Jennifer Burger is the founder and blogger at Simply+Fiercely – an inspirational blog that aspires to document her simplistic, minimal way of life. She shares with us about her values in life and her journey in learning new things that make her happy.
Tell us something about yourself.
When I was 22, I impulsively bought a one way ticket to London. I had $500 in my pocket and a vague dream about travelling the world. Incredibly, I somehow made it happen and travelled for nearly two years before I ended up moving to Australia. (I’m originally from the States.)
At the time I didn’t feel like I was doing something brave – it was just pure youthful optimism! Now that I’m getting older this is one of my favourite memories and a great motivator to keep me trying new things and going on adventures.
Share with us a turning point in your journey. What made you start Simply + Fiercely?
Like many other women, my twenties were a really confusing time. When I moved to Australia I settled down and started to build my ‘adult’ life, but I had no idea what that really meant or what I really wanted.
Without any direction, I did what I thought was the right thing (I tried to build a career, got married, bought a home – all the ‘normal’ stuff) but on the inside I was really struggling and felt empty. I turned to shopping as a way to cope and it became a problem for me. I was drowning in debt, expectations and clutter, and I felt trapped.
By the time I turned 30, enough was enough. I walked away from everything – my career, my marriage, and my home – and decided to take control of my life. I embraced minimalism and downsized about 90% of my possessions, and I took the time to actually write down my core values. This was huge for me and for the first time I realised that I didn’t want ‘success’ in the traditional sense.
After that, I decided that I was going to rebuild my life on my own terms and I decided to create Simply + Fiercely to help other women do the same. I think there are way too many women going through life, doing what’s expected of them, without actively deciding or even thinking about what they want and I think that needs to change.
What practical advise would you give someone who is contemplating to leave his or her job to seek something more?
Understand your core values first and know what you really want. You don’t have to have it all figured out, but it’s important to know more about yourself and what makes you happy. Otherwise it’s easy to make an impulsive decision and end up back where you started, in a position that doesn’t serve you.
What motivates and inspires you everyday?
Inspiration is everywhere! I try and look for it in small things, like a good cup of coffee , a warm smile, or a clear starry night. Life is beautiful if you choose to see it that way.
I’m also hugely motivated and inspired by my readers and the community that has grown around Simply + Fiercely. They hold me accountable and help me stay focused on why I started.
What are your 5 must-haves when you travel?
I never travel without a sarong – they’re beautiful and also versatile (I use mine as a scarf, a towel, or even as a clean sheet in a crunch!)
Next, I always travel with a pair of lightweight travel pants, like this beautiful pair from Matter. They keep you cool without revealing too much (so important in many of my favourite travel destinations.)
After that, I always have my smartphone, coconut oil (a must for my skin) and my journal.
Where is your next adventure? Where are you off to?
I’ve been travelling around the world since October and I’m currently in Peru. I’ll be leaving shortly for Mexico, Guatemala and then Hawaii – and I’ll be back in Australia in June. After that my next goal is to buy a van and roadtrip around Australia.
We are inspired by Jennifer’s vision of keeping things simple and living in moments that matter, and are proud to have her as Fieldtester, a group of inspiring friends that regularly test MATTER products in their workplace and travels to help us improve durability and design. Jennifer wears The Sideswept Dhoti+Mobi Nomad Blue, Size 1.