Dusti Arab is the author of Minimalist Adventures. I’ve been reading her blog for a few months now and seen it grow in an unbelievable way. I absolutely admire how she doesn’t let her age or the fact that she has a young child stop her from living the life she wants to live. Dusti focuses on radical minimalism, living with only 60 things and commuting several miles each day by bike. She is a very lively and inspiring writer, and for this post, I have the honor of interviewing her personally.
For those who haven’t read your blog, why have you embraced this movement:
Minimalism was my personal reaction to a culture that told me I needed to have it all to be happy, then wouldn’t let me have it. Unlike most other minimalist bloggers, I don’t come from a 9-5 corporate background, so minimalism was a way to not only deal with poverty, but also a way to rise up from it in a positive, self-affirming way.
While I find myself moving past writing about minimalism, it is a great jumping off point for anyone who wants to start living a great life free of the chains of consumerism.
How does having a young daughter affect your life decisions in minimalism everyday:
Haha, I wrote a book on that. It’s called The Minimalist Mom. :p
Honestly, it’s not as hard as everyone seems to think. All kids need are clothing and toys, as far as material possessions go. After that, attention and experiences are all you have to fill! People are so convinced they need tons of crap once they get pregnant. You have to have everything or else the baby and you will suffer for it. Bullshit! It’s nothing but marketing at work. My daughter is on the 100 Thing Challenge, which helps a lot.
Being minimalist isn’t rocket science, regardless of if you have children or not. Get rid of your crap, and be amazed at what happens. It encourages your collective imaginations. Besides, then you also have more time, energy, and money for cool experiences you can talk about later, like going to Argentina. 🙂
Who has been influential in your life:
Wow, what a difficult question! So many people deserve credit for helping me get to this point. Over the course of my life, so many people have been integral to helping me become the person I am now.
Most recently, I would have to say my two mentors, Tammy Strobel and Everett Bogue have been very influential.
Tammy is the one who first gave me a chance to make it in the blogging world by publishing a guest post – when she wasn’t accepting them. Now, we have coffee every couple of weeks and have jam sessions!
Everett has made me brave enough to take the risks I need to in order to succeed. I’m not sure many people have had as much faith in me as Everett, and that has been so paramount to my success. He inspired me to work my ass off to get to Chicago recently!
It’s kind of strange, but I want to list a few bands. The music that has been there in my darkest and brightest hours has also been influential in a way I have trouble explaining. Train, The Goo Goo Dolls, and many select songs from other bands have had a profound influence on me and everything I do. I love music that makes you feel something down to your core.
Tell me about your plans to be location independent in the near future:
Well, it’s complicated. I had planned to move to another town in Oregon, then head to Argentina. That’s basically out the window now, because I need to be in a city to do what I’m doing. It doesn’t really matter what city, as long as it is a large city.
Essentially, I realized I’ve already achieved location independence. The income I’m generating isn’t tied to a location, and I am capable of moving anywhere. Right now, however, living in Portland seems to be the best choice for my daughter and I.
That said, I do have plans to be in Seattle in January. However, I’m rather enjoying not having a plan. As far as the future goes, I can say I will be mostly in the northwest through July, because my best friend is getting married. A few days later, I will be en route to Argentina. The rest will fall into place.
Congratulations on finishing The Minimalist Mom! What was the most difficult thing and the most rewarding about writing your first e-book?
Oh, the formatting! Hands down. Technology and I have a tenuous relationship, and it’s something we’re both working on. 😉
The most rewarding has absolutely been the reader reaction to it. I felt too strongly about everything I was writing during the process of getting the book together, and it made me certain I was not the only one who had experienced so many of the struggles I had.
Much of what the book is about are the many roles we play as women, and how we are expected to sacrifice our entire lives when we become mothers. This is unhealthy, and I wanted to help spread the idea that we are not only mothers and to think so is ludicrous. In addition, there are many helpful ways to eliminate problems associated with minimalism and children.
I receive a lot of hate mail, but there has been such a positive reaction to The Minimalist Mom that it has been absolutely incredible.
What books or resources are you currently into?
Right now, I’m reading What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. It changes everything, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s been quite a while since a book has changed the way I think so drastically.
I’m also reading The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. Seriously, it is the ultimate choose your own adventure book, and even if you only buy it because it is popular, I guarantee you’ll come away with something.