The next holiday trip is right in front of you and you are already stressed, because you always have to organize that much? For example packing your bags and doing the last errands so that you are prepared for every “emergency”?
Exactly how i was thinking just 1 year ago. Typical thoughts were: “Oh, I definitely need a rain jacket, a warm jacket, open shoes, closed shoes, a thin sleeping bag, a neck pillow, medicines against xyz, ….” And suddenly your backpack or suitcase is filled to the brim and during your travels you realize then that half of the stuff you have brought was not used even once! So why stressing yourself unnecessarily and carrying your whole closet with you?
I’ll tell you now why you can definitely ease up and what positive side effects minimalism can have not only on trips but also for your entire life!
How I learned to love minimalism
I have to admit that i normally tend to take way too much when going on a journey, so i always have the perfect outfit with me for any occasion. And in addition to that comes my irrepressible shopping addiction. Over time, I realized how much more comfortable traveling is, if you really reduce to the bare essentials. When I traveled to Ibiza for a workers summer season last year, I had TWO large suitcases with me! That was INSANE and everybody else laughed at me!
When I went to Thailand as a digital nomad for the winter, I tried to make it just with one suitcase. But do you know how annoyed I was just after one week, constantly having to pull everything behind me, while the backpackers could easily carry their backpack simply on their backs? Constantly rooting around in the suitcase in search of the favorite pieces was so annoying and usually you wear the same things anyway. Therefore, I decided to donate and dispose some things during my two and a half months in Thailand. Suddenly it became clear to me that I finally want to change something in my life. Prioritization on the essentials, in the meaning of minimalism!
Better travels with light luggage
Before you travel, think about what you really need and how the weather conditions are like in your destination country. In Bali, for example, it was never colder than 20°C at night. So one sweater is really enough. Also such things as mosquito sprays you do not have to buy overly at your home! Did you know that there are even better sprays to buy locally? These are specifically for the regional insects and usually even cheaper.
Do you really need to take hundred pair of shoes – for partying, walking, beach, sports, etc.? Actually it is enough to bring solid shoes like sneakers for example and a pair of flip flops / Birkenstocks.
Especially shoes usually take away a lot of space. Just like drugstore items! When I travel, I hardly use make-up anymore. Usually mascara and a face cream is enough. You are already very nice tanned from the sun and the beach vibes make your natural look anyway much better! Please consider exactly what you really need, also concerning medicine. It really annoys to take too much useless stuff. In an emergency, you can ALWAYS buy it locally.
Reduction on the essentials – Implementing minimalism into everyday life
Reduction on the essentials is not only super cool when traveling but can also be transferred to the rest of your everyday life!
In Thailand, it made “click” to me when I realized that I just do not need so many things. Things that I thought before were almost vital to me. Back in Germany, I first cleared out my wardrobe, sold clothes, furniture, my car and quit all contracts, including the one for my rented apartment in Bavaria. Since then, my whole life fits in one suitcase, one backpack and two moving boxes at my parents place! In this two boxes are just some winter clothes, books and keepsakes like pictures and old presents from family and friends. That’s it!
All this stuff was just ballast that stole my energy. Do you know how good it feels to get rid of everything?! This is really balm for the soul and feels like an inner cleaning. I can highly recommend that to you, if you feel like without energy, are unfocused or just want to reboot! If I want to move to a new flat, I would really only buy the essentials to be freer and more flexible, so i could move much more easily to somewhere else when a new awesome opportunity arises. That’s how it works best for me to be real independent!
What I can also absolutely recommend you, is to clean up your computer from time to time! Deleting unused documents, creating a good folder structure, deleting emails, unsubscribing to newsletters that you don´t want to receive any longer, sorting out old photos, … all this gives me a structure and order and the feeling that I have everything under control. So I can think and work a lot freer and it gives me so much more energy, because I do not waste my valuable time anymore for searching something.
How advanced minimalism can look like
Felicia Hargarten and Marcus Meurer from the DNX Movement (Digital nomad experience) are the absolute pros in terms of minimalism! Together they are on the road all year long and travel only with hand luggage! Within their DNX backpack they carry a lot of technical stuff (laptop, camera, microphone etc.) with them, that already needs a lot of space. In addition to that they take 1-2 pairs of shoes and just a few tops and pants. Everything else will be bought locally.
If they want to have new clothes, they go shopping in that particular country they are at the moment and then donate old clothes to friends or locals. Creating more space in your backpack or suitcase and being social to others goes pretty well together!
Although I am definitely not able to match up with Felis & Marcus minimalism standard, but as I currently live, it is a 360° change to my previous life! I would probably never have thought it is possible 2 years ago, but I love it!! And as far as i can i also try my best on many travels now to just go with my DNX backpack, even without a suitcase!
Minimalism gives me more energy and above all more freedom to shape my life according to my wishes. Try it out! For example, you could mop up your desk or wardrobe and just keep what you really need. What is dispensable can be donated or disposed, depending its condition. Do not wait any longer and take the first step towards a more minimalistic and more conscious lifestyle!