Are minimalism & digital nomadism connected?

Are minimalism & digital nomadism connected? by Rosie Andre

When I was in my twenties, I would spend my student loan (meant for food & living) on clothes. I would go to H&M, Primark and any other fast fashion store to buy lots and lots of clothes.

I think at one point I had maybe 50 dresses. And there is no way I could wear the same dress twice in 1 weekend, or even weekends back to back. Just incase someone saw me doing that and cared enough to notice.

I would buy new shoes, new bags, new make up even.

And I think shopping made me happy for a short space of time. Maybe a couple of hours. I would be so excited to wear my new thing. To show it off.

And then fast forward to moving to Miami, I could "only" take 2 suitcases with me.

It felt like I had nothing to wear. And so again, I would go shopping for more clothes to fill my wardrobe, so I had options. Don't get me wrong, I had improved. But still had a long way to go.

Then in November 2021, my husband and I packed up our bags for a 9 month trip around South America. It was so hard packing up everything you will ever need into 1 big bag and 1 hand luggage bag.

Things happened with my family, which meant that we came home after only 7 weeks. We spent the rest of 2022 in Europe with my family. I also did 1 round of embryo freezing.

And finally in December 2022, we went off travelling again. This time we spent 11 months backpacking around Asia. We went to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia & Bali.

I think it was this time away where I really learned what minimalism is, how it can affect your life, and how amazing it can feel.

I only have 1 big bag with me. And in there, I need to carry items that can be versatile, that I love wearing and that I can wear for all weather outcomes & activities. This could be hiking volcanoes, sunbathing on deserted beaches, kayaking around islands, city trips, walking 20k steps per day exploring a new place, safari to see wild elephants, snorkelling with turtles, riding motorbikes, visiting temples.. the list goes on.

And so, I have 1 rain jacket, 1 puffer jacket, 1 cashmere jumper, 2 warm jumpers, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of joggers, 1 pair of shorts, 8 t-shirts, 3 pairs of cycling shorts, 3 pairs of leggings, 4 sports bras, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of nice shoes, 1 pair of hiking shoes, 2 swim suits, 1 towel, 2 dresses, 1 oversized linen shirt and 3 pairs of trousers. Along with underwear, socks, hats, a scarf.. I think that's pretty much it. And of course my tech gear.

If you want to see a full list of my fave travel items, click here.

All of my items can be worn with each other. All of my items are practical. And most importantly, I love wearing all of my items. There is nothing that I carry that is useless, unwanted, unworn or ugly.

And whilst travelling, of course I saw so many beautiful pieces of clothing that I wish I could buy and add to my wardrobe. Or even decoration items that I would love to have in my future home.

But, because I only had 1 big bag and 1 hand luggage bag, I didn't (and still don't) have the space to buy anything else. There is no where to store it as I continue to travel.

There is so much freedom with this.

I don't spend hours trying on clothes. Struggling to decide between the pink or the orange dress. I also don't spend money when I don't need to.

And because I love each and every item that I carry with me, it takes a lot for me to replace it.

My shorts have a hole in the bum but I love them, so I stitched the hole and still wear them. My pink/orange culottes shown in the image of this blog post, my mum bought for me when she visited me in Miami in 2018. And I still love them and wear them on a weekly basis. I have patched the holes and they are a treasured item of clothing for me.

I was strategic. I bought good quality clothes that would last. I spent a lot of money in the beginning trying to find items that I love and that are practical so I wouldn't have to replace them after 12 months, which is often the case with cheap fast fashion clothes.

Of course I have updated things along the way.

My shoes have changed since I wanted to learn more about and try for myself the barefoot trend. So my hiking shoes got replaced by some white trainers from Vivo Barefoot. My converse (which was my casual city shoe) got replaced by some other Vivo shoes. And I replaced my big thick Teva sandals with a thin sole version.

I replaced my jeans because the ones I had were too small and uncomfortable to wear. I replaced my underwear which needed to happen because my old ones were collecting holes. I sometimes replace my t-shirts because I wear the same 4 tops on the daily and they get stained with sweat from visiting hot countries. But the majority of my wardrobe has stayed the same. And I love that for me.

I don't have to worry about what to wear.

If it's hot, I'll do shorts and a tee. If I am doing something active in a hot place, it's cycling shorts and a sports bra with maybe my linen shirt thrown on over the top. If it's a city trip somewhere a bit cooler, I might do a pair of trousers with a tee and bring my jumper along with me.

I have everything I could ever need and I only have 40 ish items of clothing with me.

And so when I think about minimalism, I realise that I am doing it without really trying.

It took me backpacking around the world to realise that I don't need 50 dresses, 10 pairs of shoes, 20 bags and so on.

I am thriving with so much less.

And so I do think that minimalism and digital nomadism are connected.

If I decide to settle somewhere, maybe buy a house and have a big wardrobe again, I'm sure I'll feel the urge to fill it. To buy a dress that my fave influencer is wearing and save it for a special occasion. Or maybe I'll want to try that amazing new face wash, cream & serum. Or I'll want to get a new jumper/top/shorts/trousers just because they look cute, and not because I actually need some more.

But now I know that I don't need all of these extra things to make me happy.

Travel makes me happy. Being in nature makes me happy. Being with family & friends makes me happy.

Not buying a new dress, or wearing some new shoes or showing off my new and trendy item.

And this is why I love digital nomadism.

It takes away your freedom in certain areas whilst also providing you with so much more freedom that you didn't know could be possible.

Are minimalism & digital nomadism connected? by Rosie Andre
Are minimalism & digital nomadism connected? by Rosie Andre
Are minimalism & digital nomadism connected? by Rosie Andre

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