Dear Travel Diary,
My month here in the North of Portugal is up. Today I’m moving on to the Lisbon area, so I will be spending a number of hours on the train. I spent some time rolling clothes and have already packed the little packages my backpack. My shoes are in there too. Most of my electronics are safely housed in the smaller bag I use for transporting them from place to place.
Rolling clothes instead of folding them is quite common practice with people who travel a lot. Everyone who does it says it causes the clothes to take up less space and I agree. As I stood looking at all those little rolls piled up on the bed and my little, black electronics bag, I realised how little I have to show for my 50 years on this planet. I’m a minimalist. My lack of possessions is deliberate and I love the fact that my life is not complicated by a lot of stuff. However, like many people I was originally conditioned by a society where achievement is often measured by the amount and quality of your possessions. That’s a social commentary you may not agree with, but if you think about it you may realize there’s more truth to it than you think.
Somewhere, deep inside me, the ghost of that conditioning may still remain because, just for a moment, I looked at how little I have and felt a tiny bit sad. Fortunately, the ghost of possessions past disappeared as quickly as it arrived, but its sudden manifestation took me by surprise. It’s the first time anything like that has happened. I like my minimalist lifestyle and usually find it an invigorating experience whenever I sort through my stuff and get rid of the things that I do not need. In fact, once everything was packed, I actually wished I had less stuff to carry around with me. Perhaps it’s time to do another inventory and see if anything else can go.
I like it here in the North of Portugal, but there’s a lot of places I never got to see. Nor did I spend as much time walking on the beach as I would have liked. I actually hoped to do some jogging on the beach, but I spent most of my time working behind my computer instead. Maybe I’ll try to get into a more healthy routine during the coming four weeks. I hope so, but I’m not going to hold my breath. In four weeks time I’ll probably start rolling clothes again and see my jogging pants are already done.