All I need is a yoga mat and a sailboat. And maybe a bike. 

  
I have now relocated to a different country twice. The second time was immensely easier. In the US, things are big. Most houses have a lot of storage space. In more than one country I’ve visited, there has been the same comment, “Oh you come from America. The fridges are really big there, right?” I moved to England after living alone in a 2 bedroom flat. It was easy to sell the big furniture, but I tell you, it took me years to get rid of my favourite shower curtain. And my pens!!! I had about 100, no joke. Mind you I only used 3 of them which were my favourite, but heaven forbid I didn’t have enough extras in case there was an emergency and I needed to write a note! One of my English friends who helped me pack asked me if I was really going to take all of them with me. She said, “You know they sell pens in England too, right?” So I narrowed it down to 50. Eleven years and two countries later, I still have one of them… 

Now, remember in a previous entry I said I moved every year for 14 years. My Dad gave up helping after year two, my Mom is a saint (and probably gave the world a huge thanks when I moved to England and she couldn’t help anymore) and I am grateful I always had good friends to help me move my mountain of things. However, enough was enough and something needed to be done to make my nomadic lifestyle easier. 

Before I took the decision to travel for six or more months, I did a few longer trips to see how it would go. I still had this problem of thinking I needed a lot of stuff and it was really annoying! Don’t get me wrong, I had great muscles, but every time I came back, I realised I didn’t even use a quarter to half of what I brought. I thought long and hard about what kind of backpack I was going to buy for my long travel and was determined to not take more. I did a great job although I promise you a mosquito net really is not needed unless you’re doing a solo trek in the jungle. If they are needed, hostels have them. 

Along my travels I realised how great it was not to have a wide selection of clothes to choose from. There was a liberation of not having anything valuable with me, well after my irresponsible ways helped me lose a few things along the way… On long bus journeys I would sometimes think of all the stuff I was going to sell when I got back. Things I knew that I wasn’t ever going to use because I had kept them for years and not used them. Even the mental exercise was liberating! Little did I know just how much I was going to get rid of upon my return…

Living on a boat is a whole different world. Don’t get me wrong, you can buy a big boat and have enough storage space to put a small house in your boat, but it adds extra weight and everything has the potential to get ruined by saltwater. I don’t really see the point. So after living on the boat for three months, I learned what was necessary and what I could go without. Since I rarely go out, I knew two to three land outfits was more than enough. The hardest part was choosing which books and yoga clothes I could bear to part with. I needed room for sun shirts and bikinis! I managed to pack what I thought was necessary in 90 and 70 litre backpacks, along with a small carry on. I still had some photos, important documents and DVD’s of the TV shows I was an extra in. Along with those and some winter clothes to brave the Midwest for Christmas, I packed it all in 4 small boxes and sent it to my parents. I have since been to my parents and left some of the things I brought for the boat. I am truly living light and wow does it feel great!

It’s not easy to get rid of things. Trust me, I know. In the beginning it was hard. I had so many memories attached to things, if I parted with them, those memories would disappear too, right? Then one day my house was broken into and the only two material possessions that meant anything to me were stolen. A ring that was once my grandma’s and another ring given to me by an aunt who meant the world to me and died way too young. I cried my heart out. I then realised the memories of them hadn’t left me, just their belongings. I still had the memories, I still think of the rings and smile, I still think of them and feel warm and loved. This is when I realised I could let go of things because after all, they are only things. I would much rather have my grandma and aunt back then those rings. 

It’s so liberating to think that when I want to change my circumstances, all I have to do is pack two bags and go. It takes me no time at all to move house! Emotionally and spiritually I feel so light too. I still had many things that were bought during the time of previous relationships. All of my ex partners have been wonderful people, or I wouldn’t have been with them, but at times we didn’t get along or I acted in a way that disgusted myself and depending on my mood, sometimes seeing those things evoked sadness and negative thoughts. That was in the past, I can’t change it and I’ve changed, so why keep something that evokes those emotions? I would rather have things that remind we how good of a person I am! 

I follow a yoga philosophy. That doesn’t necessarily mean I practice asana (physical postures) every day. I imbed the philosophy in my life whether I do the physical practice or not. My yoga mat is like my church and when I’m not using it, I like to see it as a reminder of my beliefs. Therefore when I’m not using it, it lives in a beautiful bag in the cabin where I keep my clothes. This now is my most prized possession which luckily can easily be replaced if lost, and still have the same meaning. 

And the bike? Well, it’s not necessarily practical to have it when I intend to sail the world in a small boat, but if circumstances are right for me to get one, I would like one. After all, it’s another method of moving and feeling light and free! Now just to free myself of that pen… 

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2 thoughts on “All I need is a yoga mat and a sailboat. And maybe a bike. 

  1. I’m so glad I found your blog, I love your writing and your story. There are lots of folding bikes that will fit anywhere. I keep mine on my 22′ sailboat when I’m not riding it around the world.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, I am really touched! I too enjoy your blog. I hope one day we are in the same port and can share stories in person. Thank you for the advice with the folding bike 🙂

      Like

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