Anti-consumerism. A phrase that when mentioned, raises suspicion of cliché, hypocrisy and attempted superiority. But don’t get carried away with these thoughts. The anti-consumerism that I speak of is simply in relation to that overwhelming feeling you get at Christmas, when mass consumerism is abound and malls are overflowing with reckless credit card abandon – the paramount precursor to re-gifting.
This sudden burst of activity marks the end of each calendar year. We are consumers throughout the other 11 months of the year but December is particularly special.
Over the next 7 months, I will not be shopping*. And this is not due to a contempt for spending or a dislike of material possessions, because indeed I do enjoy many of these ‘good’ things in life. Rather, it’s because for the next 7 months I will have an airline-imposed limit to what I can carry, and I’m anxious yet hungry for the challenge of living with minimal belongings. I look around my room and see clothes I’ve worn twice, cook books I’ve hardly opened, moisturizing creams and miscellaneous ornaments gathering dust. The collective price tag of this accumulation of junk makes me queasy. I’ve bought these things in order to look better, smell nicer, learn new skills and create a masqueraded sense of personal individuality. But they end up just emptying my pocket and taking up space.
Over the next 7 months, my travels through South America, Europe, USA and Canada will bring a refreshing type of good things in life: new experiences, incredible landscapes and interesting people. (And, of course, a fine Argentinian Malbec amongst other drops). I’ll be sharing these on this blog, but rest assured that it will never get novel-long or mundane with daily habits (e.g. “This morning I had toast for breakfast then I went for a walk….”). I am a fan of images, bolding, underlining and of course,
so I hope it will hold your attention.
Wishing all my friends, family and new acquaintances a very joyful and prosperous 2010!
*There is always small print when a girl makes such a claim. “Over the next 7 months, I will not be shopping” means that I will not buy souvenirs, vanilla-scented candles or makeup just coz its on special, and I will not hang out in malls other than to seek respite from the heat outdoors. I will however buy good art and items as they need replacing such as toiletries and t-shirts. Just so we’re clear.