What is minimalism? From Chanel bags to backpacks

Since we starting to travel a lot together, in the last 3 years our way of life has totally changed. And transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle is a part of these big changes. But you’ll ask me ‘what is minimalism exactly?’ I can answer you in a few words, it is choosing to go from Chanel bags to backpacks! I will explain to you everything about life changes, how traveling had a strong impact on our daily lives and had deeply changed our perspectives and our vision of ‘life goals’. This is probably the most personal and sincere post, I have never exposed my personal life that much but I think this can change yours!

I have always been thinking since I was young – probably because I grew up in this capitalism and materialist society – that my goals in life were studying to get a great job, achieve a great career and finally being able to buy everything I needed. This means for me “make it” in life, you know, everything this ‘American dream’ is about! You can easily imagine what does it include! A huge villa with a pool, luxury bags, shoes, home decorations, a sports car and travel to beautiful places. Obviously I was also dreaming about finding love and enjoying this lifestyle together!

I think that most of us grew up with pretty much the same ideas and goals and that we have the same stupid model in mind. Reflecting what we see on the TV and what our society qualifies for ‘successful people’, it is summarizable in a few words: being rich and full of material possessions. And obviously showing them to others. But in the end, what is it really to be someone successful in life? Is it really having a house full of stuff and show it to others? Why? To impress them? To prove your value? Is it really something that makes us find happiness?

Isn’t happiness finding joy in the small things and being grateful for what we already have? This is exactly what minimalism is about! Let me tell you everything about our own experience!

” We are not what we have, but what we do!”

Why do we want all these material possessions?

To fill a gap?

Sometimes, we don’t think so much about it, we are like ‘brainwashed’, and shopping is a real part of our lives and habits. We are going shopping every weekend, to shop for things that we don’t need with money we don’t have. We are more like teleguided robots, running to shops. But why in the end? I mean, why the hell are we doing this? We all know that we don’t need these things and that we already have this top in 3 colors.

So why? To fill a gap? Do we need to shop continuously to feel fulfilled? We all know that once we have this thing, a few days later it won’t interest us anymore. So we can all agree that it is absolutely not happiness, it is just a short term pleasure. Like bad food. And if you get addicted to this fake happiness, you will be continuously buying useless things and fulling your house of shitty stuff. Until the day you realize you don’t need it and you have been throwing your money down the drain for years. Imagine what you could do with all this money? It is worst than a drug because it is totally legal and it ruins people’s lives.

Because we are addicted?

I have recently seen a video of a girl on Youtube that broke my heart. She was explaining that she was a ‘compulsive fashion shopper’. And she was shopping almost every day online, she knew the schedules of delivery of the shops, she was feeling so excited when she is running among the shelves and finding new clothes, in a second state, like almost in trance. She was conscious about her problem but couldn’t do anything for the moment. She is totally addicted. And all the girls in the comment are like her! I found it so sad and scary at the same time. Especially because she is an influencer and she has such a bad influence on young girls…

This is exactly the same thing for home decorations, and having hundreds of hats on the wall, tables, another table for books, statues, lamps, candles, carpets, and so on! Seriously, who needs a home full of material possessions? What’s the point?

To prove your value?

But to be honest I was like that a few years ago. Not at this point but I was shopping really often, and I also had the same dress in three colors! These black sandals, also with sharp ends and another pair with spikes and a one with red sole! A small Chanel bag for hanging out, and a big Celine one for every day. You know, just what I needed as a city girl. At least it was what I thought…

But in the end, do we need this shit? Absolutely not! So how the hell this useless shit overpriced is ending up in our closets? How can we agree without being drunk or forced to buy this shit? How can we empty our bank account just to show up to people our stupid bag? Is it making our value? I mean is having the ridiculous logo of a brand on us showing who we are? Probably yes! It shows that we are just weak people totally depending on people’s judgment. Seriously how can we have so much lack of self-confidence to be defined by what we own? So we have so little value inside us? We don’t have a value trough the eyes of others until we put a bag on our shoulder? Until we are driving in a sports car?

