Seven Years / Sieben Jahre / Sete Anos / Siete Años

I am everywhere and nowhere. And I own nothing and everything.

This is for everyone who looks at the World from a different perspective. For everyone who still believes in his or her dreams. In a life worth living. This is for everyone who is restless.

For everyone who strives for change. Who sees things differently. For everyone who does not accept the way things work today. Who does not accept the status quo.

This is for the ones who challenge the norm. The ones who break down existing barriers. The ones who build new things. The ones who make the impossible possible. This is for the ones most people would call crazy.

I am everywhere and nowhere. And I own nothing and everything.

I lived out of a backpack for the past 7 years. This is my story …

I never had a place of my own. I never bought any furniture. The clothes I have been wearing for the past few months cost less than $20. The entire outfit. Including shoes.

I never owned a car. I do not have a smartphone. My most valuable possession is this laptop right here on which I write these words. It is a $300 Acer. That is really all I got.

Am I a minimalist? I don’t know. I’m mostly just myself. To me, minimalism is just another way of selling us more expensive crap. Really, really expensive crap. Who needs a t-shirt for $60? I don’t …

I think that a real minimalist doesn’t talk about it. He just lives it. Oh, well, I guess I just broke that rule. Whatever.

Over the past few years I have lived in so many different places and cities that I can barely remember. And with living I mean a period of at least three months.

I am about to turn 32 in less than a month. I spend less than $800 a month including everything. Including food. And health insurance.

I have enough.

More than enough.

I have access to everything. I have access to more food than I will ever be able to eat. I have access to more clothes than I will ever be able to wear. I have access to more water than I will ever be able to drink. While others do not have access to any of this.

Here is a question I have asked myself many times in the past few months …

Just because we have access to all of these things does that mean we really need to own or buy all of these things? I don’t know.

Sometimes I am more happy. Sometimes I am less happy. But I am mostly just grateful to be alive.

Am I privileged? Of course, I am. And as you are reading this, chances are that you are privileged, too

I live the lifestyle that I am living partly out of necessity and partly because it is liberating.

Because it feels like freedom. At least sometimes. I can live, work, eat and sleep wherever I want to. All I have with me is a carry on bag with my stuff. And my laptop. And a Kindle. That is all I really need.

That is all I got when I started. I started this kind of lifestyle more than 7 years ago. Mostly because I was scared. I was scared of everything. I am still scared. Sometimes.

I was scared that I would stay at the same job for too long and then they would fire me. And then no one would hire me because I was too inbred. And then me and my future family would have to starve. I was seeing myself living on the streets.

The thought of having to rely on someone that could simply fire me when he pleases to, scared the shit out of me. It also scared the shit out of me to depend on a single person. Or in this case one company.

I basically quit my job to spread my risk. To be less dependent. The only person I wanted to depend on was me. And no one else. I only trust myself. And a few other people.

So this is my story. This is my story of how I got to where I am right now.

Where am I right now? Who the hell knows? I don’t …

This is the story of a naive little kid who set out to conquer the World. A story that started 7 years ago. A story that probably just got started. A story that will probably never be finished. A story with many ups and downs. Mostly downs.

A story worth telling. A story worth writing down. Mostly for myself, so I don’t forget all of these things.

This is the story of how I lost money every single day for more than three years. This is the story about how I lived out of a backpack for the past 7 years.

I am everywhere and nowhere. And I own nothing and everything.

I am a person you don’t know. A man you’ve never met … But you are someone who occupies my mind … and my heart … in this distant land where I’ve gone.

If you can imagine a hidden place, tucked safely away from the world … concealed by walls of high, snow-capped mountains … a place rich with all the strange beauty of your night-time dreams … Then you know where I am.

In the country where I am travelling – Tibet – people believe if they walk long distances to holy places … it purifies the bad deeds they’ve committed … They believe the more difficult the journey, the greater the depth of purification.

… In this place where time stands still, it seems that everything is moving … including me. I can’t say I know where I am going. Nor whether my bad deeds can be purified … there are so many things I’ve done which I regret.

But when I come to a full stop, I hope you will understand that the distance between us is not as great as it seems …

With deep affection,

Your father

Heinrich Harrer

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