Minimal Travel: Update 1

First Minimalist Travel update! We just had our first night in Luang Prabang, Laos after our stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This trip has been amazing and easy and hard in ways that feel so good. The 30 hours of travel to get here were shockingly smooth. Especially compared to my previous trip where I got stuck in China for 12 hours alone on Valentine’s day with no money or means to communicate. When we landed I felt awake and present. My body wasn’t in pain because I had been doing the Alexander Technique, including doing constructive rest  (aka lying down) on the floor next to the bathroom 30,000 feet in the air.

The days before leaving, I heard great reviews about Penang, a coastal city in Malaysia and upon arriving I wanted to see if we could squish in a short trip their from KL. I was obsessing over this idea rather than appreciating KL. Then I caught myself. I noticed that I was trying to have more. More travel, more adventure, more beaches, more beauty, more stories. And I stopped. I froze in time. And I stayed. I stayed present, stayed in KL, and we had a fantastic time.

We went to a local design studio and made amazing new friends from Malaysia and Scotland. We had dinner my friend Gwen who facilitated a Tribleless dinner. We shared an incredible conversation that left me thinking deeply about boundaries and self esteem in ways I have never used those words. She recommended this article by Mark Mason and explains “healthy boundaries means taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while not taking responsibility for the actions or emotions of others.” Having strong boundaries has always been something I’ve struggled with so after this conversation I felt very excited to start defining clear boundaries for maybe the first time in my life. Traveling is the perfect playground for this too for Ethan and I to experiment with what daily schedules work best (aka when I need alone time). She also recommended the book The 6 Pillars of Self Esteem, which weaves together psychological health, achievement, personal happiness, and positive relationships. I am so grateful for the people who we have met and the experience so far, and we are just a few days in!