Do my hands hold nothing? Or do they hold the world?

I own nothing! Basically nothing. I have no house, I have no kitchen, I have no washing machine.

I do have a tiny car. It is so tiny, you probably can not even buy it in America. I have a computer, clothes and outdoor gear. That’s about it.

Now the question is: Does owning little makes me poor?

I’m sure a lot of people would call me that and they don’t understand how one would wanna live the way I live deliberately. In Belgium most young people, after they finished college they buy a house, marry, get kids and spend the next 25 years working and paying off the debts they made for buying that house. Now that to me sounds rather crazy! Being twenty something and already being caged. I don’t say it’s not nice having a house, having stuff, … I’m just saying: Doesn’t it sound totally ridiculous making debts, working your ass off to pay them off, and being kept in one place by the thing you made debts for? He??? Exactly!
There’ve been a lot of moments in my life where I thought I haven’t accomplished anything, where I thought I’m just a total loser. Cause really, look at me: I can’t keep a job for longer than 6 months, I don’t have a place to call my own, I have no money on the bank (nor in my pocket), I don’t have a fancy car, I don’t make a career, my nails look like shit and I don’t walk around in high heels. And o yeah I don’t have an Iphone… Told you: A total loser!
Really? Am I? Well that comes down to how you define poor and how you define rich! Cause it really all is a matter of perspective!
Now when I think of the things I have, they have nothing to do with “stuff” or houses or careers or cars, it’s about who I am and what I’ve done.

I have slept in the barn with 100 llamas, alpacas, 7 camels and two parrots.
I have travelled the world, and I have a lot more to travel.
I have a sparkle in my eyes that reveals my love and passion for life.
I have seen the sun rise on top of Mount Whitney.
I have walked through dark valleys to be able to see the greatness of the mountains.
I have laughed so much I thought I would never be able to stop laughing.
I have the courage to be who I am, to live what I love and to leave my own tracks in the sand.
I have seen the beauty of a dewdrop reflecting the morninglight.
I have swum with wild dolphins in the Pacific Ocean.
I have been lazy and done nothing.
I have written songs and moved other people to tears.
I have a heart big enough for anyone who wants to be in it.
I have spend evenings and evenings at the campfire.
I have been freezing my ass off only to learn to appreciate the sun more.
I have danced on Forester Pass.
I have met amazing and inspiring people.
I have looked a beautiful mountain lion in the eye.
I have forgiven and been forgiven.
I have taken a bath on hot water beach in New Zealand.
I have saved the life of a llama baby.
I have seen a fox sleeping under the roots of a fallen tree.
I have ran a marathon I never ever thought I was capable of doing.
I have roasted marshmallows over the lava of a guatemalan vulcano.
I have cried over animals killed by cars.
I have learned to read and write 9 ancient languages.
I have swum with a group of rays in the carribean.
I have experienced true trail magic.
I have spend days reading books without a break.
I have seen the John Butler Trio performing in the tiniest places in Berlin and Amsterdam.
I have coproduced operas (what the fuck?).
I have spend hours and hours listening to old people’s stories of the lifes they lived.
I have been loved and been betrayed.
I have loved and betrayed.
I have been given a second birthday.
I have slept under heavenly skies, counting shooting stars.
I have lost friends and found new ones.
I have tiny wrinkels around my eyes and my mouth from laughing and crying and living life.
I have been given a trailname that suits me more every day.
I have felted a dog that looked so real my sister thought I had bought a real one.
I have played my ukulele at Guitar Lake.
I have learned to be gentle and patient with myself.
I have driven my bike over the alps. Frankly, to be honest, I hated it, but hell I made it!
I have woken up in the middle of the night to feed two little lambs for months in a row.
I have spend hours being breathtaken by the beauty and the magic of nature.
I have no worries about losing things I own and about having to take care of them.
I have the freedom to live everything I wanna live, to love everyone I wanna love and to be ME.
I have the freedom to get up, grab my backpack and let my legs carry me to places I’ve never been before!

So… No I don’t have a house, I don’t have a kitchen and I don’t have a washing machine.
 I own so little and still… I am not poor. 
Now with this post I don’t wanna brag with all the things I’ve seen and done (O I’ve seen so little). That ain’t what it’s about. I rather wanna ask YOU the question:
What is it that you really need to be happy? What is it that makes you rich?
Is it your big truck, or is it the company of a loved one? Is it your house with jacuzzi, or is it free time that allows you to go hiking? Is it a Louis Vuiton purse or is it the look of crazylike happiness in the eyes of your dog when you’re coming home? Is it the things that you bought or the things that you’ve done?
JUST ONE COOKIE??? Hell I have 1 WHOLE DAMN GREAT COOKIE!!! Let’s throw a fucking party!!!
Now in fact lightweight backpacking is nothing else than a metaphor for the life I live.
Lately I read a blogpost, stating that the cut-off toothbrush is a symbol for taking lightweight backpacking serious. WTF? Hell no it ain’t about that toothbrush! Hell no, lightweight backpacking doesn’t need that symbol, nor needs it to be taken too serious (really, just like life shouldn’t always be taken too serious!)! I somehow find it sad when people take things too serious cause it keeps them from laughing and making fun of things or themselves and too often it leaves them narrow-minded.
(No no no I’m not saying you can’t cut off your toothbrush or you can’t cut out the labels of your clothes, I’m not saying 50 gramms don’t make a difference (actually they don’t haha, but a lot of 50 gramms do), I’m just saying: Be sure to make a dirty joke and have a good laugh while you’re doing all that! :cP
To me lightweight backpacking ain’t about the lightest pack nor the cut-off toothbrush, it’s about making it easier to enable me to do what I love, it’s about the freedom that it gives me, it’s about what I don’t need to hike my path through life, it’s about the “owning little”, it’s about the fact that LESS MAKES ME LIVE MORE, that my lightweight pack allows me to climb the mountains and hike the trails with more joy and less weight on my shoulders. Lightweight backpacking makes me focus on what I really need and makes me aware of the aweful lot of things I do not need. It brings me to the core, to the important things in life. It doesn’t tie me to one place, it lets me live lighthearted and lightfooted. It makes me “the best me” I could possibly be. When you meet me on trail, all you’ll meet will be a girl with a light backpack and a big heart, a girl without money, but with sparkles in her eyes, a girl who owns little but loves/lives a lot!

So “owning little” in the cotton world basically is the same as “lightweight backpacking” on trail. Both give me the freedom of living the life I love. Both give me the freedom of going wherever my legs will take me. Both set me free!

The extra pounds you carry in your backpack are nothing else than the worries you get from owning too much. So hell, get rid of that shit. Set yourself free!
To get back to the question “Does owning little makes me poor?”
No my hands are not empty. They hold everything I could ever dream of!!!

8 thoughts on “The freedom of owning little!

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