I have an on going list of things that I need to buy when I return Stateside. With every goal I think I’m setting comes another large purchase.
- A smartphone. To text, facebook, and tweet.
- A new computer. To facebook, tweet, email and maybe write.
- A juicer. To try and replicate the juices I’ve had in SE Asia.
- A car. To jam out to tunes when karaoke bars are not readily available.
- A down payment on an apartment. To store all my new purchases.
- A bike tune up (x2, I have 2 bikes.) I guess for safety.
- Plane tickets. To see my best friend get married.
- Micro brew beer. To drink.
- New running shoes. To run.
The list continues on with things like a new wardrobe, shoes and other things. Which is what all of these objects are, things I need. Wait. Need? Need or want? Realistically, I’ve been living out of a backpack for months and have done just fine with out any of these things. Need vs. Want. When you truly narrow it down, what do you actually need?
I spent the day trekking through the mountains of Loi Cai with a Vietnamese Hill Tribe woman for hours, she welcomed me into her home and cooked me lunch while her family wandered in and out of the small building. Her kitchen was a pot, a hole in the floor for fire and a spicket outside. Her living room was a dirt floor void of furniture. The most extravagant things she owned was her clothing and jewelry—most of which was made either by herself or one of her village people. This was truly minimalist living.
I asked her if she was happy. Happy bringing travelers like me into her village for the day, living the way she does—her genuine smile answered the question without words.