Why I Need To Live Like I Travel

I love to travel, as my list of past and planned destinations will attest. I’m up for just about any kind of trip, big or small. Any chance to experience new things is a plus in my opinion.

When I prepare for a trip, I pack light. I mean really light. No checked luggage, no matter if I’ll be gone for a few days or for weeks.

Here’s my typical packing list:

This is what I brought with me to Africa in 2014. This bag is bigger than what I usually travel with but it does convert to a backpack, which I like. The additional items I brought on this trip were a camera & bag, tripod, binoculars and international power adapters. I don't usually bring those things with me but hey, this was a safari!

This is what I brought with me to Africa in 2014. This bag is bigger than what I usually travel with but it does convert to a backpack, which I like. The additional items I brought on this trip were a camera & bag, tripod, binoculars and international power adapters. I don't usually bring those things with me but hey, this was a safari!

  • Backpack & laundry bag
  • 1 formal outfit (if needed, if not this becomes casual)
  • 1 casual outfit
  • 1 workout outfit
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 2 extra tops
  • 1 rain jacket & 1 sweater
  • Canteen 
  • Undergarments & swimsuit
  • Toiletterie bag & a few accessories
  • Book(s) & iPad, iPhone, extra power, keyboard & earbuds 
  • travel blanket that doubles as a wrap
  • sunglasses & hat

All of this fits into the backpack (preferred) or a rolling suitcase if I need to look more professional. If the trip is only a few days, I’ll ditch the workout outfit and one of the casual outfits.

What I have packed is sufficient for me to play, work when inspired to do so, and everything in between. I have all the essentials with me and nothing more. I also feel I can always buy whatever I’ve forgotten or omitted and, so far, I can only think of a few occasions where that has been the case.

Home Is Where The Stuff Is

Our home is another matter entirely (as is my inbox, but that’s a story for another day). I would say that, despite getting rid of a lot and accumulating less, I still live in a chaotic environment. Despite feeling great when I do get rid of stuff, I tend to save everything. And, when I do put things aside to donate, the boxes tend to sit there, sometimes for weeks before they make it out the door. A number of boxes and various items have made it out of our home this year, but it’s not nearly enough to start feeling like I’m making life-improving progress. When there’s too much of what feels like everything, getting rid of hundreds of items doesn’t seem to make a dent.

I’m not suggesting that I want to live like a pauper or that I need to become a minimalist (though I have, of sorts in having less come into our home), but I want to feel free to live with less, no matter how much square footage we have.

Here’s where I know we can easily cut (percentages are in volume):

  • Books - 50%
  • Paperwork (my office is a mess) - 90%
  • Clothes - 50%
  • Kitchenware - 50%
  • VHS (I know!) & DVD - 95%
  • General stuff - 80%
  • Sports equipment - 30%
  • Furniture - 20%
  • Electronics - 50%

I just have to get over the pang of guilt about throwing things out. I know it’s silly, but knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they?

I’m sincerely hoping that Marie Kondo’s book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing will help. It did come highly recommended.

I’ve just started reading it and I sincerely hope that it leads me to shed some belongings, just as a few other books have helped me do in the past.

Curious what those were? Here you go:

The books above are all good in their own way and they've each lead to some good changes in my thinking and behaviour.

And I want more.

I know the feeling of travelling light. Now let’s see how close I can get to knowing how it feels to live light…or at least a little lighter.