Since our sailing mission has been in the pipes for nearly 6 years, we have prioritized our spending and savings to make our dream possible. That means we haven’t invested in buying ‘stuff’. We have forgone buying new things for the house, the car, our wardobes…etc. We have chosen to spend some $ on experiences rather than things. This matches our environmental values as well.
In our society people work hard to afford things – big houses, nice cars, tv’s, electronics, etc. Then when that stuff gets outdated we get rid of it and get new stuff. It’s a constant cycle of consumption and working hard to manage our need for things. To us that doesn’t feel right or make sense. We want to live life and do as much as we can in our time on this planet.
When the time came around to start downsizing to the boat from our rental house, we thought it would just be a case of getting rid of a few things and then packing up what we need and move onto the boat.
Well this isn’t exactly the case.
We have furnished our house with all second hand furniture and goods, in fact if we go through the house we got a lot of it for free ( verge side collections and freecycle). It’s a very retro look in our place. But as we begin to go through cupboards, and storage boxes we are both having a hard time letting go of stuff.
We are opting not to have a storage shed ( which we did in the past when we traveled overseas for 2 years) we are aiming to minimize things to 1 car load and a few boxes that friends will store for us.
Photos, Journals, and precious keepsakes are what we are priortising to keep. In fact I keep asking the question ” if there was a fire would you grab it to take with you?”
But still we are finding it hard to let go of things. Base has a love of books, so reducing our massive bookshelf down has been a process to go through. The National Geographic Collection dating back to the 1960’s is being kept, that was a non-negotiable. Some of the geology journals ( after debate) had to go.
I keep repeating this quote to myself as we go through this.
“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”
– Robin Lee Graham
( Robin is a sailing hero of ours that we look up to. He Sailed around the world at 16 on a 24 footer – just to explore and live life).
So what is it about this “stuff” that is making this hard to let go of it?
For me I hate waste… I hate seeing resources being taken from the earth used and then discarded. I am a upcycling, recycling addict. So each item we get rid of something we needs to be consider – can someone else use it or will they want it? can it be used for a different purpose? can it be recycled? Then we can decide where it can go.
Base on the other hand sees items as memories from his past and his travels around the world, or items that he wants to show our gran-children in the future ( rock collections and nautical books from days gone by!)
Of course then there are the items that are coming with us. How much can we actually fit in 36 feet? What is enough to take? I mean clothes is one thing, but supplies and food and all the rest of it? Even soap for 8 months ( of which we need to be biodegradable and safe for our oceans!) It’s a complete learning process for us, and we are definitely going to be adapting things as we go, but for now – doing the best we know how to.
Our first big load to the boat:
We are embracing a life of simplicity and minimalism, we just need to get through the piles of crap first!
Two days before we are fulltime on the boat! Wish us luck!
Jamie and Base