I’d like to spend a little bit of time on this post to explain what goals we’re actively working towards, why we’re doing them and where we are with each of them.
Recently, from two completely different sources, close friends and families has told us that after reading this blog they finally understood where we’re coming from. They have a better idea about why we’re doing what we do such as giving away all our stuff and living frugally in a manner that appears somewhat extreme.
These comments took me by a surprise (in a nice way) because, in typical Asperger’s style, I thought I had been clear as to why we were doing everything. What really had occurred was that because it was clear in my head as to why we’re doing all these things, I assumed it was clear to everyone else.
Be able to put all my stuff into a 30L ruck sack
My aim is to be able to reduce things I own down to what fits into a 30 litre rucksack. When we moved here to Edinburgh, I had a 75 litre suitcase’s worth of stuff. Yes it’s ‘minimalist’ enough to be able to fit everything you own into a 75 litre suitcase, but we want to travel the world and do it without having to check any luggage in on planes. We’ve travelled overseas with no check in luggage before and the experience is so much better, faster and easier (imagine no queuing to check your luggage in, and walking by all the people waiting around for luggage to appear at the destination).
A bulk of my current posessions is related to the fact that we’re living in a cold country (although thanks to some freak of nature it’s 18 degrees outside in March). I also have things like scanners and several document folders, but I am slowly working towards a paperless system. After four months of searching, I have finally found my dream rucksack (a Lowe Apline Vector 30L as seen in the above photo). Having the rucksack has refuelled my motivation to reduce my clutter.
Travel the world for a year
Our first major travelling goal is to travel the world for a year. Not a whizz around tour of spending two days in each city, but a little slower paced one where we spend two weeks to a month in each place. We already know that continuously travelling the world without a time limit isn’t really for us, so we’re putting a time limit of around one year for this particular journey.
So far, we’ve saved about a quarter of the money we need. I think it will take us at least two years to save up for the rest. This is why we’re trying to be very frugal, cutting down on eating out, not buying stuff and generally watching where our pennies go. The book ‘Your money or your life’ has been a huge source of motivation for us on this journey.
Live at least one year in a country, then move to another country
Once we get our travelling bugs out of the way, we want to settle down in a country for at least a year. Live as locals, and really get to know the language, culture, food, art, etc. I’ve lived in three different countries now, which is not a lot in terms of really getting to understand people. It’s also my goal to pick up at least three new languages this way.
The first city on our list is Vienna, since we fell in love with the place when we went there last summer. After that, maybe to Germany, Italy, France, Spain, who knows!
Live in a tiny home
Somewhere in the midst of all this travelling or maybe even after the travelling when we’re ready to settle down somewhere, we would love to live in a tiny home. We love living in a small space, and we endevour to live in small flats wherever possible, but a tiny home would be the holy grail of small, simple living. We’re not quite sure which country we’ll build the tiny home in yet, but we hope to find somewhere sitable on our travels.
We have cut the amount of things we need in a home so that when we come to live in a tiny house, we’ll know exactly what we need. The minimum amount of furniture we need are a mattress, table and chairs (or a low coffee table with floor cushions), a 2 burner stove, sink (with taps), a toilet, a shower and four crates or equivalent shelf space to put our stuff.
Establish location independent careers
In order to do all that travelling, we need money! Our first big money goal is to save up the money to go travelling for a year. Our second goal is to establish location independent careers so that we can earn as we travel. For me, this is more than likely to be in something related to writing and for James it will likely to be something technological.
Obviously, earning the money helps in paying the bills, but we also put a lot of effort into reducing our outgoings. I’ve personally cut my monthly outgoings down by about 70% from around £2000 a month to £600 a month. This has taken a huge pressure off me to have a high flying job that ties me down to one place. With some savings from my previous work, I have some breathing space before looking for a part-time job in something I will really enjoy doing.
We’re not quite sure yet how everything will fit in and in which order things are going to happen, but I hope this makes it more clear to everyone why we do what we do. I have to add that it doesn’t feel like we’re ‘putting ourselves through’ these things, because we enjoy doing them. It’s a very different way of living and we don’t expect others to agree but please know that we’re very happy trying to make our own way in the world by doing it our way.