I wouldn’t call myself overly materialistic, but it hasn’t been until living on a cruise ship that I’ve realized how little I need. And to be honest, I’m liking how few possessions I own these days.
I feel like the one thing everyone knows about people who live on a cruise ship is that our cabins are tiny. And it’s true. My entire living space consists of ten steps from my door to my bed. Yes, I measured. But we make it cozy and we make it work.
And so, ship life has made me a lot more of a minimalist, simply because there’s not enough space to be any other way.
When I was preparing for this adventure, I donated a lot of clothes that I never wore. I swear, every time I’d move (which was about six times during my stint in Orlando) I would just be moving clothes around without touching them the whole time I lived in a place
. There were always things I just couldn’t part with. Why? And even after the donations, there is still so much crap just sitting at my parents’ house. Again, why? I’ve been doing fine for the last eight months without it. It can go.
To be fair, there are some things that you just don’t wear in the Caribbean and it wouldn’t be smart to get rid of all of my cold weather clothing (Mel laughs at me because I had a leather jacket with me here and yeah, that’s hilarious) or all my business casual clothes just because I don’t always need them. But why do I hold on to things if they aren’t being used? Answer is that I simply shouldn’t have them.
And in thinking about it more, ship life has actually turned me on to being more minimalist beyond just material possessions.
I have less needs and less distractions. I have no internet or cell service most of the time so I’m way less attached to my phone and laptop. I’m not in a relationship so I’m not attached to a person at the moment. I try not waste my time doing anything that I don’t enjoy or isn’t in pursuit of my goals. I have less of a rigid schedule and I’m less anxious. I’m less inclined to please everyone around me. I’m overall way less attached to a plan and I live way more in the moment here. I have more time to myself to focus on my values (and figure out what they are in the first place) instead of being attached to someone else’s idea of what “the dream” is. Everything is less and it’s wonderful.
This is what it comes down to. To me, minimalism means not being attached.
Whether it be to your possessions, to your significant other, to your plans, to your distractions, your results, everything. And even though I was starting to get better at it as I’ve gotten older, it’s much easier on a ship because we’re forced to in many ways.
Only six weeks left here in the Caribbean and I can’t wait to let everything I’m learning here seep into my life off the ship.