I have written about minimalism before. Now I want to share with you what I have discovered in applying a minimalistic lifestyle while living in Costa Rica. After living it, I am truly convinced minimalism leads to happiness, contentment, and stress free life.
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Life without an Automobile
As I have mentioned before, I don’t own a car. I can get anyway by walking or by taking a bus. This immediately adds up the minimalistic points with the following things eliminated from my life:
- No stopping at gas stations to fill up the tank.
- No road rage, stress while driving.
- Don’t have to wash a car.
- No car insurance.
- No car tax.
- No inspection stickers.
- No tickets.
- No parking the car. Bonus: I don’t have to remember where I parked the car.
- No car repairs.
- No one is going to ask to borrow my car.
- No car accidents. I cannot get whiplash.
Grocery Shopping Eliminated
I didn’t discover this one immediately. It was discovered by accident. One day I realized I really don’t need to go grocery shopping. I can buy food when I need it. I usually buy the food I need for one day, one day ahead of time. Grocery shopping used to be a big event. You make a grocery list. Drive to the grocery store. Spend about an hour going up and down the aisle. This is what I used to do. Buying groceries for a week. Now this has all been eliminated because everything is convenient and close.
Some of the benefits are:
- No food waste. When I would go grocery shopping in the past for a week, I would always buy too much, or I would simply forgot I had bought something. It would sit in the back in the refrigerator and go bad. No more.
- Less cost. Since I only buy what I need for the day, waste is eliminated, which results in less cost.
- No grocery list to maintain. I can usually determine what I need without having to write it down.
- No standing in a long grocery line. I buy most of the food from local shops and street vendors. No lines.
- No unpacking your groceries. I used to dread arriving home and having to unpack all the food I bought. Today I bought one box of cereal for my breakfast tomorrow. The lady asked if I wanted a bag. I said, eh, no bag needed. No need to unpack anything when get home.
- No more trying to find the closest parking space at the grocery store. You really should find the farthest spot anyway, so you can get some exercise.
Undefined Telephone Number
In the United States, if you want to have a private number to prevent unknown people from calling you, you have an unlisted number. In Costa Rica, I have an undefined telephone number. What is an undefined telephone number? Just that, undefined. I don’t have a telephone number. I have an iPhone. I don’t consider it a mobile phone anymore. I call it my pocket computer. There is no telephone number assigned to it. No phone bill. Hah. Take that. Another point on the minimalist scoreboard.
Free WiFi is everywhere in Costa Rica. They even have it on buses. Yeah. Really. I’m usually at home, on the bus, or at a coffee shop. I really don’t need cell service. It is no longer a phone. It is a pocket computer.
In Costa Rica’s Central Valley, the weather has been minimized. There are only two seasons: raining or not raining. When it is not raining, the weather is sunny and around 72 degrees. No weather man required. If someone asks you what the temperature is, say 72 degrees and you will be fairly close. Three points on the minimalist scoreboard for eliminating two weather seasons and eliminating weather forecasting. Yeah.
Oh, wait, minimalist weather results in minimalist wardrobe. It keeps getting better as I write this. I could go on. I need to keep it minimal. Jajaja.
¡Hasta luego mae!
“If you can‘t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein