 miles, 2 countries (Guatemala and Mexico) and over 12 Mexican states later… I figured out that I wanted to do this full time.
I came home, quit my job and got a full-time real job that would get me out of debt faster. I have been at this job for 2.5 years and I’ll be ready to hit the road this August on a perpetual road trip/vacation just exploring Central and South America, surfing and learning the real truths of our lives. I’ll be making the ultimate downsizing minimalist move as I’m currently outfitting a van to live in. Short of cooking, cleaning, tools, clothes, surfboards and books; nothing much else is coming with me. I’ve been giving things away left and right to friends and family and to be honest, it feels pretty good.
I know my case of minimalism is extreme but I accept that and actually look forward to its simplicity. I already practice a heavy form of minimalism in my every day life. I dont buy clothes until it’s a total and complete necessity. Frankly, I dont buy ANYTHING I don’t need in my life. I usually think hard and long before I purchase any item. I think about its uses, its needs, how often will I actually use this and why? Or do I just want this to be cool because the media and mass consumerism tell me I need it.. these are ways to get yourself out of buying useless things.
After you get good at this game, it usually becomes pretty apparent that we don’t need much of anything to exist after all. Enjoying time with our families, spending time exploring the outdoors and taking up a useful hobby are all we really need.
thanks for sharing your story with us, david. may the waves be bombin’, brah.