The 40 Things I Own

the 40 things i own

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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



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

my capsule wardrobe

In my first two packing list articles, Travel in 11 Pounds and Minimalist Packing List, I've gone into detail about each with photos and descriptions, so check those pages out for more info.


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:

1. cabin zero 28L cabin bag


2. 12 in retina macbook


3. unlocked phone 6 with global sim


4. unlocked cellular ipad mini with global sim


5. 2 chargers


6. earbuds


7. international adaptor


8. cable lock


9. passport


10. 2 drivers licenses, american/international


11. 8 id/bank cards


12. vegetarian shoes fleur boots


13. converse chuck taylor shoes


14. crocs flip flops


15. bomber jacket


16. hoodie


17. long sleeve shirt


18. grey t-shirt


19. grey long t-shirt 


20. black t-shirt


21. black long t-shirt


22. black travel dress


23. leggings


24. wide-legged pants


25. blue jeans


26. black jeans


27. swimsuit


28. bra


29. 6 pairs of underwear


30. 4 pairs of socks


31. travel scarf


32. buff


33. hat


34. gloves


35. bamboo toothbrush


36. lunette


37. nail clippers


38. glasses


39. sunglasses


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.


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.


Nor do I carry physical (or store digital) media since it can all be streamed online, and homes always have lots of entertainment, animals 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.”

charles bukowski

the 40 things i own

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

((X*Y)+V)*(W+1)*(Z+1)= N





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.