Destinations Magazine

Have Less, Travel More

By Travelmakesmetick

I’ve always been a fan of minimalism and believed in the less is more approach. Although I haven’t achieved my dream of being able to fit all my worldly possessions into two suitcases (so far at least), I have limited the amount of stuff I own to a reasonable minimum. I’ve done it partly because I wanted to, and partly out of necessity as well, having moved appartments innumerable times, cities six times, countries twice, with the last move involving moving continents as well. Naturally, each time I moved I was only able to take the things I could carry in my suitcase or backpack. There is of course the option of having the rest of your stuff sent by post or courier, and I took that route several times, but the further you go, the more costly it gets, so the ideal thing is avoiding it altogether.

Of course I still like having certain things, I won’t deny that, and in today’s world there’s a number of items you just can’t go without (I tried living without a mobile phone earlier this year, but lasted for only 2 weeks, defeated by the inability to make a booking online or have an order delivered without a working phone number). I will say though that with the amount of times I’ve moved in my life, it has got to a point where I feel anxious whenever I start accumulating too many things, or end up spending too much money on shopping for pleasure (aka feel good shopping). So normally, unless I really need a particular piece of clothing for instance, I will think long and hard if I really need another top, or if that new dress will be useful in a different environment.

Other than personal items or electronic devices (there’s no escaping technology these days), you also have to count in some household items you will need to get for each new place you settle in (I can’t imagine traveling with bedding or kitchen appliances, for example), which you will then end up getting rid of before the next move. Since I never know how long I’ll end up staying in each place, I’m hesitant to even buy things like a blender (though being able to have daily smoothies would surely be nice) or good quality (hence expensive) cooking pans (luckily eating out in Asia is super affordable, so I don’t need to feel guilty about my lack of enthusiasm or talent for cooking at the moment).

Sometimes when I visit friends who have lots of stuff in their houses, I wonder how come they don’t feel overwhelmed by all that clutter. To me, clean and spacious interiors are much more visually pleasing, and not owning too many things makes me feel more free, as if material possessions were a burden, both literally (think moving house!) and metaphorically.

In short, I’m all about having less and traveling light; collecting experiences, memories, impressions and images rather than material objects. The way I see it, a new bag is far less likely to fulfill me than a ticket to a place I haven’t been to yet.

Live the dream.

Live the dream.

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