Recently another traveler told me that getting rid of everything to travel was liberating. Unencumbered by possessions he was free to live his life and go, do, be wherever he pleased.
The idea of liberating our possessions is by some completely terrifying to some and exhilarating and exciting to others. I admit to regularly flip flopping on this issue, some items I’m terrified to leave behind and others I’m excited to purge. I traveled around the world with a small carry-on sized backpack. As time went on I got rid of more and more until I felt as though I had truly reached my minimalist breaking point. That’s when I joined the terrified to get rid of things camp.
We’ve written extensively about what we traveled with, the gear, the miscellanea, the clothes, what we kept in boxes for two years, and what made it around the world with us. We’ve also blogged about our fear of losing those last few possessions and the emotional attachment we came to feel to objects. We’ve written a lot about stuff– what is our obsession?
As we pack for another travel adventure, I’m smile to myself as I see the first few items go into the bag. Here they are:
- Steri Pen, Water Purifier. My adoration for this product can simply not be described. It is without a doubt the #1 object I’d recommend to any traveler going anywhere for any amount of time. As my grandma says, without health you have nothing!
- Sarong. Versatile, from a sheet to a skirt to a towel, this rectangular piece of cloth is a must.
- Med Kit. We did leave this behind once and lived to pay the price. It’s like an American Express card, never leave home without it!
- Ex-Officio undies. Our little secret at first, but these are the most comfortable for travel – even if it’s 10 hours in an airport.
- A Hat. If you’ve ever squinted in bright sunlight to read a sign you know what I mean.
Is that all I really need? Maybe I’ve crossed to another level of minimalist travel. What are the first few items in your bag?