This month we are thrilled to be joined by Aaron and Naima Petz from Joychasers, who is here to share his 5 Good Things with us. Many of you will know Aaron and Naima, and their beautiful family, from their wonderful Instagram account which documents their life on the road. In 2013 Aaron and Naima packed up their lives and took off to travel the world with their three children. They homeschool their kids and try to have a minimal impact on the planet, through sustainable travel. It’s the kind of lifestyle many of us dream about. They made it a reality.
If you’ve ever wondered just how you might manage without all your home comforts we think you’ll find this a particularly inspiring post. For Aaron and his family ‘home’ is constantly changing, and a life on the move means they’ve embraced a truly minimalist approach to possessions.
Over to Naima and Aron:
Becoming full time travellers opened the door for us to more fully embrace a minimalist lifestyle. We learned that in order to not only move nimbly, but to minimize our impact on the planet’s resources, it was imperative to take an ‘every ounce counts’ approach. It’s become a central theme to the things we pack and bring with us, of course, but also to the mental and emotional baggage we accept. The simplicity really helps cultivate a more peaceful existence for our entire family. It’s also cemented in our children the valuable lesson that life is about gathering experiences rather than things.
That said, here are our five essentials:
We have very little room (and need) for household goods as our ‘house’ is constantly changing. The kids like to marvel that we’ve had homes in tents, haciendas, ashrams and castles. As you can imagine, the amenities have covered a wide range, and we have become accustomed to making do with whatever is provided for us. One exception is that we do carry a nylon knife with us from the Curious Chef. It was originally purchased years ago to give our kids self-sufficiency with beginning knife skills when they were very young and wanting to help in the kitchen. We’ve since found that it’s come in handy whether we’re camping in the desert of Eden, Arizona, or making a snack while waiting for the bus in Holbox, Mexico. Another huge plus is that it is carry-on safe since we very seldom check any luggage.
Clothing and fashion are very dear to us, but the environmental and societal impact has always taken a precedence. Coupling this with high quality over quantity rounds out our fashion requirements. We are very keen to maintain what we have, and utilize it until it gives out. We’ve had items repaired by seamstresses from Valladolid, Mexico to Sofia, Bulgaria. High quality, natural materials, and superior craftsmanship lend themselves to this. My (Naima’s) favorite articles of clothing (and half my micro capsule wardrobe) come from Amae Co. The simple lines and neutral colors lend themselves to any setting. They aim to employ circular fashion, utilizing natural materials and/or run-off fabric from large-scale manufacturers, saving it from landfills. The company is also ethically responsible, paying a living wage and offering work-life balance to its employees.
Scent is one of our surest, more immediate forms of relaxation. It can immediately alter your mood, offering a pick me up or a shot of tranquility, with the ability to transport you to another moment lost in your memories. We’ve used scent to cultivate an association with everything from a clean house to bedtime for our kids. A few years ago we came across a travel essential oil diffuser from Plant Therapy. It has a USB, so can be used in the car or with your laptop. It’s been a great way to bring a feeling of ‘home’ to each new and unfamiliar situation. My personal favourite combination is Frankincense and Geranium for a grounded, meditative experience.
Over the years we’ve shed pieces of luggage until we found ourselves streamlined down to one backpack per person. During this time, we’ve found the perfect travel backpacks in Minaal. The design is sleek and stylish, and belies the incredibly well thought out design. Each compartment and feature is specified to help keep you organised, and simplify travel days with easy packing and unpacking. I was barely even phased when four of our backpacks were completely emptied by security when flying out of Frankfurt; I knew it would be a snap to get everything re-packed and get us back on our way. My husband and I each carry the full size Carry-On 2.0 Bag, while the older two girls carry the Daily Bag.
We find inspiration in different things and moments throughout our days, but right now we are consistently awed and inspired by @Maryamhasnaa on Instagram. She shares sacred wisdom on returning to your authentic self and sustaining your vibrational frequency. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t post sage words that have us nodding our heads along, and re-committing to building the best life and environment for our family.
Thanks so much Naima and Aaron! Yours is an inspiring story, and we wish you all the best on your travels across the globe. You can follow the family’s adventures on their Instagram here and on their blog.
What five things would you take if you decided to pack up and explore the world?