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Tuesday Evening and I’m thinking

I was considering a few things today taking a break in the room with the AC going because it warmed up in Merida today. I walked to the mall in the afternoon and had a cheap dinner where the nice ladies ensure I get so much food! Pork, gravy, potatoes, rice and wonderful salsa on it all. Then some tortillas and finally a Horchata to wash it down with. The food is cheap. All this food for about $5. Then there’s the wonderful smiles of the ladies even with face masks on. They always greet me in Spanish and English and know I like to eat. So they like to feed me.

But I was sitting there with the drink and remembering this comment I made on mastodon. I wanted to make this point about things. I’ve wandered here in Merida and the expats and retirees like to have things. Things like cars and homes and condos and more things like boats. They write about them, on the Yucatan tour I did they would talk about their homes and cars. Even some YouTube creators blog about making this their home with things here in Merida.

I guess I have a different take since I have no things and have not had any for some years. When I left the United States back some years ago, I got rid of the things. Car, small bits of furniture, old papers were shredded. Relationships perhaps were shredded too. I’ll get back to the human side in a moment.

But what I found was life is not made up of things. We don’t need them to not only get by but to find a wonderful existence with nothing really. I have no car, home, property, debt. No boat and no condo. No credit cards. Perhaps the big item is debt. I could never have left forever like I did if I had debt. So I spent 5 years paying it. I had acted stupidly with credit cards and along with divorce, I found myself facing almost 50k of credit card debt. It took years but I paid it off with the help of a non-profit debt consolidation company. When I was done I cut up those credit cards and swore never again to be the hostage of those companies. But I also get rid of the card, the papers, the bed, clothing. If it could not fit in a 45 liter backpack it did not go. I left and left nothing behind. No things. Or…

Nothing

However you want to say it.

So this set me free folks. It gave me room because I had nothing. I never did get more things besides a laptop and I buy new iPhones because I enjoy that. But the other things like car, home, condo, clothing, stuff? No room for that stuff.

What it has meant is freedom. For me there is no reason to own things, keep things, or plan out the getting. If it does not fit in now a 60 liter duffel bag it does not go. The result is I can pack everything in 30 minutes and be done.

A friend remarked some years ago I had nothing. That’s true. Nothing to hold me back, hold me hostage. I’ve thought a great deal about this for years. Its not being a minimalist because I don’t believe any of that crap. It is about what has worked for me wanting this life I have. The life of just going where I please, when I please. I don’t own things so they don’t own me.

It all makes sense because there is nothing to it.

On the people side of things, or people things as it were, perhaps a number of relationships there were shredded too. I think we go through that and we know when to say when. I told a friend once it was like friendships have half-lives. The result has been many of those people that once used the terms like “friendships, buddies, pals” were something else completely. Perhaps they floated away or I did when I got rid of the other things. It is also true getting older, friendships become harder. But this move to having nothing has meant many of these so-called friends have fallen and cannot get up. I lost sight of them. Perhaps they are just things lost too.

And even when I get to Cambodia and rent an apartment it will have nothing of mine in it like furniture. Because in Siem Reap, I can rent a fully furnished apartment for $250 a month that is full of apartment things.

Finally, life is simpler and easier and I find without things to worry me, hound me, compel me; I can find the moments so much easier to just enjoy.

  1. Thank you for articulating this clearly — not everyone will understand that sort of life but it is indeed liberating. Some folks thought I was nuts when I gave up a cabin on a river to roam around in a tiny camper (and of course I do miss it sometimes because it was in an incredibly beautiful and remote location) and it’s not easy to explain why because it’s indescribable. Freedom isn’t a word, it’s a feeling.

    I remember when I first took off it was unsettling for awhile because it’s living without anchor, just drifting around. It’s not for everyone but if you get comfortable to it, it sticks for life.

    Ray

    • Hey Ray. I have the same feelings. Reading your stories about going always strikes a chord with me. We all just seem so taken with the things in our lives and we miss those sunsets and moments. I remember leaving and sitting in a coffee shop in Tokyo Japan. I could not believe it. It was unsettling and uncomfortable to realize what I had done. Soon it came though as I wandered Japan, there was no one to tell me to stop and go. So I did both. I think you do the same. It makes for both discomfort and awareness that the world out there is waiting but everything changes in a moment.

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