My Life in a Suitcase 2


Make it simple, but significant.

Don Draper

For the last few months, I’ve been travelling throughout Australia, the USA, and Europe and found that travel reduces life to the essentials.

My possessions have been limited to a suitcase and a carry-on containing clothing, toiletries, productive technology, and a notebook for my thoughts.

Living out of a suitcase has brought an opportunity for me to reflect on the minimalistic life. It’s interesting what I miss and don’t miss. I miss my family, my friends, my dog, my own bed, my home routine, driving my car, my books, and understanding the language.

I’m not pining for my house and I can’t even remember exactly what clothes and shoes I have in my wardrobe. I have enough for each day. Owning less and travelling more adds richness to my life.

When I get home, I plan to cull a lot of possessions. Hopefully, I’ll let go of what isn’t serving me anymore and end up with a well-curated collection of things that will add value to my life, rather than weigh me down.

Wide-open spaces in nature give us room to breathe. We stand with arms outstretched and the freedom is exhilarating. When we cast off things in our lives, make space to breathe, and live in simplicity, we enjoy the moments. We are present in the moment.

Every year in January, my husband and I go through every area of life and decide what to keep and what to discard. We use our diaries from the previous year and rate everything–work, catch-ups with friends, family events, trips, volunteer work–everything–then decide what to keep or discard.

We ask these questions–What do we want to do more of? What added to our lives? What crowded our lives and prevented us from doing what we value? What will have lasting value?

The answers to these questions often lead us to want to give more and do more for others.  This adds significance to our lives. Too often, we fill our lives with ‘stuff’ and end up overwhelmed. Casting things off, simplifying, concentrating on the essentials, and thinking of others, has more meaning than accumulating things.

Keeping life simple can actually take a lot of effort, but it’s worth it.

Life is easier when reduced to its simplicity. Life is more significant when reduced to its simplicity.


About Elaine Fraser

Elaine realised she wanted to be a writer at ten years of age when the words flew off the page during a creative writing lesson. She studied English and Education at university and went on to spend many years as a high school English teacher teaching others how to write. In 2005, Elaine took the plunge and began writing full-time. Since then she has published five books and blogs at Elaine’s passion is to write about real issues with a spiritual edge. When she’s not travelling the world in search of quirky bookstores or attending writing retreats in exotic locations, she can be found in the Perth hills sitting in her library—writing, reading, mentoring writers and hugging her golden retriever.

2 thoughts on “My Life in a Suitcase

  • Caz

    Love this article. I have been culling my wardrobe too and it is so enlightening. I feel a weight lifting as less to choose from equals less stress.
    I have also learnt giving away items to others in need, is a blessing.
    Using up what i have, notebooks and pens, which i love has given me a sense of achievement.

  • Jodie

    ‘a well-curated collection of things that will add value to my life’ this is a perfect definition of simplicity for me ?

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