A Minimalist in Miami: Stay-cations

'Miami from Key Biscayne' photo (c) 2010, Daniel Reichert - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ It’s hard to stop spending because we are moving too fast to take inventory of what we have, what we want, and what we truly need.


Every other weekend or so, I drive 45 minutes down to Miami to see my boyfriend. I usually try to put myself on a schedule to get out the door, beat traffic, and spend as much time down there as possible.   That is a mistake and plays into the fast paced way of life here in the US that I’m trying very hard to escape.

I realized that if I just slowed down, spent more time preparing for my trips down to Miami, I wouldn’t forget so much stuff or bring crap I didn’t need. I could cook something if I wanted to. I could remember my sunglasses and my hair wrap.  I could run all the necessary errands before leaving. Rushing and lack of preparation causes unnecessary spending. Whatever essentials I forget, I have to buy. That means more money spent and wasted.

I’d like to live as a minimalist.  As you already know, I’m cleaning out the clutter.  Minimalist living also means light packing.  And packing light is something I’ve never done, even if it’s for two or three days.  My hair, in and of itself, requires so many products and tools just to get it to look presentable, and to put it up at night. Then, I have to pack my dog. And prepare for various situations that might arise, like daily torrential downpours and more than likely work-outs.  Not to mention all of the challenges I face with packing just because I’m a girl. By slowing down, I could figure out what exactly I absolutely need for my trips.

So this past weekend, I spent the majority of my Saturday getting everything ready for my Miami trip. I even did laundry and cleaned my bedroom. I took care of all of my needs; I didn’t forget anything and I wont be spending any unnecessary money.  This is all great except for two things.  I still brought way too much stuff.  I may have got the amount of clothes down to the essentials, I still had 5 small bags.  (clothes, toiletries, dog stuff, laptop, and lunchbox.) I had everything I needed, and I’ll use about 97% of everything I brought, but it’s still too much.

If I really wanted to get down to the bare essentials, I need to leave my laptop and my lunchbox at home. I’ll have to disconnect from the internet world for the duration of time I spent in Miami–sometimes it’s 3 or 4 days. My laptop is my writing notebook, so it’s hard to leave it at home; I no longer carry the composition notebook like I did when I was a teen.  But that’s a story for another day.

Nonetheless, it felt good taking my time to get ready and take care of everything a slow pace.  Now, to apply that principle to everything else in my life…