Three months ago I tricked myself into going for a run. You see running and I don’t get along so well. But since this route is actually “enjoyable”, off I went. I was staying at a friend’s in the Village, and I traversed over to the Hudson River, then ran up to Chelsea. After I had enough, I conveniently found myself at the entrance to The Highline and since I had time on my hands, I decided to wander my way back to the Village. To some of you, this may sound like a redundant post, but I conveniently left something out of that post back in July…
Bringing this post back to present day, like the NYC run mentioned above, yesterday afternoon I was tricked into going for a run. You see, I had not surfed in two days (what?!?!) and I could not stare at my screen anymore. Usually this would mean that I would hop on my yoga mat, but this song with a great beat to run to was stuck in my head. Ironically, it was the song to the overly sensual and, in my opinion, degrading ad introducing Steph Gilmore to the Roxy team during the Roxy Pro Biarritz. Putting my opinion aside, motivation is motivation, I downloaded the song and off I went on my run.
Ok, so where am I going with all of this talk of running? Well, after my trot yesterday, I was reminded of a billboard from my NYC run after coming across a post in a blog that I stumbled upon yesterday.
Can you see it?
Take note of the orange billboard. As I was walking on The Highline back in July, I noticed this billboard being put up. It reads, “The less you need, the richer the experience” by no other than Patagonia. Talk about timing. Here I was visiting NYC, in a city surrounded by wants and desires, almost a year after leaving all of that behind to live in a tropical beach town in Costa Rica.
As I read and digested this billboard, I thought about how pretty much overnight, I went from ultimate city living, in one of the greatest cities in the world, to that of ultimate beach living. I reflected on how my needs and wants have become more distinguished in the year living in Costa Rica. Part of this is because getting certain things here in Costa Rica is a challenge, as well as more expensive. Part of it is because my daily essentials consist of:
I must admit that a part of me misses the wardrobe that currently is packed away in storage back in the US, but the other part of me feels liberated that I am no longer as tempted to shop. Yes, I have purchased a couple of new bikinis and beach clothes in the past year, but I realized making these purchases came with a lot of contemplation, “Do I really ‘need’ this?”
Coincidentally, last week I chatted with one of my old NYC roommates who also left the banking world and is pursuing her dream of farming. She commented, “It’s hard to not splurge on the latest fashions or coolest tech toys, but I learned that I became more materialistic during my NYC days. Who knew that I could get by week after week on two pairs of jeans and a handful of shirts?”
Then, last night I read a post by Nicole in her blog, Paradise Revealed, that coincidentally popped up on my Facebook newsfeed yesterday. Nicole recently moved to Raratonga in the Cook Islands with her husband, and in her post “I have everything I need…” she talks about a recent experience of online shopping.
“Over the past couple of days I went back to my shopping cart and felt hesitant to click ‘purchase and deliver’. Why was I dilly-dallying when I was so tremendously excited about the opportunity to get more stuff? So I deleted my shopping cart – I realized I don’t really need any of it and thinking about what I did want was starting to stress me out.
Of course I like new things and having treats and spoiling myself on occassion, but I have everything I need right now and the feeling I get from knowing that is more than any ‘click and deliver’ high could ever give me. We are told again and again (in North America especially) that more stuff will make us happier and I’ve seen people who so firmly believe in it that they would rather spend their days in a job they hate just so they can feel the freedom of buying more things whenever they feel like it.”
The less you need, the richer the experience.
Although I still have a long way to go in distinguishing wants vs needs, especially with things being one click away due to all the numerous surf friends that come to visit, I have realized how rewarding it is to live with things you need in your life that make you truly happy vs the things that you think you want that will make you happy. Like my surfboard. Technically I don’t need a surfboard to live, but it brings me such joy and is my vehicle to dance with waves.
So after connecting all of these dots, thanks to these dreaded runs, and well, timing, that is my two sense. Live with what you need, and not with what you want.
I will leave you all with Nicole’s word’s of wisdom,
“I hope I don’t sound preachy in this post in a new-age hippie, spiritual ‘I found the secret of life!’ kind of way. I wanted to share my gratitude with my readers in having a simple life and not wanting for much and hope that this could inspire anyone out there to make the same realization for themselves.”