Making Space for Abundance

(If you came here from No Sidebar, thank you and welcome! I love comments. I also write postcards from, well, wherever we are at

Recently I heard someone use the word abundance to explain why minimalism is not for her. I want a life of abundance, she said. Such a beautiful, positive word. Me too, I thought.

I can see what she means. She’s not the only person I’ve heard speak of minimalism like this, as the opposite of abundance and all that word implies of ample everything, handfuls of plenty, big bouquets of living large. It gave me pause to consider that these two words might be on opposite sides of a spectrum. And yet here I am with very few possessions in the minimalist life I have chosen. How do I square minimalism with a yearning for abundance? Is it true that they are mutually exclusive? 

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Launa at Large


Interested in what daily life is like as a full-time minimalist traveler?

In addition to my essay-ish posts here on Field Trip Notebook, I’ve begun a series of 1-minute reads on Substack.

They’re postcards from, well, wherever we are. (Right now we’re in Tacoma, Washington, prepping for our next big international travel leg through 9 Asian countries.)

I invite you to stop by–and subscribe!

The Case for a Modest Wedding

I recently saw an old friend who had just returned from a destination wedding on the Mayan Riviera. When I asked about it, he handed me his phone so I could flip through the photos.

A beautiful wedding. It cost a lot. 

A lot

What looks like a wedding ring is actually a time machine. Each time I look at that tiny diamond, I’m reminded of how long we’ve been together and how far we’ve come. I wouldn’t “trade it up” for anything.

This blog is about minimalism and travel, so it may feel a little off-topic to tread into the shark-infested waters of wedding costs. But stay with me on this: a decision against a dream wedding, opting for a modest wedding instead, could be the beginning of a dream life.

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Three Questions to Resist the Call of Beautiful Things

(Update: Many thanks to the folks at No Sidebar for publishing this piece today.)

Lovely objects still turn my head, even long after I’ve become a minimalist. 

This surprised me at first. Shouldn’t I be over all those shopping urges by now?

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Curating Your Travels

At the entrance to our street in Marrakesh.

I had a good conversation with a dear friend of mine on the phone the other day. 

“How are you finding Marrakesh?” she asked. 

“I love it,” I said. Then I paused. “The truth is, I’m choosing to love it. I’m curating my experience.” 

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The (Mostly) Public Bus Guide to Hiking Crete’s Gouverneto and Katholiko Monasteries

Hello, hikers–yes, of course you should do the famous Samaria Gorge hike, but find time in your visit to Crete for this amazing hike–two monasteries and a fabulous sea cove on the peninsula northeast of the city of Chania.

Worth the sweaty hike to find these hidden treasures.

It’s rugged and the scenery is outstanding. You won’t have it to yourself, but you’ll see far fewer fellow hikers than on the Samaria Gorge. Bring along your swimsuit and take a dip in a perfect little cove of clear blue-green water, just the right temperature in the middle of a sunny, sweaty hike in early November.

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The Public Bus Guide to Hiking the Samaria Gorge

If hiking is something you enjoy, you’ll want to hike the Samaria Gorge–a 16km, unique hiking experience on Crete. Any online searching for things to do on Crete will quickly uncover this scenic, iconic gorge–it’s the second most visited site on Crete (after the Palace of Knossos). Justin and I hiked it on a beautiful October day and we highly recommend it to you.

It’s multi-step, all-day excursion. The journey forms a triangle: travel south from Chania to the gorge then hike to the sea, take ferry east along the coast, then travel north back to Chania. You may be led to believe, as I was, that it’s difficult to get there. Site after site tried to steer me to guided tours, rental cars, and even taxis. But you know what will work equally well but will cost a great deal less? 

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Why Bulgaria? (Part II)

I started writing this on a train from Plovdiv to Sofia, kept on writing on a plane, then on a balcony in Athens overlooking a tangle of other balconies. I spent a month in Bulgaria, and now that I’m looking at it from another place and culture, I’ve finally reached a kind of answer to that question, often posed before we came.

Which is that it’s a terrible question. 

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The first section of our nomadic lives was driving around the US. We had our streamlined nomadic luggage, but we also had stuff in the car–food, extra clothes, spare shoes, all kinds of this and that.

So the real test has been these last two weeks in Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria, when we each have a carry-on suitcase and a backpack and that’s it.

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Why Bulgaria? (Part I)

We get asked this question a lot. 

In fact it’s rare that–when we mention that we’re on our way to Bulgaria–the response is something other than “Why Bulgaria?” We’ve come to refer to it as The Question. 

If you were asking The Question, I could give you a list of reasons, such as these: 

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