I can’t count how many times I’ve been left panicking the day before a big trip. Not because I’m unprepared, but rather due to my stinkin’ suitcase.
Most airlines have a weight limit for checked and carry-on baggage. When moving overseas, and heading off long term, I find packing within these restrictions to be a challenge every time.
Because of this, I’ve caught myself slowly but surely purging my belongings. Partly learning to pack light on the initial departure, and also needing to give things away when it’s finally time to return home at the end of it all.
It’s become typical to donate items purely because I don’t have the space in my suitcase. The solution to this lifestyle is not to buy more luggage, but rather to embrace it.
Minimalism is definitely popular at the moment, as people are finding less fulfillment in ‘stuff’ and are enjoying the freedom that comes with having less material belongings.
While I may not fit the cookie-cutter description of a, ‘Minimalist’ I definitely have seen the benefits of this lifestyle as a serial traveller.
My first big move was a 6-month trip, total. 3 months were spent in Los Angeles, followed by another 3 months backpacking overseas in the Philippines as a missionary.
I was completely panicked, I had no idea how to pack my ‘life’ into a couple of suitcases. I tried to stuff as many of my clothes, personal belongings, and knick-knacks from home into my two jumbo sized suitcases, just to constantly have to swap items around to keep both under the fifty pound limit. It’s safe to say I had no idea what I was doing.
The weight of my really mistake hit me as I had to pack up a hiking backpack for the 3 additional months travelling the Philippines. Now, not only did I have to ruthlessly leave items behind, but whatever I did bring was going to be strapped to my shoulders as we travelled. I spent the next few months feeling like a turtle trying to avoid being flipped onto her back.
Flash forward two years and four big moves later, and my belongings have significantly shrunk. Luckily for me, I have some childhood sentiments packed away in storage bins with my parents in Canada, along with heavy winter clothing I don’t need here in Australia.
Other than that, the majority of my husband and I’s clothing and belongings can fit in a few suitcases. Since we’ve been settled here in Australia for a few months now, we’ve accumulated a fair bit, but when it comes time for us to pack up and move again someday, we find it easier and easier each time to donate what we need to. (Well, maybe him more than me if I’m being honest).
Minimalism definitely looks a little different on everyone, but we’ve found being content with less to be an extremely beneficial principle, especially for nomadic fellows like us.
Have you ever experienced packing regret? Can you manage to travel without shedding belongings along the way? Let’s chat in the comments!