Escape • Explore • Enjoy

While the bodies still can and we still have our marbles!

Month: March 2016

Simplicity Through Minimalism has Value to Improve Your Happiness

Life before minimalism was driven by prosperity happiness.  And while economic security  is an important part of the overall well-being, it was a picture of overwhelm and sometimes burn out to achieve such perceived contentment.  On reflection, the reality was that to keep up with the Joneses was actually making us unhappy.  That life is long gone now.

Walking the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Walk in Spain was the catalyst to the lifestyle change we now swear by.  If you have ever travelled living out of a back pack then perhaps you understand that the stuff you tend to take represents the weight you are prepared to carry.  You tend to purchase only the bare necessities to limit the heaviness and snap photo’s to replace collecting a tee-shirt for every destination visited to keep the weight down.  Carrying less allowed us to enjoy it more.

This featherlike travel prompted us to question life as minimalists and eventual transition.  Could living with less back in suburbia allow us to enjoy life on the treadmill more?  You bet.

For us as Kiwi Minimalists, minimalism is about having greater simplicity in your life whether it be footprint, material possessions or consumption.  It isn’t about living in a tent or having a room with no ornaments so that it echoes or living off bean sprouts for every second meal!  It’s about de-cluttering and therefore creating more money, more time and more energy to pursue more of what really matters most, with less.

KM - Living Area

Having determined our purpose to embrace a minimalistic lifestyle, we can attest to being healthier, happier, our environment is a better place and ultimately, we have a better sense of fulfilment.  A de-cluttered surrounding where we now watch other Joneses continue to go up and down!

We use the ‘more’ of what we have gained back to travel more out on the planet’s conveyor belt, collecting experiences through new country-sides, new cultures, new cuisines, new citizenships, new connections and new conversations.  When we are not out there, we are back home venturing within our own back yard or volunteering giving back.

Family, friends, work colleagues, social circles or new conversations had with many a stranger have exposed them to the minimalistic movement growing globally.  Where it used to be an oddity in this mass-marketed consumer-driven world is now an acknowledged alternative to the pursuit of happiness.

Martial Artist Bruce Lee once quoted, “One does not accumulate but eliminate.  It is not daily increase but daily decrease.  The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”

The question now becomes one of, is this for you?

If feeling burnt out or overwhelm is an everyday occurrence, perhaps simplicity through minimalism has value to improve your happiness.

If this is for you then we challenge you to donate or discard one item of clothing you have not worn in the past 90 days; or one book sitting on a bookshelf you have not read in ages; or one item collecting dust in your garage you think you may need but have never used.

It’s that simple to taking the first step toward a more fulfilling happiness.

Ki”WE” Conversations – Tristan Telle & Stephanie Babineau

Our FB friends – Tristan Telle & Stephanie Babineau


Back in September 2015, the face book entry at the time was: “you wander up the road in a foreign country … sharing a salutation and then a conversation … with a total stranger … to then have this total stranger Tristan Telle and his partner Stephanie Barbineau sitting in our caravan almost three years later … picking up the conversation – priceless.”

KC29-1They then re-visited us again however, this time at our permanent residence.  More rock climbing and hidden thermal hot spring stories from the South Island countryside travelled.  More vibrations from the ukulele chords strummed and Tristan purchasing the very first copy of ‘Re-Kindle You’.  That was humbling.

KC29-3But this was a transition stop to re-gather, research and re-frame.  They made their way to Auckland to exchange four wheels for two and on Christmas Day 2015, began to cycle the length of New Zealand.  Even though we did it in the opposite direction back in 2007, Tristan and Stephanie doing it flooded back bum on seat moments that take you to that place of utmost fulfilment where the hair on the back of your neck rises to stand at attention.  The heartfelt captivated emotional ones.

And after peddling the length, they returned to us last week cycling back having clocked up just on 4000 kms.  Add a further 25 kms to that total.  We took them out on a tandem to wean their arses back into the civilian world they were about re-enter!  The child who leaned across a table at a Café to ask Tristan if he was Thor gives you some indication of head hair length from life on the bike!

