What's in a minimalist travel's bag? Here I am in my third year of full-time travel so it's time for another post on exactly what I choose to own and travel with.
Hint: it's not a lot! I'm a longtime minimalist. The beauty of minimalism is to simply own only that what adds value to your life and to cut out what doesn't. I once heard a great saying about stuff that said only keep what you use every single day, what you absolutely love, or what makes you money.
I don't believe there's a formula or a certain number of items to have, but it can be a fun experiment to see how low you can go, like taking the 100 things challenge, the minimalists' 288 things, or exile lifestyle's 51 things, so I've joined the fun, counted my belongings and, give or take, it's 40 things.
“He who would travel happily must travel light.”
I travel and live ultralight, carry-on only, with a monochromatic capsule wardrobe, and one bag. I only own my favorite things that I need and everything totals about 11 pounds (5 kgs) so I can always stay under any airlines' carry-on allowance, and my bag is never out of my sight or reach.
Traveling light is easier on your body and your mind. You're free to walk around, to explore, to get immersed in your surroundings, without a suitcase ball and chain. Traveling light gives you freedom.
“I travel light; as light, that is, as a man can travel who will still carry his body around because of its sentimental value.”
I've since swapped out some clothes and changed bags. I now carry a cabin zero bag because it opens up flat so everything in it can stay organized and accessible without ever having to unpack!
This is a straight-up list of what I currently own that I have tried and tested, that have proved their value, space and weight many times over, and have ultimately allowed me to easily and comfortably dress, travel, work and live in any climate, season or country, year round.
things i own:
- cabin zero 28L bag
- retina macbook
- unlocked iphone with global sim
- unlocked ipad mini with global sim
- 2 chargers, laptop/usb
- international adaptor
- cable lock
- 2 drivers licenses, us/international
- 2 bank cards
- vegetarian shoes fleur boots
- merrell barefoot shoes
- crocs flip flops
- bomber jacket
- long sleeve shirt
- grey t-shirt
- grey long t-shirt
- black t-shirt
- black long t-shirt
- black travel dress
- crop leggings
- long leggings
- blue jeans
- black jeans
- travel scarf
- nail clippers
- glasses case
things i don't own:
Since I housesit internationally full-time, there are several things I don't need to carry:
- I don't carry toiletries because I travel carry-on only and liquid-free, plus I aim for zero waste and prefer to make personal care products.
- And I don't carry utensils, containers or bottles because I love dining out and I always have a full kitchen to use in any house I'm living in.
- I don't carry physical (or store digital) media since it can all be streamed online, and homes always have lots of entertainment, pets to love, and nature to be in.
- Lastly, I don't have workout gear because I walk instead and for that I only need my body, which I usually have on me.
“Everything you own must be able to fit inside one suitcase; then your mind might be free.”
bonus capsule wardrobe math
With an easy formula of ((tops*bottoms)+dresses)*(jackets+1)*(shoes+1), then 12 items of tops, bottoms, dresses and jackets plus 3 pairs of shoes combine into a whopping 63 different clothing combinations and 252 total combinations with shoes. That's a helluva lot of outfits.