A reader asked me a very interesting question the other day about how you can be a minimalist whilst living in a big city. It started when he asked me about why I chose my blog to be called “Walking in the Fast Lane”. I explained that I lived in London and my blog is mainly centred around my minimalism journey. He responded saying that he lives in New York and that living as a minimalist is impossible there. His response then went on to provide a list of reasons including the high cost of living, long hours and the fact that everyone’s in the rat race in cities before finally ending his point with “didn’t Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists quit their jobs and corporate lifestyles in order to become minimalists?”
Well a lot of his points do show the challenges of being a minimalist in such environments and Josh/Ryan if you’re reading this it would be interesting to get your thoughts. However here are 3 reasons why you can live in a city such as London or New York and still have a minimalist lifestyle.
1) Passions don’t change if you live in the city. It may make it easier to work on them but where you live shouldn’t ever change your passions, values or intentions. Some of my friends have a passion for skiing and go for long weekends to various mountains around Europe, a couple have even gone out for a year to teach at ski schools. However the passion is still there whilst they live in London.
2) Travelling into work can take time but it’s what you make of the time that matters. I spend around an hour commuting to work but most of that time is on a train where I write blog posts, read or plan out my day. To me this is valuable time where I can focus without any distractions on tasks I would usually need to plan into my day.
3) City living is expensive. This is true but I do often question whether it’s more expensive than living elsewhere. You do get less space for your money in the city but is that a bad thing? Less space means less clutter and makes you think twice about purchasing items. You’re also more likely to spend time outdoors as there’s usually more going on in a city.
If you live in a city (or lived in one previously), what are your thoughts? Do you feel limitations to the life you want to lead by living in a city?