KC29-6The Canadian English grammar (not Grand-ma) made for banter as they scrubbed, dried, broke down and packed up their worldly possessions in preparation for the New Zealand exit.  Introducing them to some friends saw the yellow ukulele they carried on their journey be gifted to our friends daughter.  Sounds of song to the plucking of strings had music being made by two cultures jamming.  All good moments must come to an end as our friends wandered off in the early hours of the morning, Ayla asleep clasping her ukulele.

Tristan and Stephanie departed our shores Monday just gone destined for home to surprise their parents, siblings and friends.  As we shed a tear of sadness to see them go, we knew that the tears of joy on the other side of the globe would have had the same fulfilment of hairs on peoples backs raised there.

It’s hard to describe how this type of friendship is one when we are old enough to be their parents.  It’s been fascinating having bridged a ‘salutation’ on one part of the globe to have them visit us on our part of the globe.  And it was our pleasure to host these two amazing kids whom inspired us with their free spirit attitude to life to remind us to keep going with ours.

The upcoming tandem bike ride across Canada will see us join in conversation again on their part of the globe.

Create  your own hair raising fulfilment moments in time – say “Greetings” to a total stranger in a foreign country.

It’s thor-oughly worth it.

Book Launch - Tristen Photo

Ki”WE” Conversations – Warren & Suzanne Angus

Our FB friends – Warren & Suzanne Angus

Ru BC Suzanne Wazza - Dubai1Our friendship with this Kiwi couple originated in Dubai.

Warren and I worked together arriving into the Emirates virtually a week apart.  Many a time was shared over a meal, drink, banter, laugh and taking the piss with each other becoming the commoners bond!

Warren is not a dwarf in character by no means, just short.  And beneath his business attire, he wore an apron. By qualification, he is an exceptional cook and whenever he had his chef hat on, his serving up of meals were always of Michelan Star quality.  Right down to the folding of napkins and placement of cutlery.

Suzanne is certainly a Princess by every means, and tall.  You need someone in a relationship to keep one grounded and even though Warren looked up to her literally, he was firmly grounded many a time for behaviour untoward his character.  Come to think of it, I often got clouted too by Suzanne when associating with Warren, he was just skilled at dragging people down to his height.  I mean level!

SupermanOne year living in Dubai, we shared a Christmas Day with them.  Kiwiana cooking reminded us of the trimmings from home without loved ones.  There was strangulation on purpose when the gift from Warren was a pair of Superman jocks.  Another moment of sense of humour folly prevailing over common sense where size does matter for a fully grown Maori boy like me.

We often bumped into Suzanne running around the Dubai Marina.  The course interwove amongst sky scrapers and moorings like a castle with a moat.  A Princess whom stayed fit for her Court Jester. It once helped when we were transiting through Dubai on our way home after Africa.  Our bags didn’t arrive on the same flight and Claire was able to slip into clothes loaned by Suzanne with grace.  Travels had been kind and I was more toned than before and therefore able to be a true Clarke Kent without strangulation in Warren’s.  Either that or he hadn’t run the Marina as much as Suzanne!

KC27-1aA recent visit to Auckland allowed an opportunity for a sleep over with them both again.  It was a déjà vu episode whereby my luggage bag didn’t turn up on the carousel on arrival.  I was remissive and forgot to put a label on my luggage which bridged the ‘taking the piss banter’ of my situation from his Lordship without hesitation.

Our friendship is one like that, we can pick up a conversation where it was left off even if there is downtime in each other’s presence.  There was another meal cooked by Warren and Suzanne with finesse.  Claire was absent for this visit yet not forgotten as we ate overlooking the Auckland landscape to a setting sun and moments of folly were reflected upon.

Sitting in my new apparel purchased during the day, we were able to be our true selves once again.

More bullshit spoken between a Superman, Court Jester Dwarf and stunning Princess!


Self improvement for the better is something you design

Q15 KM2 Re-Kindle You