February 8th, 2013
Almost every time I'm sitting in a taxi on my way to some new accommodation the driver laughs at me and every time I'm checking in to that accommodation the receptionist laughs at me.
They're not laughing at me because I look or act funny (at least I hope not.) What they're laughing about and simultaneously pointing at; is my luggage, or rather the absence of my luggage.
All my belongings fit into a 16 liter Goruck backpack. I've set it up that way because I love the flexibility it brings. Still, people have tried and tried and tried to convince me that one can't live with so few belongings, that it's utterly impossible to get through living without the basic necessities of life. Yes that's true, but it completely depends on how one define 'basic necessities'.
When I started experimenting with simplifying my life around summer time last year I realized how many abundant things I had, things that I thought I needed but found out I didn't. It was kind of interesting, I kept peeling more layers of the onion off and discovered new solutions to existing problems; simpler solutions.
For instance, when it came to clothing, I found this incredible material called Merino wool. The material breaths almost like a living organism and that keeps moist, dirt, sweat and smell away. The quality is superior to cotton in every manner so that means I can wear my clothes for a much longer time without the need to instantly wash them.
Even though I like the flexibility it brings by having little, not everyone seems to be enjoying it as much as I am. Take for instance a trip I did to Boston last year. They wouldn't almost let me on the plane cause I weren't carrying around oodles of luggage. Before boarding I was led to an interrogator room where they insistently questioned me how I could travel with so little for a whole week. I just said, that even if they didn't believe it, it was perfectly possible and after searching through my little bag they finally let me on the plane.
It doesn't matter whether I meet a friend over a cup of tea or if I'm taking a trip to the other side of the globe; I'm carrying the same bag. In that way I'm minimizing the friction, it's easier to adapt.
Now when I'm out traveling I see a lot of backpackers lugging around on insanely huge bags, struggling to throw it onto a boat, get it off the boat, get it on a truck, get it off the truck and so on. That way, traveling gets very cumbersome and exhausting. It's harder to enjoy every step of the way.
If I would have that kind of luggage I wouldn't be able to check out from my hotel, take a walk down the beach, and see if I can find a new interesting place to live at. Instead I'd probably get comfortable, which is one of the few things I truly despise.
Think lightly, act lightly, feel lightly.— Aldous Huxley, Island