Beyond Packing Light: How To Travel As A Minimalist!

Beyond Packing Light: How To Travel As A Minimalist!

This is a brand new secret to happy travels.

Modern life is all about glorifying the consumer. Buying more to fuel the economy, consuming all we can because we only live once, and producing more products that break down — inevitably leading us to buy replacements. Many also attribute success to how we can afford to buy expensive things. When it comes to travel, some of us go to places where we can shop until we drop. 

However, humanity seems to be paying the price for its consumerist mindset lately. Climate change, income inequality, and never-ending credit card debt are forcing us to rethink our ways. The response to living with more is, obviously, living with less.

Minimalism is the perfect response to the consumerist lifestyle that has been the norm. Minimalism, which started out as an art movement in the early 1960s, has taken the world by storm by evolving into a lifestyle and a way of life, a radical one at that. And it’s something more and more individuals have started to embrace. From the KonMari method to the tiny house movement, people are starting to learn how to live with less and less. 

Those who love to travel can embrace minimalism as well. The benefits of travelling with less are not only lighter on our backs and pockets, but also to our mental well-being.

Also read: A Bibliophile’s Guide To Packing Books For Vacation

Find a purpose behind every purchase

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Minimalism is more than just buying less and giving away stuff we don’t need. It’s all about living with intention. It’s about being guided by purpose each time we decide to purchase something with our hard-earned money. We often have to ask ourselves: Do I really need this heavy souvenir, that might just add 20 more kilos to my luggage, in order to improve the quality of my life? Do I really need this carpet that might not even get to be displayed in my house? 

Remember that we pay for our purchases not with money, but with hours of our life. It’s time we realise the value of our time, and whether it really is worth that 100th refrigerator magnet. 

Travel light to get home lighter

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Many of us buy something from the place we visit as proof of our travels. This explains the existence of the billion-dollar souvenir industry. But we also have to ask ourselves, how much will we actually be saving up if we forego the trinkets and doodahs (which aren’t cheap, to be honest)? It may be a hard habit to break, but replacing souvenirs with photographs might be a good way to practice photography skills and capture the essence of the places we visit.

Or if we really need to buy souvenirs, why not go for local handicrafts? Not only will you be supporting the local economy and their culture, but also bring home a piece of something that was done with deeper purpose and intention.

As for packing, do a quick search on the Internet and there will be tons of tips on how to pack light. And you know what? You should travel light. As a matter of fact, everyone should travel light. Not only does it save you a lot of money and energy, but it also forces you to think about what you truly need and what you are willing to temporarily give up. Do I really need to bring my hair iron, entire skincare routine, five pairs of shoes, and six hardbound books for the journey? What about my OOTDs? Embrace the neutral capsule wardrobe. Time to get creative and see what you can do with less. And it all starts with getting a smaller bag (and not coming home with another one!).

Also read: Easy Packing: This Is How You Pack A Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Clear out your mental headspace

Travelling with a minimalist mindset goes beyond refraining yourself from buying too much, and avoiding filling our suitcases to the brim. It’s also about clearing our inner lives to make space for new experiences. By eliminating the physical clutter in our suitcases, we find that we also carry lighter mental baggage on the road. We then realise that our attachment to material things can actually be broken, and that we can live much simpler lives while being comfortable, having just exactly what we need.

While minimalism may not be for everyone, it is still worth a try. Who knows, you might just like the way it changes your life. If you feel bad that you still can’t fit your entire trip into one carry-on, don’t take it too hard. Minimalism is also a journey that you can take at your most comfortable pace.

About Author

Patricia Laririt
Patricia Laririt

Pat originally studied to become a hotelier, but has always dreamed of becoming a published writer. When she isn't writing, she draws, paints, and sometimes bakes pastries.

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