I’m an Aussie currently living in Switzerland. I’m not quite a minimalist, but I’m trying to live a simpler life that is robust to external shocks. I like travelling, judo, cooking, and live music.

What is a “simple and robust” life? A simpler life involves less consumption, and hence places less stress on the natural environment, which is a moral imperative. Reducing the number and complexity of your focuses in life allows you more time to emphasise the things that are most important to you. Removing material and mental clutter reduces stress. Lastly, a simpler life is less expensive, which means you need fewer resources in order to sustain your lifestyle, which could mean working at a less lucrative but more fulfilling job, or just working less.

A robust life is related, to some degree. It is a life where you don’t rely too heavily on a complex web of interactions for your day to day survival. Complex community webs and markets are of course useful and can play a part in a very fulfilling life. But it can be problematic when you are dependent on them, particularly when you do not understand the extent to which you are dependent on them. When things start to go wrong in a complex system, you may not know how to identify or fix the problems.

I’m not an expert in this style of living, but hopefully I will have a long time to practice it.