December 30, 2013

On not having stuff

I don't own anything. Not much anyway. I have several pairs of clothes and a cheap laptop. Everything else is fungible. This keeps me limber. It allows me to move quickly and to not have to worry about things. No matter where I live, there is no worry of loss of possessions. I am unattached.

The choice to go minimalist is easy for me. I choose it every day that I do not increase my stash. I am thankful most of all, to not have a permanent place to live. I remember owning a condo and feeling trapped. Not only was it more expensive than not having a fixed home, but it kept me from leaving. My most prized possession is my freedom to move. I can pick up one day, jump on a plane and go anywhere I want. And I do.

When life gets stale, I move to a new language. When bored of the village life, I choose a metropolis. When I don't like the weather, I swap it for something better. This is my life. I choose to have options. Europeans tell me that they like structure and that too much freedom is dangerous. I agree. But I prefer fewer barriers to exit.

Leave home. Discard your stuff. Enjoy life more.


  1. It sounds romantic but the forever nomadic life is not for me. I would still want some stability in my life, emotionally even if not physically. Congrats on having your freedom and may you find the happiness you deserve.

  2. The Enlightenment led to an erosion of cultural exceptionalism. When science became the new religion, all religious and cultural outlooks became anthropological phenomena, like the Pacific Islanders that Margaret Mead studied. It became difficult to view one's own religious or cultural outlook as transcendent, since they all became viewed as anthropological phenomena. They all became "interesting", but to buy into any of them was to become no different from the primitive tribes. Post-Enlightenment man stood outside of culture, and therefore could no longer view his culture as exceptional. Yet I believe that the position of standing outside of culture is unnatural for man; that is to say that at a certain point in one's life, one has a psychological need for rootedness. I can see that that hasn't happened to you yet, but from my experience, I have seen that at a point in one's life, one has the need to believe that we matter, that we are more than phenomena. That is the point when we seek permanence, whether it be physical, spiritual or philosophical. At that point, the nomadic life loses its luster, and we seek to find a home.

  3. Home does not have to be a location. It can be a person, a lifestyle, or a transience. It can be self-growth or a business or a possession.