Thoughts about things

December 20, 2015

Recently, for different reasons, I think quite a lot about things. Maybe it’s time to write something about that.

 

Already few months ago, after several discussions and books, I decided to become minimalist. I started slowly, by getting rid of some things from my house, which was already quite a big challenge.

 

It became even more difficult when just before starting our travel I had to select everything which I gathered during last years of my life. Choose things for which there is no point to wait few years in some corner of my mother house was already challenging, but finding them new owners, that was real adventure. Responsibility didn’t allow me to just throw them away. Minimalism is connected with responsible consumption, if some thing can be used they should be used by somebody. Few weeks fight effectively discourage me to buy new things. The same is working also now. All my belonging are limited to one bag pack and I’m very happy with that. I have less than 100 things and I don’t lack almost anything at the same time having more time for non-material values. Going to more details, the only thing which I actually miss is book reader. Right now I don’t have possibility to read books and it’s very sad. Probably soon I will buy some kindle, maybe used one? On the other hand there are some things which I have but I never use. The example is raincoat, very rarely I use also sweater, not too often tent, cutlery or cup, although those things can still occur to be useful.

 

Another interesting issue is with clothes. It happened that clothes which I have with me are not particularly useful in that kind of travel. My jeans are too heavy, my shorts are too short, the same with blouses. Nobody force me here to cover shoulder or knees, but I don’t feel good with uncover when the norm is so much different. I had to face then dilemma of buying few t-short with sleeves and light but long trousers. And that’s where the problems started. If we look for changemakers, we would like to also follow basic rules: if buy clothes, let’s do it responsible way, if get rid of old one, it should also has sense. We visited several shops with ethical fashion, zero waste, recycling, fair trade, places which give job to the poorest, but the prizes of their products often were much beyond our budget. Finally we decided to buy at least t-shirts in second hand shops. Thanks to that we are not participating in overproduction, which is good for environment, less useful from job for people point of view. But prizes are more accessible and we could give second life to things which were thrown away by others. Situation was worse with trousers. We couldn’t find them in any responsible shop, neither with ethic fashion one nor in second hand. Finally I bought them in local market, 3-4 dollars, which means that it didn’t even cover the cost of production. I could pay more but money will go to seller pocket, not really to sewers, they won’t be invested in improving working conditions or more ecological solutions.

 

Next dilemma was to get rid of clothes which still can be used but they are not very convincing in our travel. For now we still have them with us, looking for opportunity to give them new life, although our backs are not particularly happy with that. But it will make our next decisions even more responsible.

 

Even more difficult than not buying things is to not accept gifts. Jennifer from Smateria offered us any product from their shop which we like and the true is that I loved almost all of them. It was difficult to be honest with myself about my real needs and to not accept more.

 

Maybe those thoughts can be particularly interesting before Christmas.

 

 

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We are Anna and Andrea, a Polish-Italian couple traveling around the world. We are looking for changemakers,

in order to describe and share their stories.

Our journey is based on exchange: story telling and other skills in exchange for a place to sleep and food. 
 

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