Last updated March 9, 2022
We think a lot about where to go, where to stay, what to pack and what activities to focus on when we travel.
But travel is more than crafting that ideal itinerary or eating at “the” restaurant in town. It’s about being intentional and creating space for an experience-driven life. A life rooted in minimalism.
Though minimalism can be defined in many different ways, the true essence of the word is clear: By incorporating minimalism into your life, you are better able to let go of non-essentials to make time and space for the things you love. Like wellness travel!
Emilio José Garcia is a coach, teacher and professional organizer. His mission is to make intentional living simple, fun and available to every person on the planet. Emilio combines the physical, mental and emotional to help you integrate minimalism and self-care into your life.
It isn’t easy to take the first steps. We sat down with Emilio and asked him to share insight on how to recalibrate habits, mindset and actions.
Minimalism starts with setting your intentions, getting clear in what you really want and then taking confident action steps.Emilio José Garcia
Minimalism means something different to everyone. What is your definition?
Minimalism to me means having the things I need to facilitate the lifestyle that I want to have.
Being able to do the activities I love easily where I don’t feel overwhelmed wasting my time, space and energy with stuff that doesn’t serve me anymore.
It’s all about being free, whatever that means to you.
When did minimalism find you?
It really hit me when I went backpacking from 2008–2012. I started in India and ended up living in New Zealand where I met my wife Samantha.
Living out of a backpack in so many different cultures opened my mind to what’s possible, how many different ways of living exist and how little you really need to be happy and fulfilled.
For me, the most important things in life after that trip are experiences and relationships.
Can minimalism facilitate a travel and wellness lifestyle?
Minimalism means to be intentional. When you allow yourself time and space to think about what you want, you will then be able to create your own minimalist lifestyle and facilitate just that.
There is no right or wrong way of doing this. There is only YOUR way. You get to define it. So if your intention is to be able to travel more and bring more wellness to your life, then you will start questioning everything in your life with that intention in mind.
You may choose to live somewhere that is easy to maintain and that you can leave without having to worry. Or you may create more time for exercise in your life and build a workout space in your home.
When you are clear about your intentions, the action that you will take will be way more confident, efficient and aligned—and you will feel more fulfilled afterward.
Where is the best place to start?
There are different entry points to get started such as physical, time and commitments, relationships, digital, hobbies and activities, work and habits.
Starting in the physical makes the most sense for the majority of the people I help. Your belongings and physical surroundings are always there. You can touch them and they are like reminders of things you have to do.
Your home can have a huge impact on your overall mental and emotional health. It’s a basic human need (shelter).
This is why, once you put order to your physical, you can then have more space, time and energy to tackle the rest.
How can we create space in our lives?
Minimalism is as simple as being intentional about what you are creating space for.
What activities are you interested in doing? How do you want to feel in your various spaces? Is anything frustrating? What do you love from your space right now? What do you dislike?
Asking these questions will help you gain clarity on how to move forward. If you don’t have clarity, you will lack confidence and motivation to actually go through the process of decluttering. And unfortunately, you will get stuck along the way not knowing what to do.
Any suggestions to help stay motivated when creating a minimalist lifestyle?
The best way to get and stay motivated is to be very intentional about what you want, why you want it and connect with how you will feel.
When you visualize your desired reality and connect with it emotionally, you will get excited. And when you get excited, you will start taking action and do whatever it takes to get there.
The “how to” is not as important as the excitement and clarity about your destination and/or goal. Many people skip this step and never find out what they really want, so they feel unmotivated and stagnant.
If you are having a hard time finding clarity, I invite you to set up a “testing period” to try different things. Get out of your comfort zone and explore. Have fun with no expectations and watch how you feel. You may be surprised to find something you love along the way.
Can you share a few intentional strategies to get us on our way?
Create your own self-care list to boost your energy, playfulness and motivation
Self-care is such a simple concept that we often forget we need it to feel well. During the hustle and bustle of any day, it’s completely normal to forget to take time for yourself.
As discussed in the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, we have the ability to do everything and anything these days.
However, we’re only one person with 24 hours in a day, so we are limited in our capabilities. This is where priorities come in. Make self-care a priority by listing 10 things you can do to start a self-care habit.
Learn to say no
Have you considered that maybe the reason you are busy is that you love to please people?
Stop for a moment and consider how many things you do for yourself in a day. I know how challenging it can be to be pulled in all different directions… your family, your work, your hobbies, your friends and let’s not forget your online presence.
Here’s the thing, you could feel a lot less stressed if you practice saying “no.” Because we all know that if you don’t decide on how to spend your time, someone else will decide for you.