It was an exciting moment. I was finally moving to the other side of the world after living 23 years in Australia. London was calling out to me … but what to pack in my suitcase?
Don’t Let Things Weigh You Down
This moment represented a turning point (with many tears of frustration) in my life when I couldn’t fit all the things I ‘needed’ in a suitcase for my move. After many days of sorting, I began to feel physically sick when confronted with all the stuff I had accumulated over the years, and realized how unnecessary it was to have ceiling high wardrobes stretched from wall-to-wall crammed with clothes.
I flew to London, and then worked on an island in Greece, ate my way through Spain, and learnt Italian in Italy. Overtime, I gradually learnt what was a ‘necessary’ item to have in my suitcase and what wasn’t.
Back to Basics with Less But Better Stuff
I learnt that having less but better stuff like good quality black basics (black leggings, jeans, jackets) and layering them with colorful scarves, bold colored jackets, or uniquely shaped jewelry made the suitcase a lot lighter whilst still remaining fashionable.
Experiences, Not Things
I discovered that if you spent money on unique experiences instead of material goods, that you became a happier person – I joyfully cycled through pine forests in Tuscany, expanded by mind by learning from astronauts at NASA, and danced away at medieval festivals in the rural parts of Spain.
A Lighter Lifestyle
I began to ignore the seductive lure of advertising and looked at them with rational eyes. Does the celebrity holding the bag justify the 800% premium?
Overtime, I became a less wasteful person – having to think carefully whether every item I bought would fit in the suitcase and whether I would realistically frequently use or wear them, changed my relationship with things that I owned.
The next time you yearn to buy the trendy new dress or in-season fluro-colored leggings, it’s useful to have a ‘suitcase’ mentality and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” and “Will I still be wearing this next year?”