With my blog about minimalism, I’ve sometimes received critical feedback, about which I’m very grateful.
Both on Instagram and in my immediate social environment, several people approached me within the last couple of days. Some of them were reacting to my previous blog post about how to fly business class for free (you can read it here: Link)
The reactions that reached me were the following:
- "How do minimalism and your lifestyle fit in with all the travel?"
- "Minimalism and aviation, but that's not sustainable!
- "Minimalism but business class jetting around the world? "
- "You are fake, not real, just another Instagram impostor. Admit that someone supports you financially!"
I should tell a little bit about what minimalism means to me?
For me this means one thing above all else: I focus on the things that are important to me, on everything that gives value to my life. This can be very different from individual to individual. What gives me fun and joy does not have to arouse the same passion in another person.
However, I try to minimalize all the things that are noise and useless distractions for my life. So minimalism or let’s call it simple living is about focusing and actively reducing distractions, which do not add any value to my life.
What is adding value to my life and what do I consider as noise?
What are the things that I consider nonsensical? For example, shopping, going to a restaurant with colleagues every lunchtime, expensive premium fitness studios, ready-made food, going to the hairdresser every month, the IKEA stroll to buy something, and so on. I think you guys understand what I’m getting at? Over the years, I’ve become more and more aware of what I want in life, what’s important to me. And what not. Precious things are those, who give my life any longterm benefit, and not just the short-lived satisfaction of buying in a world of automatic subliminal mass consumption.
The Real Instagram Life
I am a thrifty person in everyday life. Of course, I can’t show such things. How do I display a non-shopping? I could take a picture of my five black tops, long sleeves, pullovers. I don’t have any other items, besides some remaining things that I like to wear. Or how do I show how I invest in ETFs, shares, REITs, and co? Unfortunately, this is not suitable for Instagram. At least, some of you participate through my cooking posts in the fact that I cook most of the dishes myself and prepare them well in advance for the next lunch at work — to save money, for example. Instagram and other social platforms inherently have the problem that it is all about self-representation. Of course, I show myself from the side how I may see myself. Or I show the things that I find beautiful and exciting. But not the things that belong to my everyday life.
What really keeps me motivated in life - the Real Sara
So, what are the things that have the highest priority for me in life — the passions for which I burn and that I try to focus on mainly?
Anyone who’s been following me for a while knows I love food above all else. Sometimes, I travel just for the sake of eating. My life is all about food. I love preparing food, from grocery shopping to cooking and then enjoying it. I think food is one of my biggest motivators. Where do I group coffee and my professional, scientific considerations of it? I believe coffee belongs both in the category here, as well as in category 3, science. The black beverage is best paired after eating a sizzling bowl of some street food, somewhere in a dirty back alley.
I want to quote myself: "My limited lifetime is too precious to spend decades in the same resort over and over."
Travel is a passion for me, hence also education (which does not have to be as boring and stressful as it sounds).
You only see the world with all its facets, with all its warm, loving and beautiful people when you step outside the front door. This fulfilling beauty outshines everything else!
Science, self-education is bliss and joy. This may sound presumptuous or arrogant, but it is not meant to be so. As some may know, I have followed a traditional academic education: a degree in food chemistry followed by a doctorate. But that was never enough for me. Why is that?
I think my father is to blame in a positive sense. When I was in primary school, my parents allowed me to stay up fifteen minutes longer every Sunday (that is already a big deal for a six-year-old), only because to watch “TerraX” with my dad, a 45-minute documentary series. Back then, it was still called Schliemann’s Erben (heirs of Schliemann), which mainly dealt with historical and archaeological topics. This show made me realize, how wonderfully complex, diverse and exciting the world can be.
The evenings together with my father, both in pajamas, a bowl of Bircher muesli spooning — I think that was the starting shot for my brain. Since then my head has always been hungry, always eager in search of new knowledge and further education.
So what is it all about then? Live his own life content.
Food, Travel, Science — these three points drive me in life. That keeps the fire burning in me and makes it blaze even higher.
I focus my life on food, travel, and science. This is what I mean in terms of time, as well as money, i.e., I prefer to spend money and lifetime only for these things.
Now some people might ask themselves: well, what about fitness? You do bodybuilding, don’t you? For me bodybuilding is a kind of meditation and balance. I love to concentrate on one exercise, to feel the movement and my body. It also pleases me every time I make small progress and lift heavier weights. But do I call it a deep passion? No, a hobby perhaps.
So, why is minimalism perfectly compatible for my life, with business class and many journeys?
First of all, minimalism has nothing to do with sustainability, but only with keeping one’s mind free of useless noise, ballast from the environment and concentrating on what means something in life. And not to the things you do to please society, or to draw a picture of yourself as you would like to be.
My point is: if travel is essential to me if I enjoy traveling and flying if I love food, other cultures, science — why should I be stingy with myself? It’s not at all about sacrificing oneself, but really about removing ballast and garbage from one’s life and thoughts. And it is not about money.
Stay real - and follow your own true passions.