What it means… to us.
We see slow living as a lifestyle choice, but more importantly.. a state of mind. There’s a number of bad habits we’ve both broken in order to live more intentional lifestyles and boy have we changed since then! Its like we’re slowly shedding away layers of socially conditioned skin. And it feels f**king fantastic. To us, slow living means living as well as possible – opposed to as fast and unintentional. We believe a big part of living slowly is keeping vastly present with every moment that we’re lucky to have on this wild earth. We’ve learnt when and why to use our electronic devices. We are bringing in the change of intentional purchasing. We are becoming far more aware of our intuition and now make decisions based on our own personal feeling rather than people pleasing. And we want to share some learning’s that have helped us get to this point.
For us, this journey has been a way to discover what is really important and what’s not. Like human connection and the freedom to encounter raw life experiences around the world, without the need for a device.
It’s as though we are hyper-connected and extremely disconnected all at the same time. And it looks as if society is only getting worse for this. Lets be real, in comparison to 50 years ago or even 20 years ago ALOT has changed right?
We used to have corded home phones sitting on top of a big fat telephone book – now those things basically don’t exist, and everyone’s details are stored on this small device we carry with us all day every day. In fact, whenever we have a question – we just pull out our device and discover it. No more pulling over to ask for directions, no more notebooks. Socializing used to mean face to face conversation – now its easier to send a message via an app. If we wanted to buy something, we didn’t have a choice but to leave the house and get it – now people have all these options like weekly food shopping, right from their beds – because, “there’s an app for that”. Were spending all this time looking into a screen rather than into each others eyes and its just not right!
Why? its convenient. But has it gone a little too far?
Can all of this somewhat ‘convenience’ have a downside? We believe so. For example… One night Jackie and I were out for dinner at a restaurant in Thailand. We noticed two very interesting situations at two different tables. One young boy (around 6 years old) was trying desperately to get his mothers attentions as she sat unconsciously glued to her phone, completely ignoring her son and husband. On another table, a young girl (around 3 years old) sat glued to the iPad her parents had shoved in front of her so mum and dad could enjoy a peaceful dinner. It was almost as though their daughter was non-existent. At this moment, Jackie turned to me and said, if there’s one thing I’m grateful for, its that we know when to put our phones down to enjoy each others company.
But what is this teaching children?
At a time when it’s so crucial to learn the importance of communication in order to confidently socialize – it’s unfortunate to think the opportunity might be taken away from children in return for a device simply because its convenient. Then you have adults who use it as a quick and easy way to mentally withdraw from certain situations – without physically removing themselves (which we too have been guilty). We mustn’t get too caught up in the convenience of overusing our devices that we don’t see the underlying long term damage its actually doing.
Don’t get us wrong – some technology has been widely helpful and considered a marvelous tool, especially when connecting with people from outside of our circles. But I just cant help to think of where we’re heading as a society if the usage grows even more. At the end of the day, what are humans without genuine, soul to soul connections with one another? Aliens?! Who knows.
Having realized this, Jackie and I really only use our phones when its got to do with CST or contacting people! We’ve recently broken the habit of checking our phones first thing in the morning; It was becoming an unconscious routine that would leave us feeling crappy and unfocused for the day. Through slow and intentional living, we now have our own little morning routine which involves meditation and journaling which i shall share with you in another post. By starting our morning with gratitude and intention, it sets us up for a happily productive day. Dotting down three things we’re grateful for and three intentions to try and achieve for the day, has given us so much more motivation it’s LOCO.
We began living slow when we started working toward our dream of full time travel in 2018. Each week we saved up the majority of our pay checks to go toward our 3 month trip to South East Asia in July 2018. We started off with choosing to live more minimally. Jackie had a head start so she showed me the importance of not constantly buying things i was lead to believe i “needed”. Crazy to think about 4 years ago id literally buy two new outfits per week!!! Now… i cant even remember the last time i bought something “just because”. I used to buy over $80 worth of makeup every few months. The last time i bought make up was around June last year. Since them, I’ve only worn it a handful of times as I’ve learnt to love my skin (pimples or not) without it. It was obvious that these so called “needs” were actually not so necessary at all. There has been a huge shift in prioritizing my inner well-being opposed to my outer appearance. You know… focusing more on my ambitions rather than my eyebrows, that sorta thang.
With time we are also welcoming what we like to call ‘intentional purchasing’. To us, this means buying things that will last us a long time but far more importantly – where possible, choosing ethically made and locally grown opposed to the cheapest, most convenient option. With society being in the age of fast fashion, buyers seem to be cheering for their quick bargains, but i bet they didn’t think about who actually made their clothes… and under what conditions.
We’ve recently done quite a bit of research on this issue and it has now completely changed our perspective on purchasing clothes and from what brands. Majority – if not all fashion brands are involved in some sort of unethical production practice. Some of my favorite labels have now made me sickened to even own their garnets, now knowing the conditions of the makers. 4.7 million of them being children aged 5 to 14.
For these big labels, the safest and easiest option has been turning a blind eye on the exploitation – in order to keep their label going strong whilst keeping their costs down. They publish their “ethical and sustainable” statements on their websites to make buyers believe certain things but its all a sham. What’s said in writing isn’t always reality. Ill tell you what’s real … thousands of innocent lives have been – and still are being taken away due to mass industrial homicides in these factories.
Jackie will be writing a blog on this topic so ill cut it here cause i could write forever about this horrible topic! Although we are angry. We don’t feel helpless. We are SO grateful to know of these issues and we are doing what we can to be conscious consumers and spread awareness to hopefully contribute to prevention.
Above all, slow living is just taking a step back and really choosing to live more purposefully – in order enjoy your life, whatever way or form that might be. Its about bringing consciousness into everything you do and doing it because you genuinely want to. Its about listening to your SOUL. Making decisions based on FEELING. Everyone knows the sick feeling of guilt when they’ve agreed to do something they didn’t really want to do. Well… that’s your intuition saying “why the hell did you say yes when you meant no!” We want to live mindfully, intentionally and above all FREELY.
Like i mentioned, it can mean a whole lot of very different things to different people. This is simply what it means to us and how this lifestyle has drastically changed our thinking. We hope you feel inspired and have a better understanding of what slow living is about! peace & love.