My way to a simplified lifeWiebke Venter
In 2015, for the first time, I walked the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage through the whole of Spain. Everything that I needed for the whole journey was in my backpack. Two sets of clothes, the basic bathroom things, rain gear and a diary. That was it.
You might find it unbelievable, but this journey taught me that this indeed, was enough. It felt so good to know that everything I needed was right on my back. As I walked, I will never forget how incredibly liberating this felt. It gave me the freedom to go wherever, whenever I wanted to and knowing this, gave me a much stronger sense of appreciation for the things that I have.
When I prepared for my very first trip, I planned my luggage thoroughly. For my second trip, all I had to do was book my flights as my new minimalistic approach taught me what was essential and what I really needed, and that was all I took.
During the first few weeks of living this extremely minimalistic lifestyle, I battled with a strong urge to return to my old habits each time coming back home, but I stayed strong.
During my fourth trip on the Camino, I met my husband Leon, who is from South Africa. As a huge travel fan living in Germany, I’ve always dreamed of living abroad, and to my surprise, Leon and I fell in love and I ended up moving to South Africa. With this life changing decision I had to give up my job, my apartment and my car. I set up a little market in my apartment, and sold all my belongings. Everything that I couldn’t sell, I gifted or donated to a social organization. All that I had left in the end was a suitcase full of clothes and one box with my favorite books, craft tools, food containers, meditation items and my photo albums.
Leon also moved into our new home with only a few boxes. Of course, since relocating, there were quite a few things we had to purchase to complete our new home, however, Leon and I now pay close and careful attention to the things we buy. We always ask ourselves if we really need this specific item. Before buying anything, we always question whether it would bring us joy. Only then, will we allow it to find its way into our household. We really are very proud to be living a minimalistic and balanced lifestyle filled with only the essentials.
It was Leonardo da Vinci who once said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” We live happily by this quote.