Authors: Alex & Jana
Simplicity is the result of maturity
There are subjects that were on our minds during the past (travel)years time and again. One or another have already been commented on in past blog posts. For other subjects there won’t be any room here either. Besides, it is important to mention that the description especially applies to today’s industrial countries.
Openness towards the diversity of the world
Our journey was a training camp, a ‘university of life’: We have learned a lot about other cultures, have studied different languages, have met people and got insights into many different living environments – and also into our own. Although all these living environments we encountered have been distinct and diverse, yet everywhere have we been met with a general helpfulness and hospitality.
The vast majority of the people on our planet (roughly estimated 99%) are good-hearted and peaceful. The parade example is Iran. A country that is displayed extremely negatively in the media, but the warmth and hospitality of its people stays unmatched. We wish for more curiosity and openness instead of anxiety fuelled by the media.
Nature as our constant companion and the human source of life
Far away from the daily highspeed rat race of today’s modern society the Kyrgyz mountain lakes, the never ending Mongol steppes, the chirping in South East Asian jungles or the mere incredible Indonesian underwater world – all of those brought us ever tranquility and contendedness. Besides, being close to nature also includes some form of body work (hiking, dancing, yoga, …) and a health-conscious nutrition (best without industrially produced foods). This leads not only to physical, but to mental health as well.
Conclusion: It was the countless, touching human encounters and the awe-inspiring nature experiences which impressed us the most during our journey.
Besides, we were able to survive on very little for years. Our material needs could fit onto our bicycle racks. Doing so, we never had the feeling that we have to abstain from something. By a lower (material) claim and therefore a high concentration on the essentials, an invitation over night, a hot shower or a warm meal always caused feelings of greatest happiness in us.
Happiness is a choice
Life is too short to do things which you don’t like or which you only do because you feel obliged to do them. We are the captain of our ship (most of the time) and we can decide in which direction the ship is heading. Over the course of the journey a lifestyle evolved for us which is consumption free as far as possible, but at the same time appreciative. In many ways, this journey has shown us what really matters to us. For example time for family, friends and idleness, openness, helpfulness, compassion.
Consumption and capitalism as the norm (and as a paradox)
Social and ecological effects
The following short video (5 min) concerning this subject is worth to be seen:
Less is more – about simplicity and happiness
Constantly there is carnival in our brain, constantly are we distracted by a flow of different information. In addition, advertisement with all psychological tricks, which is creating artificial needs in us. Consumption defines our personality – tell me what you buy and I tell you who you are. Besides the status, there is also the emotional aspect of consumption. When we buy something a moment of happiness occurs. But these moments are extremely short. Following this logic: a person who would like to be happy all the time, would have to consume never-endingly. The social and ecological consequences of consumption have been described above (background).
Small life, happy life
The answer to this relatively impenetrable and contradictory societal relations in which we live could be a simple equation: less = more. Less is more. Less consumption means having more cash to spare. Having more cash to spare means being able to work less. Working less means having more time. More time means more quality of life, more freedom, relaxation, balance, inner peace, tranquility, easiness, more physical and mental health. And ultimately happiness.
The separation of essential matters from the non-essential ones and therefore focusing on what we really need to live happily (and sustainably), is the crucial characteristic for the future sustainability of our generation.
Simplicity is the result of the journey
– THE END –
Links regarding the fields mentioned above and more:
Consumption and environmental pollution
Video: Story of Stuff (20 min, English):
Movie: Home (90 min, English):
Scientific approaches from
Global unequal distribution
(Dept) Money system
Video “Money as Debt” (45 Min):
Exercise (and the positive effect on mental health)
Encouragement for sustainable ways of living:
… and a lot more, e.g. here at betterworldlinks.org
But my WEALTHINESS
did get lost:
the quiet leisure,
the fascination of nature,
the healing tranquility,
the contemplative seclusion,