Hi there, we are Paul and Sandra. A Gen X couple passionate about values-based living and sustainable travel, we have made it our mission to help others experience more by living with less. Our website is full of practical advice and simple, tested tools that help you
- design a better life for yourself and pursue what truly matters to you;
- travel in a more authentic and respectful way.
Wonder who we are and how Minimalist Journeys came about? Here is our story…
Born on opposite sides of the globe – Sandra in East Germany and Paul in New Zealand – we both moved to Sydney, Australia in 2005 and 2007, respectively. We met in June 2010, being paired up in a Latin Dance performance at the dance school we both attended.
Latin Dance not only brought us together as a couple and introduced us to many wonderful people who are now our friends. It also led to our first three-month trip together – back in 2012.
A bit of a testing point whether our relationship would still flourish when together 24/7 for an extended period, that trip in 2012 laid the foundation for our journey today:
- Discovering we had found our soulmate in each other, we married in December 2014.
- Realising that our comfortable yet draining, middle-class life in Sydney wasn’t really what we wanted, we started to question our values, simplify our life and put our energy where our hearts are.
For two years, from 2018 to 2020, these included Tirohanga Lodge, our guesthouse in Queenstown, which we lovingly restored to share this beautiful corner of New Zealand with visitors from around the world. While we made the hard decision to sell the Lodge amid the uncertainties of COVID-19, we would love to welcome guests again in future.
For now, we are focused on speaking at events, and developing ways to make a positive impact on our planet.
We are very different individuals, but our values are aligned. We have both overcome significant adversities in our lives, and our approach to our future is strongly anchored in our values because of these very personal experiences.
Although we love spending quality time with close friends and family, we also share a thirst to learn and expand our horizons. That’s why we love exploring the world and immersing ourselves in other cultures.
We live intentionally and travel mindfully. Limiting our environmental footprint and contributing positively to the communities we visit are important considerations that drive our purchasing decisions – wherever we are.
Material possessions are not important to us. While we never had many to begin with, what we did have held us back. These days, everything we need for our life on the road fits into our carry-on backpacks.
Learning about values and minimalism reinforced how we felt about life already and adopting minimalist concepts enabled us to ultimately farewell our corporate lives and experience more by living with less.
Life choices are very personal, and what’s important to us may be totally different from what’s important to you. We do believe though that a greater focus on our personal values can help all of us live the life we truly want. That’s why we created Minimalist Journeys.
A life change like ours doesn’t happen overnight. In our case, it was easily two years in the making and remains an ongoing process. We invite you to come along, and read about our and our readers’ journey(s). Who knows, you may find a new idea or a different approach to something you have been trying to crack for a while.
We won’t (dare) tell you what’s right or wrong, but we can tell you what has worked for us and what hasn’t: from well-researched blog posts, and practical tips and tricks on our Life, Travel and Business resources pages to the destinations we have explored to date.
Paul and Sandra