Real and ruthless.
Two things I had to be to be in the process of reducing my life (in reality, it is just my ‘stuff’) down to the 23kg limit (about 51 pounds) of the 1 suitcase that I am taking with me on my gypsy journey and whatever I can carry in a backpack on the plane. You ready to see all my worldly possessions?
Hmmm, looking at that photo now I can’t decide whether I am extremely brave or extremely stupid. Perhaps a bit of both.
During this process of purging I lessened the pain of having to assess each and every item I owned (like picking teams at school physical ed class) by inventing the Space x Weight x Usage x Cost of Replacement algorithm. (Total genius btw. I am waiting for the call from the Nobel Prize committee. Any day now) Through this process I had to get very real and very ruthless about what were truly ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’. Example…
Need: underwear (seeing as I’m not relocating to a nudist beach it is safe to say this is a definite ‘need’)
Want: hair straightener (believe it or not, there was a time when we didn’t use these. You remember the poofier-the-better 80’s?)
Need: my Cue limited-edition designer military-inspired metallic embellished and hand-beaded attachable shoulder pads…
What? Why you looking at me like that?
Okay, okay, that last one was really a ‘want’ but I couldn’t bear to part with it and the piece (notice I said piece, as in piece of art, and not just an accessory) damn near broke the algorithm in the ‘cost of replacement’ part of the equation as I bought the last one’s ever made and have never since seen another pair like it sold and have since been offered three times more than I paid for them by a fashionista friend (practically an investment, really). I have inserted a photo below. Commence drooling…. now.
To be honest, the process wasn’t that hard as I knew that I could live happily from the contents of one suitcase. I was lucky enough (glass half full) to experience this during the Brisbane floods of 2010 when I came back from overseas to find myself temporarily homeless as the place I lived went 1.5 metres underwater. I went almost 2 months (overseas time included) living out of that one suitcase. And you know what? It didn’t affect my happiness at all. I didn’t get voted off the island for having naturally dried hair or no makeup on or a pair of shoes on that were sooooo last season dah-ling. I did miss the hell out of my books thought, although thanks to ereaders this problem is easily solved (Kindle, where have you been all my life?).
Just for fun I thought I would list some partly-proud-of-partly-can’t-believe-I-did-that results of The Great Pre-Gypsy Purge of 2013:
* I now own 1 single pair of heels. Yes ladies… that reads ONE pair of heels. (I can hear all the people who knew me and my previous collection of heels in-every-colour-of-the-rainbow-and-then-some falling out of their chairs in a collective thump)
* I now don’t own a hair straightener (better hope the 80’s hair makes a comeback, hey?)
* The only makeup I now own is one single stick of mascara
* I own 1 physical book being Recipe for Dreaming by my old mentor, Bryce Courtenay (which he signed and dedicated to me), a slim, inspiring book that captures my reasons for this gypsyventure. (Does my +150 and counting ebooks on my new fabulous and bestest present ever Kindle count?)
* I haven’t missed anything I’ve sold, thrown or given away…
I add this as a caveat as, who knows, maybe one day I will miss those clothes that I bought because they were on sale but never wore, or the stack of CD’s (what are they again?) from 2001, or that really bad 80’s wig (don’t need that anymore thank you to the no straightener thing) that I bought for a costume party and never wore again.
I end this post with a question (or two)… if your house was about to flood and you could only take one suitcase with you, what would you pack? What could you leave behind? What absolutely absurd but extremely justified ‘want’ (see Cue shoulder pads above as an example) would you just have to take?
Would love to hear your answers. In the meantime and always… Stay real