Thrift-Shopping Fiend to Minimalist Nomad

Monday, May 30, 2011  at 6:58 AM
I am not a minimalist at heart.  I am a thrift shopper--you know, the kind that finds crazy old lady cardigans, awesomely ridiculous belts in the shapes of elephants, and scarves, scarves, scarves.  I love how what you wear is like playing dress up, only now you're a grown up and can wear your concoction outside of your grandmother's attic!

Before being a nomad by Danalynn C
You thought I was joking about the elephant belt, weren't you?  This is a basic weekend outfit for me, before I become limited to only the items in my backpack...

As I have been preparing for my trip, it has been tricky to reconcile this love of mine with the necessity of carrying all of my possessions on my back for the next year(s).  I have been sloughing off my items, selling, consigning and donating them in waves.  It's scary, knowing that I will no longer have this comfort that I have relied on, and that my clothing choice will soon become zero (some items will go into storage--read more about it in my post on What We Did With All Our Stuff).

It's also rather relieving.  No need to hold onto those shoes, just in case I want to wear them.  No need to move that pile of sweaters from one apartment to the next, because they are so practical even though they are not appealing to wear.  It's also, frankly, appalling.  How many pairs of pants did I have?  How long have I had this shirt that I have never worn?  I feel like it should be harder to get rid of all of these clothes that I have collected, but it's surprisingly easy.  Almost everything would be effortless and cheap to replace.  Goodbye, clothing I am not attached to!  Hello, freedom to move about without being weighed down by stuff!  :D

Last week I was still frantically searching thrift shops for the perfect summer travel shirt--you know the one, cute but practical, brightly colored, a magical quick-dry fabric that does not scream 'I'm a traveler!'--when I decided to stop.  I do not need to have the perfect travel items in my backpack when I leave.  It will be much more fun to keep an eye out when I am traveling and find the perfect item on the road.  Besides, I am sure that in a month I will decide that my packing list is ridiculous, and what was I thinking?!  

When you are reading this blog, keep this in mind--I love the pretty, but I bow to practicality.  However, who says that I must choose between cute jeans and high-waisted baggy cargo travel pants?  I'll take my low-rise boot-cut pants in quick dry fabric, thank you very much!

Cross Country Ski Animation by Danalynn C
Apparently I have yet to grab a photo of my basic travel outfit!  Since Chris has the camera, this GIF of my cross-country ski outfit will have to suffice.  Same coat, similar pants, this is pretty much my wardrobe for the upcoming year(s)!
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