Tips on how to prepare for and enjoy travel photography

We are about to head off on an overseas trip tomorrow, so I thought I’d share some tips and thoughts about travel photography.

Travel provides the opportunity to experience new cultures, explore new locations and create amazing memories. Photography lets me capture some of those moments and preserve them for posterity.

My family tends to travel fairly lightly and we avoid buying souvenirs, so our travel photos are precious and important to us. Travel is transient but the experience can last a life time. Our travel photos help us recall those special times and inspire us to create more.

Below are some things to consider to prepare for and enjoy travel photography.

The benefit of getting up early! Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
Continue reading

How to live a more simple life without money worries

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of a simple life, but for me it is about uncomplicated, sustainable living. A life of happiness and intention which isn’t ruled by possessions or the expectations of others. Living a simple life is about having the time, energy, health and resources to focus on things, topics and people that matter. It’s about doing and having less, while gaining and giving more. It’s about choice, control and contentment, rather than reacting to societal pressures, norms and rampant consumerism. It’s about finding real happiness and a high quality of life.

“There is nothing that the busy man is less busy with than living: there is nothing harder to learn”

Seneca
Seeing what is important in life

Being clear about the life you want to lead is important. Below are ways I’m working towards that simple life:

Continue reading

Minimalism Journey: Decluttering and generating some extra money in the process

I’ve posted previously about our liberating decision to start living with fewer possessions (The benefits of subtraction – the freedom and happiness gains of owning less). This has involved not only buying less, but also reducing the number of number of things we have in the house. Letting go of stuff is a process. Even when we are are ready emotionally to let things go, deciding what to do with the stuff is important.

What we’ve discovered in the process of decluttering and selling over 100 items in the last six months (in addition to everything we have donated or thrown away), is that the old adage “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure” is true. We have managed to generate almost $7,000 in cash by selling unused and unwanted items including sporting equipment, comics, books, kids toys and some furniture. Old LEGO has been especially popular.

This wasn’t an emergency cash grab, but rather an intentional process of donating, selling and discarding superfluous stuff. Less physical clutter, creates more mental space and gratitude for the things we keep and value.

Minimalism: The process of decluttering can be a source of extra money
Continue reading

Ways to combat overspending on impulse buys and save more money

I’m an aspiring frugal minimalist, working towards Financial Independence. Given that, saving should be second nature and easy for me, right? Well normally we are are pretty good and put money away like clockwork, but this week was a reality check as my monthly budget went up in flames. The budget collapse wasn’t due to any unforeseen disaster, medical emergency, or car problems. I simply overspent and purchased what could be classified as an unnecessary, luxury item.

So what went wrong and how do I avoid overspending in the future?

There goes the budget….

Continue reading

The Pursuit of Happiness and Meaning

Have you ever felt a bit aimless, unmotivated or wondering what your purpose was in life? Maybe, like me, you’re working in a job that can sometimes feel a bit pointless and meaningless. Are you looking for something bigger than yourself or trying to forge a life that truly matters?

Finding purpose in life

There is an excellent book called “Man’s search for meaning” by Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, which outlines three ways one’s purpose in life is uncovered:

  1. By creating a work or doing a deed;
  2. By experiencing something or encountering someone;
  3. By the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering
Contemplating life’s purpose
Continue reading

Living with Less to Gain More

Do you ever have the feel like you’re being pulled in multiple directions, overworked and stressed, never have enough time or are constantly worrying about money? Me too.

Somewhat paradoxically “less” may be the secret to getting back control over your life. Focusing on the essentials, being more selective about what we do, minimizing the stuff we strive to obtain and consume, spending time with the people that matter. Living a life with less allows us to focus on what really matters. Cutting out the crap, the unnecessary and the toxic, is key to making this philosophy work.

Time to focus on a beautiful sunset
Continue reading

Convenience is bad for your finances and wellbeing

Clearly there is some hyperbole in the title of this blog post, but as a society we should be more conscious of the real choices we are making in exchange for convenience.

Technology, services and products that save us time, provide broader access to solutions, satisfy our need for instant gratification, reduce effort or streamline processes can be very appealing. There is no question that in many instances these conveniences deliver short term benefits and momentarily boost happiness.

However we also need to be aware of the downsides associated with minimizing effort and difficulty. What appears to be a “no-brainer” convenience may result in more harm than good over the longer term for you (and society), impacting your finances, physical and mental health, relationships and sense of purpose.

A couple of quick examples:

Car addicted society?
Continue reading