Get rid of anxiety and depression at once: live your dream life!
There are many reasons why people want to give up a “common” lifestyle. The most popular is probably economical because more and more people are finding living a “Western” style lifestyle incredibly unbearable: too many expenses, lots of anxiety, depression and frustration. The solution? Change your lifestyle for good!
I remember before I kicked out my old lifestyle I had desperately been searching for an alternative but all the alternatives I found in Europe somehow didn’t fit me; there are eco-villages, communities of people living alternative lifestyles and so on. The problem is that I don’t want to live segregated somewhere or belong to a particular group of people: I just want to be me and I don’t like living with other people, I prefer living on my own! What’s the point of abandoning an organized society to embrace another one?
What I really wanted was becoming self reliant, healthy and stress and anxiety free so I decided to do what I love the most: travelling around the world!
I’ve travelled as a backpacker for almost two years visiting and doing activities which I was always too busy to do in my “previous” life. I finally discovered things which I like and I don’t like doing. That’s easy – you may think but believe me it’s not! How many of you have attended ceremonies, business dinners or family reunions only because it’s part of the culture? I no longer want to waste my life doing boring stuff only because society expects me to, I just want to be me.
I’m 50 years old so I think that if you really want to change there are no excuses nor limitations, you just need the courage to do it. When I was travelling as a backpacker, I had all my belongings in a backpack (I don’t own anything else) so you really have to pay attention to what you are carrying with you because if the backpack becomes too heavy, it may be a problem for your back.
I also got rid of a lot of things which we are socialized to believe indispensable; I keep my hair very short so it’s easy to keep it clean, I don’t use shampoo anymore nor any other beauty products: just a piece of soap. I don’t use a toothbrush either because it was causing my gum to bleed a lot so I now just brush with my index finger and only occasionally use natural herbal toothpaste or powder (Asian). I don’t use toilet paper; here in Asia people always wash after their toilet business so I learned to do the same. When I was travelling, I carried a little towel with me so that I could dry myself afterwards. I’ve never used make up in my entire life; I tried it once when I was a teenager and it gave me such a bad irritation I promised myself never to use it again! I was still shaving my armpits and legs at the beginning of my journey but I’ve stopped. My legs are quite hairy now but it feels liberating not having to depend on other’s people judgement. Nobody judges men for being hairy so why should anyone feel the right to judge women? The list goes on until you are left with what you really need and what I really need to live is not much: good, fresh, nutritious food and a roof over my head, anything else is optional. Of course, I’m describing the life as a vegan nomad in Asia where there is no winter!
Though I have very little money, paradoxically I don’t feel as anxious as I used to be when I was living in Europe; always fearing the worse. When you are not stressed, you see possibilities everywhere and you have enough energy to embark in new projects even at my age (there is no age limit, I’ve discovered). I was addicted to a few substances when I was younger: nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and for a specific period marihuana. When you live a life free of any type of addictions you feel unbelievably powerful and become more self confident as a result. Once you are completely clean and free you start understanding how bad we treat our bodies solely on the basis that is culturally acceptable (have a look at movies and TV series where people can’t seem to be able to relax without holding an alcoholic drink in their hand. In the past, the other hand used to hold a cigarette but today that’s no longer possible).
The first incredible personal discovery was that I had been neglecting myself for so long that I no longer recognized what my body needed. Resting was out of the question because we are raised to believe that if you rest you are wasting time and time is money. I had to stop working for a long time to take care of my health and at first I was feeling so guilty because the first thing people asked me was – what do you do for a living? – I don’t know why we feel so uncomfortable when in this life we are just spending without having an income. Of course, it’s scary but sometimes you just don’t have any alternatives. People tend to think that you are a billionaire if you live like I do but the truth is: you need very little money to live this way and the therapy for all your ailments comes from the food you eat and that’s also affordable when you don’t have any addictions.
Nowadays, I live in Cambodia in one room apartment with a cooking corner and a bathroom and I’ve never been happier. I have to stop travelling to regain my strength for a while. There is a nice garden outside and a place to hang the laundry.
The laundry is also another big issue for me. As a minimalist, I don’t have a lot of stuff but it bothers me using a washing machine knowing the amount of water and detergent that goes to waste and pollutes such a beautiful land. So I decided to buy a bucket, sodium bicarbonate (which is also good for your teeth) and that’s how I’m doing my laundry now.
Then came the second issue: the dishes. No matter which detergent you buy, most of them are sold in plastic containers and they heavily pollute the environment. When the label claims the product is eco-friendly, it normally costs an arm and a leg so I decided to make my own dish detergent with lemon juice, sodium bicarbonate and vinegar. As a vegan my dishes are pretty clean anyway but I live with two carnivores: a dog and a cat. They enjoy eating meat and fish and, as I totally don’t trust whatever is in pet food, I cook for them on a daily basis. It was very hard for me at first but now I’m ok with it, I use a different pan and cutlery for them. I know some vegans may not agree with me but I will stop feeding them what they need once humanity has returned their share of the planet to them so they can go hunting again and drink the river water.
When you live with very little, everything becomes precious or better, you discover that everything IS precious and nothing and nobody should ever be taken for granted in this existence. I think this is the main issue with a materialistic life: your feelings get drowned by things and you no longer understand what it is that really makes you happy. As a minimalist, almost everything makes you happy because everything is a treat; the less you have the more you treasure it!
Have a fantastic journey dear fellow travellers!