Relaxation, pleasure, adventure - these are just a few of the many reasons that make us travel. We want to explore the world, get to know new people and cultures or simply take a break from everyday life. And preferably with our favorite outfits and travel gadgets in our luggage. Of course, the complete first-aid kit should not be missing, you never know.
It is not uncommon for our suitcases to be as packed before departure as our appointment calendars are. We sometimes drag half our wardrobe with us to the other end of the world and with all the worries about our valuable luggage, we may miss the magic that could await us at the holiday destination. It's no wonder that many travelers are now opting for minimalism. The concept: only pack what you need – and as little of it as possible.
Janina and Frederick Enning have also opted for minimalist travel. The couple have been blogging about sustainability and minimalism on "gruenesfamilienleben.de" since 2018 - and are convinced that the principle can also ensure a better quality of life on vacation. "Minimalism means that we travel a lot more carefully and planned," says the couple in an interview with the star.
Specifically, the parents of a small daughter exchanged the fully packed station wagon with roof box for a backpack that only has space for the bare essentials. "That means we sometimes wear clothes longer and find out in advance about the weather and local conditions," explains the 39-year-old social worker. This way of traveling is not automatically cheaper, but the mere fact that you do not go shopping or going to restaurants on holiday and instead prefer to take care of yourself and spend time with nature has a positive effect on your wallet.
The Enning family not only travel light, they have also freed themselves from what they call material ballast in everyday life. What at first sounds like a great deprivation is more of an enrichment for the Ennings. "We've been doing this for five years now and don't have the feeling that we have to do without anything. On the contrary: we live exactly how it feels right for us."
But what exactly is minimalism about? The Duden describes the word as "deliberate limitation to the bare minimum". For the Enning family, however, there is much more behind it: "For us, minimalism means lightness, detoxification, deceleration." It's about reflecting on what you really need in life and being thankful for the things you have.
Applied to our vacations, this could mean that we can focus on the local experiences and encounters when we are not constantly busy buying more things or worrying about the consumer goods we have. It's about allowing us to truly experience local life, explore nature and create precious memories when we travel, rather than focusing on physical assets.
Of course, this isn't a concept for everyone. Holidays always awaken our inner hedonists - and after all, they want to enjoy as much as possible. And that also has something to do with consumption. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to question yourself critically. What do I actually need to really enjoy my trip? Is it really the shopping trip or maybe more the moments of peace in nature, the sound of the sea or the view of the mountains?
Questions that the Ennings also asked themselves. "When I realize my life is too full, then I should ask myself what I can do without. People often notice that there is more than meets the eye," explains Janina Enning. It was the same with her - so they cleaned out their terraced house in Münsterland, and their lives at the same time.
Minimalism was a gain for her, also in terms of insights: "The most important thing is that we have a roof over our heads, stick together as a family and are at peace with each other." Forgoing travel is out of the question for her. On the contrary, the next vacation is already planned. It goes with the camper to Sweden.
Of course, the choice fell on the smallest camper, that's all it takes for the Ennings. "We have learned that even on vacation we only need ourselves, something to eat and a place to sleep," says Janina Enning. She is certain: Minimalism gives people much more than it takes from them. In the case of the Ennings, this is above all time and money for travel and beautiful experiences with the family. "And that's what matters in the end."
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