Intentional Living: The Start of a Journey to Minimalism

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At the start of every year I pick a word. One word. Consider it my word for that entire year. This year is all about harvest. I’m finally in a place where I feel like I can focus on some financial goals. I plan to reap what I’ve sewn over the past and ultimately accept what God has promised to me. The sky is the limit.

In order to make this goal a reality I realized some changes needed to be made. In particular, the art of intentional living via minimalism.

Minimalism. To do more with less and letting go of the “just in case”.

"Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more."

I kept feeling this pull in my spirit and after listening to BGIO's podcast with Roe of Brown Kids on Intentional Living, it further solidified and affirmed that I needed to make some changes, and what a better time than the start of the new year.

In starting this journey in baby steps, and with intention, I decided to initiate minimizing with my January travel, specifically in terms of packing.

For a trip to NYC where I usually pack 5+ outfits for a single weekend, either stuffed into a duffle or thrown into my partner’s bag, I instead carried a single tote. Packed with one outfit, underwear, and a few toiletries to get me through 30hrs. 

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Challenge one complete. And being that I was out and about in the city for the entire day before settling down it felt so much better to carry less.


The following weekend I headed to Toronto, Ontario for 4days. A trip like this would usually require a checked bag for 50lbs of options. Instead I opted for a carry on packed with just enough clothing to get me through each day. 

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Less options led to a bit of anxiety while packing but I checked the weather thoroughly and we had a rough tentative plan of what we would be doing so I knew I would be fine.

Packing only a carry-on didn't leave much room for pointless purchases which leads to my next point.

Buy experiences, not things.

Every time I go on a trip to a new place I constantly am faced with the “need” to purchase something. Most of the time it’s things I do not need but I feel like I need some kind of souvenir to remind me of the trip. Instead I just took lots of photos and can be reminded of my experience solely by those alone!
Challenge two complete.

Knowing that I could successfully complete my January travel "with less" gave me the push I needed to move forward on this journey. I saved $50+ from not having to check a bag both ways and not making pointless purchases which can now be pushed towards my savings goals. I now look forward to working on my home project now where I declutter, organize, and rid my home of unnecessary things as I make this transition into my new way of living.

I'm excited to use vanessamichele.com as a platform to keep my accountable and track my progress. Consider this the start of a series where I’ll be taking you on my journey to minimalism. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on decluttering, healthy eating, budgeting and more!

With love and light,

xo VanessaMichele


Vanessa.Michele | Christian. Writer. Content Creator. Giver of Love. Collector of Quotes. Yoga Enthusiast. Scientist by day. Welcome to my life!

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