To discover happiness, fulfillment and freedom as a minimalist you should live without a lot of “stuff.” You probably should not own a car, a house or a television. It’s best if you don’t have a career, and you should live in several exotic hard-to-pronounce places all over the world.

So, count me in. I’m a minimalist, which was the point of view I was to take in preparing an assignment for a pre-Thanksgiving writing class.

I noted, for example, that I am quite happy with the view from my temporary 13th floor Sky Tower room here in downtown Auckland. I can see dozens of boats in the bay, a highway en route to the North Island and a mountainous terrain to the south and west.

Unfortunately, I am a bit exhausted after traveling 13 hours in a Boeing 777-300.jet liner from Seattle, Washington, to New Zealand.

Tomorrow I plan to tour Wynyard Quarter and to enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the water located on the North Wharf. Next week I’ll view artwork by the Maori people at the Auckland Art Gallery and visit the downtown university.

A friend has invited me to take a harbor cruise in his yacht, which will offer a panoramic view of New Zealand’s largest city. I’ll reciprocate by inviting him to dine at The Sugar Club here in the 300-meter-high Sky Tower or at the Orbit, Auckland’s only revolving restaurant.

I won’t bore you with plans to spend the next three months touring the two islands that comprise New Zealand located more than 7,000 miles southwest of the West Coast. I am looking forward, however, to the helicopter flight on Mount Cook and hiking the trail to Milford Sound.

I must confess that I enjoy spending stateside summers in Terpening Terrace, a retirement community in Eugene, Oregon. However, I much prefer spending the winter months in New Zealand where the seasons are reversed. Thus, I can enjoy a perpetual summer by leap-froging across the Atlantic.

I will miss the company of fellow writers at Terpening Terrace during the next three months as I once again explore the lush forests of giant ferns and Kauri trees without fear of stepping on a snake.

This morning fellow writers at Terpening are expounding on minimalism, which encourages a person to get rid of “stuff” as a means of discovering happiness, fulfillment and freedom.

Today, I plan to continue my life as a minimalist and to experience happiness, fulfillment and freedom as a man without a car, a home or a job.

I’m just a vagabond, a free spirit on the move, a happy minimalist ambling through life unencumbered by “stuff.”

* * *

p.s. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough “stuff” in the bank to buy a ticket to New Zealand. So, I ate turkey stateside.

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