In my last two post on my minimalist journey – simplify your backpacking and when your things become you I talk about my own journey, and how backpacking is shaping my life in more ways that I thought possible. I am allowing, finally the real me to surface again. I have always been a fairly productive and creative person, I have always been able to focus my mind and energy into certain projects and to more or less keep myself motivated. Hence why I have this blog, published book, another one on the way, produced music, rebuilt cars, different photo projects so on and so forth. My problem has never been inspiration or focus, as my life has shown me that doing leads to inspiration, not the other way around. We create our own inspiration by working hard. This is a subject I have written about many times, with my most recent article called “the art of getting shit done”

Me, the wife and Alexander sleeping by the ocean under the starry skies.. Doesn’t get much better than this

Time sucks:
With that said, I do, as I have also written about have a lot of shit at home that sucks away at my focus and attention. So instead of giving 100% into my projects, I usually only give 20-30% of what I can, if that. I wrote extensively on a few of the items that really suck everything away from me and quite honestly, it is creating a depression within me. Because I am so used to doing my different creative and productive projects, it has become my way of life. If I’m not writing or taking photos or out backpacking, I start to get depressed, a weight on my chest, where the world could just die for all I care. (a bit exaggerated I know, and I certainly don’t mean to undermine people who have true depression)

For the last couple of months I have barely been able to sleep because of these different attention killers. I have not written much, and every waking second I just get anxious. Knowing of course that I had to make some changes, I did. Reaching my breaking point I knew I had to simply let go of some of these things that have killed my freedom. It’s not always easy to let go, especially of stuff that has been there for years, or stuff you know you will lose money on, but sometimes the loss of money is better than the continued anguish felt by keeping these items.

The shit must go:
I wrote in my “simplify your backpacking” post that I had an old sega dreamcast than I had kept for years without ever playing. I let it go, sold it for more than I thought I would, it was a fairly painless process to let go, and now I don’t think about “ I should play my dreamcast a few minutes”. It’s just gone. At one time earlier this year I had two Saab 900 turbos that needed some repairs, a 21 foot motor boat and a BMW 535 that was falling apart. I will start with the boat, for anyone who has ever had a boat there is one saying that holds all too well “A boat is just a big black hole in the water that you fill with money”. I would like to add that you fill that hole with time and in the end anxiety as well. I made the choice to sell that boat and have never looked back.


The BMW is sold and the two Saab 900s as well. For the first time in almost six months I have slept soundly the day I sold my last Saab 900. The freedom I have gained by getting rid of all this stuff is simply indescribable. When I am backpacking and I have no cares in the world, where everything I own is on my back, that is when I feel unhindered, happiest and most complete.  While I still have projects at home that suck my time and energy (such as the home itself), I have at least gotten rid of a lot of the burdens that steal my time and focus.

The letting go is a lot easier than one would think, I would suggest the problem is that letting go feels so good that we are tempted to let everything go. I told my wife a few days ago that by the time we pack up to move back to northern Sweden I want to just move one or two boxes and nothing more. Of course I was just playing around… or was I?

The truth is, that the more shit I let go, the better I feel. I feel the anxiety lifting, the burdens and the “must do’s”.. I can feel it already where boredom starts to take over and I go write for a few hours, I play with my son, or I start to plan my next photo project. In life such as in backpacking, the simpler my everyday rutines, the better I feel. I know whats in my gear closet and this makes for fast packing and less worry when I head out on the trail. Why not try and accomplish the same in my “real life” as well?


Posted by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

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