Only the Good Stuff

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

The day before HILT to Portland

Kaya Baker

18 people | 9 days | $230’s worth snack food| two 12-passenger vans | 2,436 miles

This is a recipe for disaster, is it not?

I don’t want to brag, but being one of the two leaders of this preposterous journey, I’m inclined to say that it’s because the topic and destination of the trip are undeniably UUH-MAZING.

The topic is minimalism and mindfulness and the destination is Portland, Oregon. We are hodgepodge of Concordia students seeking to educate and challenge ourselves on these two topics, you see. We will be bringing along minimal clothing, eating sustainably and ethically sources foods, and taking time to appreciate small items and small moments, all the while keeping anything that we cannot recycle or compost in our own personal glass jars. Is that weird?

Don’t worry, we already knew that. But we aren’t behaving strangely just to get attention! (Although we hope to provoke questions and thoughts amongst our onlookers.) Our main goal is to become more aware of the impact we as individuals have on our personal health, the health of others, and the environment. Can we reduce our negative impacts through living minimally? Nobody knows for sure, but after five months of planning, researching, and contacting many many people, the itinerary is finalized. Now all there’s left to do is pack our stuff up and get in the vans.

What does one bring on a minimalism and mindfulness trip? I’m glad you asked.

  • Minimal clothing (will wear multiple times/wash)
  • Personal reusable bowl, utensil, and hot/cold drinking vessel
  • Communal stuff!
    • Food
    • Coffee & tea
    • Computers
    • Books
    • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Warm clothes
  • Mindfulness journal
  • Minimal toiletries
  • Waste jar
  • Sleeping bag

The idea is that if we have less material stuff in our lives, all that remains is the good stuff. Only the most important and most valuable items are deemed as good stuff. Less superfluous stuff means less emotional attachment to material items, which in turn means more time and money and headspace for the good stuff. 

What do I value most in life? What do I really need in life? How can I reduce my waste? These were the guiding question through the process of packing and preparing for this year’s HILT to Bozeman, Missoula, Portland, and Spokane.

So stay tuned, dear readers!! You’re in for a real treat. Each day, one of 17 members of the trip will post a blog to the site, where they will introduce themselves, provide a synopsis of the day’s activities, and reflect upon their personal experiences to stumble upon thoughts on stuff… the good stuff. 

(You may have noticed that I didn’t really introduce myself. Hellohello! I am Kaya, one of the two trip leaders out to Portland. If you’d like to get to know me better, check out the blog post under the tab “2017 Trips” > “Leaders.”)


One thought on “Only the Good Stuff

  1. I must travel vicariously through you, dear Kaya and friends, but I too wish to boil down to the good stuff! In your wanderings, please let us know what can transfer well to our experiences at home! Sincerely, (aunt) Tracy


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