Skip to content

Why I Can’t be a Minimalist Like Colin

I’ve been reading Colin Wright at Exile Lifestyle and admire what he’s doing.  Travelling around the world is not easy task and yet he’s running a design firm, multiple creative online services and doing it with less than 100 things. He is definitely an inspiration to myself and others wanting to minimize their lifestyle and focus on the things that really matter.Having only 50 things(and posting about it) has definitely been the most impressive feat of Colin’s I’ve seen. I know others have done the same but I saw Colin’s first so I have to credit him with that one. When I first saw the post I was amazed and vowed to do the same thing one day while travelling the world.I immediately got to thinking about what I would get rid of. To get myself going I started a minimalism challenge on rcThink. Creating the challenge forced me to look at what I didn’t need and what I could get rid of. At the time I was living in a place that had a decent amount of space. If I didn’t use something, I could just box it up and it was out of sight. The problem with that was that I had boxes of stuff I never used. During the challenge I got rid of a ton of stuff that I never used and also a few things that I used but didn’t really need any more. The most important result of the challenge though, is that I now look at everything with a critical eye. Everything that’s in my place has to serve a function or at least look pretty damn good to stick around.There is a problem with this lifestyle though. When things become digital, it’s easy to minimize the things you have to carry around. Writing digital documents means you no longer need paper. Listening to mp3’s means you no longer need cds. Reading ebooks and websites means you no longer need books, magazines and newspapers. Communication using Facebook, email and skype means you don’t need a land line or cell phone. That’s all well and good when everything you do is online. Some activities just aren’t digital though. Running, hiking, biking, offroading, skiing, and wakeboarding are just a few things that I do that are not digital and they all require specific gear to be done. Unfortunately, I can’t use only a computer to take my truck off to the edge of town and ride my mountain bike around in the hills.So the problem I have with extreme minimalism is that I have a ton of outdoor gear. Yes, there is a few things that I could probably get rid of but most of it I use on a regular basis. I’ve got dive gear,a wakeboard, a snowboard, skis, hiking and camping gear, mountain bikes, dirtbikes, and kayaks and a bunch of other things. That’s a lot outdoor gear that I just can’t see getting rid of. I use some piece of my collection every single week. I take nearly 50 things every time I go ski touring!What I’m trying to say is that I’ll never only have 50 things. Doing all the outdoor things I do regularly requires owning some gear of some sort.Even though I won’t ever be able to own less than 100 things myself, I still use guys like Colin and Everett as inspiration to simplify my life. They’re like the people that climb Everest to me. It’s something incredible that is inspiring and I want to learn from but I don’t think I will ever do it myself.