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.”
antoine de saint-exupéry minimalist travel quotes
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.”
christopher fry minimalist travel quotes
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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.
the 40 things i own:
5. 2 chargers
7. international adaptor
8. cable lock
10. 2 drivers licenses, american/international
11. 8 id/bank cards
13. converse chuck taylor shoes
14. crocs flip flops
15. bomber jacket
17. long sleeve shirt
18. grey t-shirt
19. grey long t-shirt
20. black t-shirt
21. black long t-shirt
24. wide-legged pants
25. blue jeans
26. black jeans
29. 6 pairs of underwear
30. 4 pairs of socks
31. travel scarf
37. nail clippers
40. glasses case
the things i don't own:
Since I housesit internationally full-time, there are several things I don't need to carry with me.
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.
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.”
charles bukowski minimalist travel quotes
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capsule wardrobe math
Thanks to this nifty formula, I can calculate all possible clothing combinations:
((tops*bottoms)+dresses)*(shoes+1)*(jackets+1) = number of combos
the +1 is the additional option of not wearing shoes or a jacket in a combo
X = tops (5)
Y = bottoms (4)
Z = jackets (2)
W = shoes (3)
V = dresses (1)
N = number of combos
So, 12 items of clothing and 3 pairs of shoes combine into a whopping 63 different clothing combinations and 252 combinations with shoes added in! That's a helluva lot of outfits.