These days, it can seem like every minute is scheduled, structured, and optimized for productivity. In an ironic twist of fate, even our vacation planning can be stressful, and sometimes we need a vacation from our vacation. Minimalism has surfaced as an elegant solution to the capitalism-fueled productivity craze—and it can help with our time off, too.
According to Jon Staff, the founder of Getaway—a company that allows you to book weekend sojourns in tiny houses with no Wi-Fi and lots of stargazing—we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be bored. "Everyone is a work martyr, and our goal is to get people to disconnect,” he says.
Part of the inspiration for starting Getaway was to solve his own problems with being constantly connected. Once, when taking a college physics course, his class was asked to live without their cellphones for 24 hours. He found the result to be a liberating freedom and focus, which he seeks to recreate with minimalist vacations. In his opinion, the trend of the "less is more" philosophy is one that our crazy-busy society deeply needs.
With the rising popularity of services like Workaway, which allows you to travel and volunteer in exchange for lodging, and Airbnb Experiences, where you can book activities that are designed and led by local hosts, it’s clear that travel is becoming more about experiences than indulgent food or luxury accommodations. And research supports this preference for memories over material, finding that buying experiences, not possessions, can lead to greater happiness.