There are many arguments for living a simpler life. Environmentalists tell us of the reduced impact to the Earth. Mystics tell us of the spiritual benefits.
But I prefer to accent the rockbottom, selfish, practical benefit: Simplicity is the key to freedom. Through simplicity, almost anyone can live a magnificent, free, interesting, and adventurous life.
I tire of hearing the sad excuses and protestations. Many write me and say things such as, "It sounds great, but who can afford to travel and live free for long periods of time?"
These folks are convinced that freedom comes only after decades of toil and wage slavery. They call this dubious freedom "retirement"..... but I prefer to call it by more brutally honest names: "pipe dream", "rationalization", "delusion".
Some think they must slave away at a high paying job in order to earn the right to travel long term. But as Ralf Potts notes, anyone can work as a toilet cleaner and save enough to afford freedom and travel.
The key is simplicity. While there are many definitions, perhaps the most practical is: living below your means. If you rake in six figures, live off of five. If you make 12,000 a year, live off of 9000.
Simplicity is what set me free financially. It has allowed me to fund extended trips in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, and the US. It enabled me to live three straight years without a full time job. Its let me choose jobs on my terms- has freed me from dependence and desperation.
Many think they must earn more, more, more and slave longer, longer, longer. But living simply is a much faster, much more efficient, and much more effective means of winning freedom.