My Minimalism Journey – June 2017

It has been 2.5 years now since I made a pledge to live minimally.

For the first 2 years, I tried to reduce my possessions so they could fit in 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on backpack. It is a target I set as I have the vision to move abroad someday and I don’t want my stuff to weight me down. I was finally able to turn the vision into reality on February 20th, 2017, when I move to Auckland, New Zealand to pursue my master degree.

It was when, once again, a reality knocked me down. That I am still far far away from being a minimalist. Yes, I was able to fit my belongings that I wanted to bring to New Zealand into one 28″ suitcase, one carry-on backpack, and one small duffel bag. But they are severely overweight. My baggage allowance was 33 kg (checked-in baggage) and 7 kg (cabin baggage). But I was end-up with 39 kg (checked-in baggage) and 11 kg (cabin baggage), so my baggage was overweight by 10 kg. Well, I have evaluated where I went wrong, what things that I don’t necessarily need to embrace a new life, things that I should be left home or better be donated. But it was a painful lesson, as I had to pay a very expensive overweight baggage fee and also the pain I had to bear lugging 11kg backpack. Something that I promised myself not to experience ever again.

Refer to my experience, the key to minimalist moving are:

  • Research in advance about where to find/buy the cheapest things, such as homeware, clothes, stationary etc. I was so overwhelmed by my friends’ warning that everything in New Zealand is much more expensive than Indonesia. But I found out that it is not always the case, there is a store like “The Warehouse” that sell items just as cheap as in Indonesia. If I knew about this before I left, I would have brought items that I could easily find here at a cheap price. The good things are that most of these stores have online shopping website so you can find the exact price to compare even before leaving the home country.
  • I should have only brought clothes for 2 weeks. Only my best quality, favorite, most comfortable and most expensive ones, the clothing items that can’t be replaced. I should have left or donated the rest in Indonesia. Living in a new country means an opportunity to complete our wardrobe with local products and even upgrade it with a better quality. But it doesn’t mean a lot more purchase as it is opposite to the minimalist life principle, but just an enough amount to complete what we already have.

Other than that, I still have an enormous amount of possessions that I keep on my parents’ house. Something that I have to tackle immediately when I go back to Indonesia after finishing my study. I am supposed to only keep a few clothes in my parents’ house, only for when I spend my time there, at maximum is clothes I need for 2 weeks stay, nothing more. I have to also organize my books, my knick-knacks and everything that I no longer need but I am still keeping there. I think I have to get rid at least 80% of them.

Besides that limited items that I will keep at my parents’ house, recently I have listed all possessions that I require to live a normal life. Based on that list, I only need less than 300 items for a settle-life, a life whereby I stay in one place for more than 1 year, most likely at my own house or apartment. For a nomad life (stay in one place for less than a year, on a rental flat/room), I have to stick with 1 suitcase + 1 carry-on backpack rule (with maximum total weight of 40 kg) to contain all my belongings. The items count is reduced a lot to less than 150 items. So, it will make it very easy when I am moving again somewhere. And the last, for a travel life, whereby I keep moving and stay in one place less than 1 week, I have to contain all my belongings in one carry-on backpack only. The items count based on my list is less than 80 items.

I hope that I can stick with the plan and advance my minimalist journey further, as I am really overwhelmed with the burden of my possessions.

 

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The Baggage I brought to New Zealand, still too much!!!!!

 

Juventus, the team of my heart

A European friend I met here in Auckland once asked me how I become such a huge Juventus fan. I figured he asked because he saw it’s very odd for someone who came from nowhere near Italy, no relation what-so-ever to Italy, has so much affection for an Italian football club.

Well, I got this question a lot.

And I wasn’t always able to answer it the way I wanted to.

And as I am now mourning in my room after the painful loss in Champions League final, our 2nd UCL final loss in these 3 years, again to a Spanish club, I think maybe I’m just gonna write about it. So next time people ask me the same question, I’ll give them this blog link instead.

How I become a Juventus fan in the first place? it is simply a destiny. Maybe it sounds as a cliche, but every true football fan knows that we don’t choose our team, it chooses us. And I am just so thankful that I end up with Juventus. Juve is a great team with a great history and a great future. Yes, we have involved in some scandals, but we have paid for that. And yes, the last time we lift Champions League trophy was 21 years ago (I was not even a Juve fan yet back then). So what? it doesn’t mean that we will stop trying to get it again.

But why I become so attached to Juventus? this one I know for sure why.

Growing up, I always have this feeling that I am an odd duck. I am different. And I don’t belong anywhere.

I am different than the rest of my family, till this day, I still can’t explain my job (what I do as a process engineer) to my parents and my extended family without puzzling them. Our worlds are just too different. I don’t always feel belong in my family.

Also, I went to school too early, so I always was the youngest in class, yet I was always one of the smartest too (not to brag), so that my classmates treated me a slightly differently. I don’t always feel belong in schools.

And I don’t always feel belong in the office. I am pretty good at my works, but I have a bit difficulty to mingle with my co-workers, simply because I have different interests with the majority of them. I am always eyeing for cheap tickets for my next travel, and have no interest in the latest movie, fashion trends and what is happening between who and who in the office.

And I am an Introvert, so naturally, I dislike small talk. And the vast majority of Indonesia loves small talks. So, I rarely feel belong anywhere else.

But what does all the above have anything to do with Juventus?

