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
I learnt that having 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?”.