True Minimalist Travel – Part III | The Advantages to Carrying Less


My concept of travel had changed. Evolving from aimless adventure to a full-time nomadic lifestyle. The ‘sometimes nice to have but never nice to carry’ things long gone. With nothing left to get rid of, this was True Minimalist Travel. Events that followed were to be shaped by a need to adapt to every new environment. The advantages to carrying less. Advantage 1 Backpacks waste time. Shorten your journey by not taking one. You won’t have to arrive at the airport extra early to check luggage and there will be no need to wait for the baggage carousel upon arrival. Advantage 2 Backpacks restrict peace of mind. Be without fear that your bag’s been lost in transit or something inside it’s got damaged. Advantage 3 Backpacks get exhaustingly heavy. Draining energy and abusing your back, if you chose a backpack, you will end up dragging everything inside it with you from place to place, wishing you’d left most of it behind. Advantage 4 Backpacks also get poorly treated. Tied to roofs of vans and buses, sometimes uncovered, getting completely soaked by the rain and then thrown from the roof to the ground when you arrive. Advantage 5 Backpacks are not adaptable. You should be ready and able to catch any means of local transport, this could be a shared motor taxi or an over-capacity tuk-tuk with more than a dozen passengers. Don’t let your luggage limit your options. Advantage 6 Backpacks occupy a lot of space. On certain modes of transport, you will have to keep your luggage between your legs or on your lap. There will be entire days of travel, squeezed between others and all of their luggage too. When basic comforts are at a premium, you should try and make the best of what little space you can have. Advantage 7 Backpacks slow you down. When you eventually arrive at that next destination, you will need to navigate to your new accommodation. This inevitably means time spent walking from out of town bus terminals through plenty of unfamiliar streets. Getting lost is part of travel. You will need ease of movement, and the freedom to explore. Advantage 8 Backpacks get uncomfortable. Mapping out new surroundings can be both exciting and overwhelming. Avoid adding to the stress as you figure things out. You want to enjoy this moment without a large container permanently fixed to your back. It’s unbelievably comfy to have nothing. Advantage 9 Backpacks make you stand out like a tourist. Your bag might call unwanted attention and make you an easy target for traders, scammers or potential theft. Advantage 10 Backpacks need to be left somewhere. No longer be concerned about your accommodation having a large enough locker or whether you trust that cheap padlock. Advantage 11 Backpacks are inconvenient. Fully loaded, they can be a nightmare to pack. You might regularly exchange your time for ‘luggage Tetris’, removing everything to organise the contents. Taking this out to get to that, it can be a real hassle to find what you want. Advantage 12 Backpacks are inconsiderate. In shared rooms you could wake everyone up by packing. Some travellers also throw their many should-be contents across dormitory floors. With more it’s easier to lose a thing or two. Advantage 13 Backpacks are mostly full of clothes anyway. There’s little benefit to carrying an abundance of eventually-dirty clothes around. With one outfit, you eliminate the need to search for laundry services, the need to carry it all there, to wait and collect it again. Washing your own outfit saves some money too. Advantage 14 Backpacks aren’t appropriate everywhere. Go anywhere at anytime. A sizeable bag might be enough to stop you doing something in the moment. This is the worst thing a backpack can do. How much you pack will shape the way in which you travel. Through these traits, I’d learnt the many advantages to carrying less. Consider how much you take, for it will become an extension of you on your back. Share these experiences and you may also desire smaller, lighter luggage. Little bags can go everywhere too but which you choose is completely up to you.

12 comments

  1. Love your videos! So inspiring! ❤ More please. Also could you do one on women traveling like you do? Thank you.

  2. Thanks, I'm currently planning a no luggage trip to a cooler climate so will need a little more than you but hopefully no baggage.

  3. I am sooooo Interested in this bum bag series. Please make more!! Im lost at the moment..and doing something like this I feel is the perfect way to truly find yourself ❤

  4. i travel lightly but this is extreme thinking….personally too much. i take a mosquito net for the obvious….i take a summer sleeping bag…. for the obvious…. and not so obvious..keeing off the chill of the air con on an indonesian night bus/boat… i hike in running shoes but travel in flip flops… a 30l bag does not slow me down… i walk from out of town bus stations… yes i dont disturb other travellers in a dorm. i pack up the night before or do it in the corridor….. i often wake up and am out the door in minutes…. having a backpack or not having a backpack u , me, everyone will still look like a tourist.. everyone knows what a local looks like and if u r not a local , u are a tourist….. and if u, not taking a big bag in a shared taxi, thinking it will give u extra room, the taxi driver will wanna fill up that extra room with more cargo or people…… and u can only go to hot countries…. or only old countries, cos u wear all the clothes all time… un less u dispose of all the heavy clothes when u depart…….cool video editing…

  5. Nice video, nice idea. I'd love to try this, but all the meds I need take up a bag larger than the 'bum bag'! And I'm a plus-size female, so my swimsuit takes a lot of space too.

  6. I took a missions trip to Mexico when I was 15. We were allowed our normal highschool backpack and a large cardboard box full of work clothes ( we were building houses). After 2 weeks I came home with my backback, everything else left, donated. At 17, another trip, this time only my school backpack and a small crossbody purse. This is still how I travel, 30 years later. Im deeply impressed with your style, choices for travel. For me however, I prefer to have a few changes of clothes, etc. Having a 25 liter backpack, and a small crossbody isnt restrictive at all. I do agree with all your points, those fitting for people who haul a 50-70 liter backpacks, multiple bags, or huge 28 inch rolling luggages around. However, I respect everyone's choices of how to travel and what they feel like is necessary for them, even if I think they're dragging themselves down with and ruining their travel experiences with massive, extremely heavy luggage.

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