Living with less, for a freer life
Travelling has taught me one thing - and that is I don't need much to survive.
I can live out of my luggage for 3 months, without ever needing anything else I had back at home.
Every time I come back from a long trip, I would clear my room, and donate or throw away heaps of stuff that I've kept over the years. Stuff that I've kept not because I had a need for them, but because I felt attached to them and kept them for the sake of it.
These days, I don't buy much, even when I travel. If I really wanted a souvenir, I would get something I would use, or something small like a pin. Even then, sometimes I come home thinking there actually wasn't a need to get anything at all. My photos are my most treasured souvenirs that I can look back on years later, and re-live the moment of being there taking that photo.
On my recent trip to Japan, I visited a cup noodle museum in Osaka where I purchased an empty cup for 300yen, customised it with markers, chose the flavour and meat I wanted packed in, and then brought it home as a souvenir. It has to be eaten within a month.
And of course, I felt attached to it. It was a customised cup! My own. How could I bear to tear it open and consume it? But with just a few days to the expiry date, I decided that I'd eat it, but without first taking a photo of it.
So here's the cup I designed. And the first series of photos that makes up my new project - Things. I figured that taking photos of the things I could not bring myself to throw at first is a good way of retaining those memories, while decluttering my life at the same time. I'm still working to reduce the number of things I buy, so that I don't have to throw away so many things in the first place! But this marks my first step towards letting go of attachments, for a freer life.