Travel Learning: Lesson 4 of 10

This is how I cook when there's no table. Fun.

Lesson 4 of 10: Limitations bring freedom.

At home, Keith was the better cook and prepared most dinners since I had a long daily work commute. On the road, I’ve taken over the food buying, cooking, and clean up. The strange thing is, I like it. Somehow having extremely limited cooking tools and ingredients makes me a better cook. Perhaps expectations are low so exceeding them is easier? I don’t know. But I know the sense of freedom extends beyond our small but mighty traveling kitchen.

I have fewer things surrounding me than ever before, and yet I don’t miss them. At home, the list of stuff I wanted to buy never ended. It was a habit. I always needed something more, different, or better than what I had. In fact shopping for those things was one way I made myself feel better when I was down in the dumps. I got so excited when I found just the right thing, like scouring several online stores for the perfect waterproof, breathable, not too heavy, not too light, petite-sized jacket, when I already had one that did the job.

Out here, the needs I give most my focus are basic: decent food, pure water, a limited amount of clothing to keep me cool or warm, a clean place to sleep, and an electrical outlet once in a while to charge our equipment.

Physical objects can weigh us down. They reduce our options and make us feel like an overloaded burro when it comes time to take care of it all.

Having fewer material things to maintain gives me the precious gift of time. Here’s what it looks like: I read longer, choose whether I want to take a slow stroll or an exercise walk, chat with people I’m drawn to, wallow in cool websites that I’ve been meaning to explore, write more, let my mind meander wherever it chooses.

I would have never imagined that less could give me so much more, that limitations could lead to a feeling of freedom.

In the spirit of learning,