So I just finished packing my backpack for the next half year. I'm booked on a one-way ticket to Miami end of this month - a leap into the life I always wanted to have.
But let me start at the beginning. My name is Chris and I'm a 24 year old German online marketing nut. I've always been into travelling and adventures but could never bring myself to actually abandon all the materialistic crap that was effectively weighing me down.
Crazy shit I've done covers hitchhiking 5000 miles from Toronto to San Diego, living the sweet French life in Bordeaux as a resident and cracking chilly crabs while living in Singapore (before I actually turned vegetarian). However sweet those times were, a major piece of the puzzle always seemed to be missing.
That's when I picked up Tynan's book on living a minimalist life. It fundamentally changed my beliefs from day one (thanks Tynan)! I didn't even finish reading the book before I started throwing stuff out. It all seemed so obvious: I was wearing 10% of my clothes 90% of the time anyway. So why not ditch the remaining stuff and never wonder again what to wear? And so went all the rest: Sunglasses, old laptops, computer games, magazines, shoes, books. To be fair: I could probably still throw out way more stuff but I think it's a good start. I got rid of at least 75% of my things. Oh boy, how it hurt at that time, but I never looked back.
I got a Deuter Futura 28, used the money I got on eBay for my old stuff to get a couple of IceBreaker shirts (best thing I ever owned), and stripped my normal packing list down to the bare minimum. That was end of last year, during my final year at university.
While all my friends went on to get nine-to-five jobs, I decided against it. If I got a shot at my dream life, there's no better time than now. So I became self employed since January 2012, doing online marketing, social media strategy, split testing, etc. After a rough start, it's now going great. I've got an international client base who doesn't give a shit about where I'm located and I'm doing projects for people all over the world.
The best thing is: My girlfriend is cool with it. We decided to do a couple of months in the U.S. this year so she took up an internship at a big company in Chicago and just moved there a few weeks ago. I'm joining her after a quick stop in Miami.
So here I am: Waiting to move into an amazing apartment in one of the best areas of Chicago with a direct view of the Sears Tower, with the girl I love. I'm doing stuff for a living that I'm passionate about and I'm 100% free to plan my day as I like (remember, all my life fits into the 28l backpack).
Was it not for Tynan, I'd probably spend my waking time in a crammed office in Germany, still dreaming about what I could do instead. I owe you, dude. If you happen to be in Chicago, let's share a cup of tea. Thanks for writing that book and the great content on your blog!