Over the past year, I have become somewhat obsessed with the notion of travelling lightly. It all started when I read Tynan's 2016 Gear Post. The idea that someone could travel the world with nothing more than a 20L backpack was shocking to me. As someone who just brought multiple suitcases worth of stuff to study in Germany, the notion of only having to carry a single small backpack on my future travels seemed quite appealing.
A year later, I am finally doing just that. In a few hours, I will be on a plane headed to Amsterdam, where we will rent a car and drive back to my home in Hamburg. On the entirety of this 10 day trip, I will be living with only the items pictured above.
Here is my packing list:
The point of all this isn't to see how little I can travel with, but rather to get the most out of my time when travelling. Instead of having to wait around for my baggage to come from the plane, I can just head right into the city, and have all my stuff already with me.
On such a short trip back to my home in Germany, I don't want to spend anytime worrying about packing or getting ready to move again, but instead, spending as much time as possible with my family and friends around me. As we approach the new year, I hope you can take this as motivation to reassess everything you have in your life, and whether it is there because it truly adds value to your life on a daily basis, or whether it is simply there by accident and only hinders you from focusing on what matters most to you.
Hope to be in touch soon, but if not, I wish you all an enjoyable holiday season and a happy New Year!
Photo is of everything I'll be taking with me or wearing on the trip through Germany, France, and the Netherlands
Here are some more links for your reference:
Taking a note out of tynan's books and my experiences travelling, travelling with less is always more. Having heavy bags, having to find a place where to store thing, and being bogged down is not how I like to travel, and thus I choose to travel very very minimalisitcally, Although I think tynan might be pushing it wanting to go sub-19 liters, but to each their own.
Laptop: Macbook Pro 13'
I love this thing, and now that the price is very competitive compared to other windows laptops in the range there is really no reason not to pay the, now, much smaller premium. before mac book would cost 25%+ than windows laptops in the same range, now the differnece is probably only 10%. For example, that asus zenbook 301ux LA (my current favortie windows laptop, I don't like tynans because the processor is not 4258u or 4558u which means lower wattage, worse built in graphics, and slightly worse performance, although his computer does weigh substantially less and due to lower wattage uses less battery. , so to each their own) costs about the same, give or take 100 dollars ( about 7% of the price) as the mac, except with mac you can run mac osx, and other oses, although the mac does weigh a little bit more, but I like the build a bit better.
Overall with the macbook pro you get a top of the line processor with the best built in graphics for ultrabook use, weighs a measly 3.3 pounds, which is a lot compared to the air and such, but you get a rugged build, and a 2560x1600 display resolution. and you can just bootcamp windows and linux. Overall I really like it, and I don't mind the extra weight because I find the gestures and the mac osx environments so useful on a laptop that I can't see myself going back. and I can just run windows apps within mac osx via parallels, whats not to love?
backpack: Tom bihn 19 synapse.
I remember when I first heard about people living out of one bag and I thought it was completely absurd! It still surprises me but it is totally feasible especially with the advent of Merino Wool (and similar fabrics) and mobile technology. Gone are the days of khaki pants, cotton shirts, books, and large cameras. We now have Merino Wool that doesn’t smell and is very warm and breathable. And cell phones that are actually mini-computers that also make calls.
I have been able to pair it down to the bare essentials and I am always looking to eliminate items that I rarely or never use. I also aim for more expensive items because they tend to last much longer. Even though I don’t have very many possessions, I look for hip, stylish clothes.
My ‘one bag’ starts and ends with the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 backpack (steel dyneema/violet). I am a bigger guy and I prefer the extra space in it. This is hands down one of the best, if not the best manufactured backpacks that I have ever owned. It is comfortable, can handle daily abuse, and has many small and large pockets for easy organization.
Outlier Slim Dungarees - these pants are very lightweight (no denim) and comfortable yet stylish. The Outlier website describes the pants well: 'The outer face is canvas weave comprised of a healthy percentage of Cordura grade nylon, making it our strongest and most durable fabric. The inner face is completely different, a soft nylon-poly blend. The result is incredible: a rugged, ready-for-anything fabric that stays both comfortable and breathable.' They have a few other styles if you don't like the slim cut.