My minimalist life currently fits into 1 backpack and 1 suitcase and here is what that enabled me to do in 2014:
- I left Tokyo in February 2014 and after a quick visit to Kyoto and Osaka and the like, I left the country completely to travel to New Zealand, which was a completely spontaneous and not planned decision.
- Because it was so unplanned, I had no idea what to do or where to go, so after a brief stop on the North Island I toured the South Island and decided that I like Wellington aka “the coolest little capital in the world” best. I found a job, a flat and stayed there for the rest of the year. I’m currently experiencing my first warm Christmas 🙂
- I learned how to speak Japanese fluently, I read my first book in Japanese. I also made some huge progression in speaking English. Although I was proficient before, I got myself to a better level of understanding and communicating in English. I’m also more aware of culture and cultural differences when talking to somebody outside my own culture and I have a better understanding of how expats/long term traveler feel.
- I learned a lot about applying for a job in an English speaking country, about the differences to German CVs and what to do (and not to do) in a job interview. The same stuff applies to finding and getting a flat as well by the way, especially when you “interview” with your future flatmates it is important to present yourself in the best way possible.
- I spent some time with self-improvement and self-help books, getting to know myself better and did some personality tests which gave me huge insight about myself and which will help me to figure out things in the future.
- I started a regular meditation practice and learned that it is hard to silence my mind, but when I do I find clarity and focus.
- After being in Wellington for a while I made some friends here in New Zealand and had a lot of fun hanging out with them.
- I volunteered for various causes for the first time in my life and gave a lot to charity. Volunteering and giving is great, making a difference in someone’s life is awesome and fun!
- I also learned how to be on my own and how to embrace loneliness as a part of life. It’s important to know how to be on your own, how to spend time with just yourself for a while so your happiness does not depend on other people but just on yourself.
- I learned that even though the minimalist community is getting bigger and bigger, there are very few like-minded people out there. Consumerism is big, even in a country like New Zealand which hasn’t developed proper online shopping yet (there is no amazon here) and minimalists are hard to come by. I missed my chance to see the minimalists in Sydney and so my goal next year will be to finally get more involved in the community (not only through blogging).
2014 was an awesome year, I’m happy that I made the decision to come to New Zealand and thankful that it all worked out so great. I couldn’t have wished for a better and more fun year and wish everyone all the best for 2015!