To pretend to be someone else?

The day we accept to make promotion for free and walk in the streets with this stupid logo, and being defined by what we have, we become one of these robots. We don’t think anymore, we have so we are.

And nowadays it is even worst with social media because you can show up your shit to the entire world, and pretend to be someone else. I mean today on social media you can buy a luxury bag with your savings and pretend to be someone else. But you will always find someone that has more than you, and you will always want to have more. There are several reasons to stop this way of life and start thinking about minimalism.

“We don’t own our material possession, they own us!”

Why stop buying stuff?

Because we don’t need it

But in the end, we don’t own so much these all these material possession, they own us! We are living through the eyes and judgment of others. And the worst is that we have never enough of it! We always want more and more. And once with finally have this bag, we want the one that girl has and then those shoes you’ve seen on Instagram! So we are entering into an awful vicious circle. And this never ends, you are never happy. Only for a few days and this is starting again. I was totally living this robotic lifestyle…Like most of the people.

To be free

…Until we started to travel. And suddenly everything changed. It was such electroshock. We met people having nothing and giving us everything. Especially in Asia, I think everything changed when we visited Thailand and Indonesia. People were so kind, full of joy, always smiling, always ready to help us while they were so poor. And so grateful for what they have.

I need to tell you this story about Putu, a young guy in Bali that was a taxi and drove us to a waterfall at 1 hour from Ubud. He was supposed to just drove us there and wait for us 30 min. But once we arrive, he said that he will bring us to the waterfall. When we arrived and discovered this beautiful waterfall, he was so happy to see this place he has never been to in his whole life. He started to smile, go into the water to swim and scream of joy. This was so touching. We offered him a drink when we go back to the entrance, there was a restaurant, to thank him for this moment. And guess what? He offered us another gift to thank us… I cried.

To find happiness

Seriously these moments are priceless and life-changing. You can not travel and live such beautiful moments and continue to live this stupid materialist life as a robot. I am so grateful I have experienced these moments and finally stopped this stupid way of life. When I understood this, I started to sell all my useless material possesions: bags, shoes, clothes, and other useless stuff. I prefer 1000 times to travel more and put money into experiences than into stuff. It is so much rewarding and fulfilling! I suddenly felt free for the first time. Free of these material possessions and free to be who I wanted to be. To me, not to prove to anyone!

This is also during our travels that I understood our impact on the animals and on the environment. This is why we adopted a plant-based lifestyle. You can learn more about in this post “why and who to go vegan”.

What is minimalism?

Minimalism is the fact to own fewer possessions. The goal is to own only necessary possessions. It is intentionally living with only the things we really need. Those items that support our purpose. And removing the distraction of excess possessions to focus more on those things that matter most.

Minimalism is not having an empty house, it is all about thinking twice about buying new stuff, and asking ourselves, do I really need it? Or do I already have the same in another color? Is it really useful? Also, minimalism is about finding happiness in the small things and not in material possession. It is about being grateful for what we already have and still love it. It is about living in the moment present, for us not for others.

For 3 years, we have sold most of our material possessions and we only kept useful stuff. We are feeling really happy like that. We don’t go shopping every weekend and we never buy anything if it’s not useful! When we travel, we have only the minimum required not 2 luggage per person!

How minimalism will help you find true happiness

Minimalism is to free yourself of material possession and find happiness in simplicity. Being grateful for what you already have, the beautiful persons in your life, for being alive, and being healthy. If you want to find true and real happiness, you will find it in simplicity. In the small things of daily life: laughing with the persons you love, talking with them, watching a sunset, dancing, reading a good book, cooking or doing an artistic activity!

I really hope this post about ‘what is minimalism?’ will be electroshock for you and that it will help you to free yourself of these material possessions to be able to find true happiness. This is what I wanted to share our own very personal experience with you. Let us know in the comments how you feel after reading this and if this post will change something in your life! Love you my travel fam and wish you the best!

Join us on Instagram! @chiarabarrasso


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *