Minimalism means something different to everyone, but in general it entitles sustaining or lessening the amount of material goods you own and being less wasteful. When going abroad, either for a study abroad program, living abroad, or long-term travel, it can be challenging keeping this mindset: how on earth do you live out of your one suitcase for half a year?
Resist the temptation to buy stuff.
You’ll be back home in a few months; you can go without your decorative plant. In addition, see these months as an opportunity to investigate what your true material needs are. Because you’ll be separated from the stuff you think you absolutely cannot go without, it’s the ideal opportunity to do a reality check; do I really need it, or can I go without? I used to have twenty shirts, turns out I can do with five which makes choosing what to wear in the morning a whole lot easier. Now I have five that I truly, fully enjoy, instead of twenty that are just okay-ish.
Invest in a solid set of basics.
I’m talking about all the basics you always need, the basics you’re taking with you when going abroad such as clothing, backpack, electronics, etc. Make sure your basics are exactly what you need and want, are of good quality. Try to keep your basics that way, don’t replace or add things unless they’re broken. And if you invest wisely in your true needs, you will use them longer and won’t feel the need to replace them after a short-term.
Spend on experiences instead of material goods.
Retail therapy is something very common; you don’t feel great, you buy a new shirt and yes, you feel better. But this is short-lived happiness. This lowly feeling will also go away if you pick up your phone and talk to your friend, it’s a better way of dealing with your emotions. In addition, investing in experiences, preferably with others, gives you more long-lasting happiness than material goods. It’s harder to execute, it goes against all your emotions at that time you’re feeling low, but in the end, it will make you feel so much better. Especially when you live abroad, you have the chance to experience once in a lifetime stuff, go out there and experience it!
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