Minimalist Travel

by | Jun 15, 2018 | MINIMALIST TRAVEL

Minimalist travel has transformed so many aspects of our life. Life is simpler, cheaper, less stressful, and more fulfilling – and my kids say “I’m bored” far less often despite having FAR fewer toys! Funny how their creativity serves them far better than bins and bins of toys.

We got interested in the minimalist lifestyle movement in the year before we made the leap to being location independent. My husband has always been driven crazy by the amount of stuff and toys and clothing that would accumulate in our house, despite our best efforts to keep giving away/selling things we didn’t need.

Our “trial” trip to Thailand in June 2017 with one Osprey Farpoint 40 litre backpack and one smaller daypack – for 4 people for 5 weeks – convinced us that minimalist travel was the way for us, and the concept then trickled into the rest of our lives as we geared up for going location independent.

We reduced our life’s possessions down to:

For Travel:

  • 2 mid-size backpacks
  • 2 small backpacks
  • 1 Jetkids Bedbox (UPDATE: after two epic airport meltdowns by Aria because she wasn’t allowed the ride the Jetkids alone or pull it alone, and the annoyance of hauling it on and off the plane, we swapped it out for two kid’s backpacks, and it’s working SO much better, as much as we loved our Jetkids)

Stored at my parents’ place in Canada:

  • 4 bankers boxes
  • 2 suitcases of winter clothing (including jackets, snow pants, etc.)
  • 4 large plastic tubs of memorabilia/photo albums/baby books and special items (it will go down to 3 if we ever get time to sort through my husband’s huge collection of unorganized photos! What is it with men and their complete disinterest in photo albums??)

I’m a standard Image Caption.

Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash

It is honestly so freeing to reduce the amount of stuff in your life like this. I know it’s a trendy thing, with lots of jokes about “does this bring you joy?” (and really, has a can opener ever brought you joy? Well, actually, yes… because of what it can open… but you get what I mean).

But, as we removed items from our house in the fall before we sold our house, and kept on living the same wonderful life, missing nothing but having far fewer things to clean up and far less clutter, we really felt a difference – it was like weight lifted off our shoulders, with more time for the things that matter.

“Kids need a few key items, but then build so many games and imaginary worlds around them – it’s such a delight to watch!

Minimalism also forces you to be more creative. You have to re-use more rather than just buy new things all the time, and learn to be satisfied with what you have instead of always craving more.

Read the great book “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz for a deeper exploration of this topic – I read it years ago, and it definitely helped plant the seed of what became our minimalist life.

It’s great for kids, too – they use their toys in such creative ways, and use everyday objects in their creative play more than they ever used to.

They need a few key items, but then build so many games and imaginary worlds around them – it’s such a delight to watch! Far better than watching the momentary delight of opening something “new”, only to have them play with it for a few days and then discard it onto the ever-mounting pile of ignored toys.

Learning to do more with less: daily yoga with a folded up blanket and Jonathan’s duct-taped book as a block, and Charlotte using lots of random household items to create her “house”.

Regarding that duct-taped book: this is the guy who wanted to throw the entire contents of our house in the dumpster, but duct-tapes a book to read for the third time.

I’ll be sharing thoughts on minimalist packing, minimalist living while traveling, budgeting, and whatever else comes to mind.

I’m not some minimalist guru, or a strict adherent to the lifestyle (but I’m not a strict adherent to any lifestyle – see my post on Food and Veganism – I like to think for myself and make my own choices, rather than just follow a “lifestyle” or religion or any other “way of life”).

But I definitely identify with a lot of what minimalism has to offer, and think it’s a great antidote to our overly-consumerist society. I hope you enjoy checking out our minimalist adventures!

About Meredith Kenzie

I am a full-time traveling Mum of two adorably blond and mischevious little girls (isn’t it a good thing nature makes babies so damn cute?). I love to explore new places, finding the fun little places for my littles to play, and getting immersed in different cultures. I like to write and share about our travel adventures while keeping it minimalist and vegan as much as possible! Oh, and I love yoga, ballet, reading, baking, and time with friends.

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