pic by Victoria Söderström
We hear this motto a lot, ‘Travel Light, Pack Light, Live Light’ and I agree that what we learn on the road can be an adage for how to live our lives. Through various constraints associated with travel, you are forced to make quick decisions and deal with what you are faced with. You are in a higher state of awareness and tend to be very present in your surroundings. Here are 5 things I’ve learned about how a nomad’s mindset can serve us well in our everyday.
1. Less Baggage = Less Problems
We’ve all seen those people rolling out of the airport with gigantic suitcases spilling over carts, busting at the seams. Most of these people are only gone for a handful of days, maybe even a beach resort all inclusive vacay where only a bathing suit and flowy dresses are required.
So WHY the extra baggage?
Because in general, we humans have a real hard time making decisions, letting go and making do with less. We become so attached to what we think we need to be comfortable, that we lose the ability to connect with our surroundings.
When you pack light (only what you absolutely need) you leave room to make friends on your journey, integrate your experience and have way less weight to move around.
2. If it’s Heavy, it’s Hard To Carry
Remember, if you pack it, you have to carry it. And it’s Hefty.
Not only is it unnecessary to haul the burden of physical and emotional weights, it’s downright depressing and lethargic. Let go, make room for new experiences and become a little more free.
3. Ditch the Dirty Laundry
The worst part about coming to the end of a memorable vacation is having to pack up your dirty laundry. The more of it you have, the stinkier it is, and it gives you extra work to do when you get home. Instead, take only 2 bottoms, 3 tops, and underwear. You really can wear the same outfit twice.
The moment you fully ‘get’ that not only is more dirty laundry unnecessary and unpleasant, but that it also holds you back from the fun things you could be doing instead, is a blissful one. Take this understanding into your life. Holding onto guilt, regrets or anger, what I call ‘emotional dirty laundry’ only prevents us from seeing the joy in front of us. Leave those behind, or don’t take them with you in the first place.
4. You Don’t Remember What You Have Anymore…
Until you get home and start to unpack or fold the clean travel clothes. Then you realise you brought 3 basic black tank-tops and oh, there’s the cute grey skirt you were tearing the room apart looking for. When there’s just too much stuff going on in your suitcase and in your life, you can’t appreciate the simple things.
The way to remember what you have, both in your travel bag and in your life, is to pack less stuff. Do less, say no and spend a Friday night knitting. It’s character building.
5. It’s Better For The Environment
I know people who go to the drug store before a trip and buy bottles of EVERYTHING they could possibly need over a 10 day period. Even things they don’t use in their regular lives, ‘just in case’. You know, most everything you will ever need to buy can be purchased elsewhere in the world too. Use your soap as shampoo and coconut oil as body and face moisturizer, make-up remover and toothpaste (with a bit of baking soda). Do with less.
Of course, if you believe in this while you travel, you will tread lightly in your everyday life as well.
On your next trip, no matter for how long, resolve to just take a carry on suitcase with you. Then, when you realise that you’re a kick-ass minimalist, go through your closet and gift half your clothes. You don’t need them.
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