Well, Juventus has helped to bridge me with my outside world. There are a lot of happy memories in those places, even when I don’t feel belong to, related to Juventus. I remember my father woke me up in the middle of the night to watch Juventus game. No, he didn’t watch the game, he woke up for tahajud pray, but he woke me up for the game, because he knew that I would be extremely upset if I missed it. I remember my classmate stole a Pippo Inzaghi poster from school library’s newspaper for me, back then when the internet was still scarce and we still relied on newspaper for football news. And I didn’t even ask for the poster, this friend just knew that I would be happy to have it. And I remember discussing Juventus games with my boss at the office, as football is the only thing we have in common outside work, and I was so thankful for those football conversations to balance out the uninteresting small talks that I have to do with others.

On top of that, Juventus is one of a few who made me the person who I am today. Juventus teaches me to love something so far far away, thus it inspires me to travel. If it wasn’t for the life-long dream of watching Juventus live in our stadium in Turin, I would never travel to Europe. If I hadn’t done that Eurotrip, I would never continue to travel to anywhere else in the world, which now traveling the world has become the greatest joy of my life. If I hadn’t traveled the world, I might not be inspired to pursue this scholarship and to have the experience of living abroad. If it wasn’t for Juventus, I would never learn Italian, which made me fall in love in learning multiple languages.

At some extent, I owe it to Juventus, and that’s why I love Juventus so much.

For the same reason, I got offended very easily when someone insults Juventus and when it happens, I will lose my respect to these people almost immediately. I mean, these people, I know them for how long? I will always know Juventus longer than I know them. Juventus was the one who always there, accompanied me growing up and now growing old, through the happy and upsetting moments, through celebrations and rejections, while where were they? So, it is only natural that I will always take Juventus side.

At the end, probably I will not give this blog link if I get the same question again. It is longer than I predicted, and I couldn’t imagine that people really want to read it till the end, which doesn’t really matter, anyway. I am just glad that I write it. It is something that I have been kept for myself.

So next time people asked me how do I become a huge fan of Juventus? I will just say: it just happened.

Forza Juventus!!!

 

 

Random Thoughts

As per today, 5 April 2017 – I have been living in Auckland, New Zealand for 1.5 months and it comes to my senses to evaluate, whether this is really what I expected before.

Living abroad, together with pursuing master degree internationally – are two of my bucket list items, which have been sitting there for so long up to the point that I thought that they were not really for me. Until finally in 2015, I found the courage to leave the company where I grew up professionally, whom at this very moment, I really miss for some reasons that I can’t really explain myself. I am not sure if it is because of the dynamic, the pride. the mentorship or the companionship, since when I was there, all I want is being here.

Now I am here and everything is going according to the plan up to this point. I got the full scholarship at the top university in the country that I have been dreaming to live in. I stay in a nice accommodation with the stunning view, the nicest in my whole life even. I meet a lot of new friends and even some potential new best friends. No problem on my study so far, at least I can stay on top of it until today. And I still have time to travel to new and exciting places in between my study schedule. My life seems to go in a right direction at last.

But here I am, thinking, whether it is really what I want?

One of my mentors, a man that I respect in a great deal, told me once that doing this (living and study abroad by myself) would be good for me. He has experienced it himself when he did his research in Swiss – he said during that time, when he was alone in the foreign country, surrounded by beautiful nature when he really took the time to think – what he really wanted to do with his life. What I am experiencing now – was it what he talked about?

It feels weird to think of things like this. I am so accustomed to a life where everything moves so fast and I am just trying to catch up. I have been always very busy or very tired to do anything else. Then here I am, puzzled.

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I am an introvert, so what?

It is not until last year when I learned about the correct definition about introvert/extrovert. I have heard these terms several times before, and all I knew was extrovert is good and introvert is bad, extrovert is preferred among friends and introvert is a loner without any friend. Had someone asked me several years ago, which one I was? I would have definitely say proudly that I am an extrovert, solely for the fact that I have friends, and I am not a shy, awkward loner.

But the psychology course in last September totally changed my point of view. It is turned out that introvert is nothing to do with shyness, awkwardness or loneliness. Introverts and extroverts are different in the way they gain and spend their energy. Introverts’ energy depletes when they are among other people and recharge when they are alone. While extroverts are the opposite, they gain energy when they are among people and depletes theirs when alone.

That’s why an introvert still can be an outgoing person who is sparkling among his/her peers, because introverts can have a truly enjoyable times with others, but not all the time. After spending some time with others, no matter how enjoyable it is, the energy of introverts will deplete and therefore they will need some time alone to recharge. So if you can think of friends who seem always having good times in parties/gathering but also always have an excuse to leave early, most likely they are introverts.

And I am belong to one of them.

I love to hang out with my friends, but not for long. After some time being with them, all I want is lock myself in my room, reading a book or listening to the radio. I love my time in the office, working alongside my colleagues, but after office hours, I prefer to wandering alone in silence. Even during travelling with a group of friends, usually after several days of being together everywhere, I always purposely take a different route/destination so I can go there alone. And if I don’t get my alone time in any given situation, I notice then I become cranky.

For long, I thought that I am “different”, so it is kind of a relief to find out that I am not the only one. Based on what I read, one third of world population is introvert. It means that extroverts outnumbers introverts by twice, so it is logical that we meet more extroverts in our life and the introverts will feel that they are different compared to their surrounding.

If you want to learn deeper about this, I recommend you this one book: The Introvert Advantage – How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D. I can swear that the book is one of the most useful book that I have read in my entire life, I feel that the book explains myself and it provides guidance on how to be a better version of myself.

Introverts have been misunderstood for long time, even by the introverts themselves. Until today, it is still hard for me to believe how late I found out about this, even when the information is largely available in world wide web. Had I known about it sooner, say when I was a child, I could have developed my potential more.  For me, it is a reminder that  I should always educate myself and learn about new things everyday, because there’s so much knowledge out there that I don’t know yet!