Clutter limits me
Because the clutter, physical and mental, is holding me back from living an authentic life.
Before I went travelling in 2011 and before I started blogging I read a lot of travel blogs. I wanted hints and tips of where to go, what to see, what to do, what luggage to use, what scams to avoid. And the travel blogging community were amazingly helpful. Many of them had sold their houses and possessions to fund a traveling lifestyle. In 2012 I wasn’t ready to do that. I am now.
I can still have a base to call home
Many of the bloggers who sold all their stuff to travel are now, 5 years later, putting down roots again. Differently.
Married with Luggage have a small house in Spain. They had house sat in the village and fell in love with the life offered there. They still head off on travels and house and campervan sitting assignments, but their home is now in Spain. Their lifestyle is simpler and they earn their money on their terms and not in a cubicle for a big corporation. A simple life is also a cheaper life.
World Travel Family who rented out their big house in Australia and sold all their stuff have now, after a couple of years of travelling, spent a fair bit of time in Romania. Again, a much simpler life, and on their own terms. And will still be travelling. Nepal is back on their list. They were due to fly there the day after the devastating earthquake, so plans had to change, which is how they ended up in Romania and falling in love with the country.
Kim and Brian who write the So Many Places blog have become parents. Here, before the pregnancy was announced Kim writes of her need to settle again. And if you read more about them you will see that the adjustment has not been easy. It will be interesting to see how they find their authentic life. (They have now bought a house).
Dave and Laura who write at What’s Dave Doing and Never Ending Footsteps are thinking about basing themselves in Madrid next year. Meanwhile they are still travelling, but travelling slower. (They ended up in Portugal but are moving on again).
Time to write
The other thing that these bloggers are doing are writing books. Leaving corporate jobs, selling up and travelling and blogging about travelling clearly releases the writer within.
My mother said she would write a book, someday. She never did. I found some of her travel notes recently. It was lovely to read them to share her memories. As I read them I could hear her talking, and see her on the bus on Santorini.
And that is why I write and why I declutter. For my children, because my mother was a hoarder and it seems I have inherited that clutter gene. She didn’t write her story, that was another someday for her, and I wish she had. I can’t ask her now and my kids won’t need to ask me about my life as it is all here in my blog.
So why is a travel blogger writing about decluttering? Married with Luggage are the bloggers who really helped me on my declutter journey. They have a Declutter Clinic and have personally emailed me to help with the dilemma I had throwing away the photos. All my favourite travel bloggers chose to declutter/downsize/sell/rent out their homes in order to travel.
I don’t need stuff
What travelling taught me is that I don’t need so much stuff. My trip was a short one compared to many people. Five months, one bag, two pairs of shoes, and I survived. Not only that I was happier. I didn’t have to jump on the Work, Watch, Spend Treadmill every day and then spend my days off cleaning.
A big house costs money to run and takes forever to clean. A garden takes time to look after. I like being outside, but I don’t like gardening. My husband would spend a full day sometimes just trying to tame the garden. It is not what we like to do. I accept that other people may enjoy cleaning houses and gardening. I also think that many people don’t like doing it but do it because that is the life they have been conditioned into accepting. Normal. I don’t do normal. Or average. These are words that hold you back from living an authentic life. The life you are meant to live rather that the one you accept and say ‘mustn’t grumble’ about.
And while you accept normal and average and do what you always do and get what you’ve always got life can pass you by. I see such people every day. And I don’t want to be like that, shopping for the same food and watching the same stuff on the telly and saying I ‘ll move to the seaside ‘someday’ because “Someday. That’s a dangerous word. It’s really just a code for ‘never’.”
There is so much out there to see and do
I want to see more and write more and taste new foods and meet new people. I don’t want a house full of stuff sucking money and time. I really want to be a writer. I am not one now. I am a person who wants to be a writer, a better writer.
If that is the life I want I need to declutter. I started to write about my decluttering journey as a way to document my progress and for my mental well being. It hasn’t been an easy journey. I read a lot of books and blogs and some of them helped and some of them didn’t and I picked out the advice that suited me. I have documented my Not Buying It experiment (I still struggle to buy things) and written about my travels, but it is the posts about decluttering that I have had the most feedback on. I know I have inspired others to tackle the clutter in their homes. Friends have thanked me for giving them the push they needed to get rid of the stuff they don’t need. I get Facebook messages asking for advice. Perhaps I need to write a book. And I will. Not someday. Next year, when the house move is over and I am once more Travelling Coral.
And that is why a travel blogger writes about decluttering.