Marie Kondo is a name that has become synonymous with tidying up. The Japanese organisation expert is on a mission to help people live life with less. As the Marie Kondo craze hits fever pitch around the world, people are decluttering, organising and deep cleaning their houses, ditching anything that doesn’t spark joy in their lives.
However, the principals of Marie Kondo can also be applied to other aspects of your life, and why not use them to help you in your travels and declutter your mind while you’re at it?
1. Clear your head at Machu Picchu
The Ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu is the perfect spot to consider your place in the world. Built in 1450, this wonder is unique in many ways—one being the fact that it was untouched during the Spanish conquests that devastated much of Peru during the 1500s. Take in the panorama at the peak and marvel at how this city was created without the use of modern tools and don’t be surprised if your life (and all of its modern-day worries) are suddenly put into perspective.
2. Find your joy
The Japanese island of Okinawa is said to be the origin of the term ikigai. In Japan this means ‘a reason for being’ and often refers to the source of value in your life or the things that make your life worthwhile. Finding your purpose (or life values) is about balance; often found at the sweet spot where your passions and talents intersect with the things the world needs and are willing to pay for. But of course, finding all this out can take time. So, travelling to new countries and experiencing things outside of your comfort zone is the perfect opportunity to find out what really matters to you. And since Okinawa is also said to be home to the largest number of centenarians, we figure they must be doing something right!
3. Witness the awe-inspiring Northern Lights
The natural world around us can bring incredible inspiration to those who are willing to stop and take the time to look at it. Probably one of the most awe-inspiring natural sights is inarguably the Northern Lights. You can see the Northern Lights in countries closest to the arctic poles like Iceland, Antarctica and Norway so in terms of where to travel to, you have options. There’s nothing like an otherworldly experience with this incredible natural phenomenon to clear the mind and ditch some of that mental clutter.
4. Pack light
Having a lot of physical things surrounding you can literally weigh you down, particularly when travelling. We’ve all been guilty of packing those “just in case” items that never get used. As any fan of Marie Kondo would know, Marie is all about holding on to less, and that of course extends to packing for travel. Travelling with just a carry on will not only save you some extra cash to spend on holiday, it ensures that things you do take with you are absolutely essential, and when you’re carrying that bag with you for your entire holiday, every item counts. Marie Kondo’s tips for travelling lighter include utilising her famous rectangle folding technique so that you can see every item at once and only packing items that spark joy.
5. Unwind and unplug
A holiday is a perfect time to really switch off from the world and (dare we say it) take a digital detox. Without the stress of work and daily commitments, you can really take the time to appreciate where you are, physically and mentally. A digital detox is widely believed to be an ideal way to reduce stress and focus on your social interactions in the physical world. A few days without technology has also been shown to improve memory and sleep quality too, so there’s really not a downside to this one.