“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.” – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
Sitting on the bank of the Praek Tuek Chhu river in Cambodia, the only sounds are the birds, bugs and sizzle of something simple and tasty being cooked up in the kitchen. There’s no electricity in the thatched huts we’re staying in, and the room is open on the river-side so that you can literally jump out of bed and into the warm, tropical waters. There are two compost toilets through some trees at the back of the camp. And… it’s perfect!
I’ve definitely learned that life is best when it’s simple. A good meal doesn’t include all the flavours under the sun but a well thought through combination of tastes and textures that complement one other.
Rather than feeling restrictive, eliminating unnecessary things in life is completely liberating. On my first day without nicotine almost two years ago, I felt free in a way I hadn’t felt for years. I hadn’t realised that my mind and body had been so distracted by something so unnecessary and harmful.
Since cutting out animal products 16 years ago, I have been on an exciting journey of elimination. I stopped buying new clothes and decided to buy only second hand clothes, furniture and household items wherever possible. I stopped using shampoo in favour of just water. I switched to only using eco-friendly chemicals. More recently, I have cut out caffeine, almost cut out alcohol and almost eliminated processed food and additives.
On top of all that, we’ve been without a permanent homes and jobs for almost a year now and have been travelling with just a small backpack of essentials. It sounds boring right? It sounds über-hippie. Like that Japanese book about how to clean out your closet, in life it’s hard to express how empowering and enlivening it feels to get rid of things that don’t bring you happiness. It also saves money, time and worry.
Every time we get rid of something unnecessary, we make space for something essential, something holy, something pure. I can’t wait to continue this adventure and to let go of the things, thoughts, beliefs and assumptions that stop me from being truly present.
Next stop: ??? — at Eden Eco Village.