It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything to Vagabond Guide and there are several reasons for this. I did however receive an email a bit ago and I’ve been sitting on it and thinking. The email came from Sharon. It read…
I’m tryin’ to start to do just what you do…living a minimalist lifestyle and start to travel on a minimalist budget…staying in hostels, carrying my stuff etc.
I’d love to see a list of the sorts of clothing you pack, how you deal with food and stuff.
I don’t see a recent post…I hope all is well!
As I said earlier this email got me thinking. You all know that I LOVE travel. The problem has been that since I’ve gotten back from Japan I haven’t been able to travel much. I made a few short trips including a trip to San Diego, CA but I still crave travel on a daily basis.
First Sharon, let me just say that ditching most of my stuff and booking a ticket to Thailand was probably one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. The feeling I got from having very few belongings and very few obligations was awesome. Seeing a totally new place that was so backwards from what I was used to seeing was inspiring. Staying in hostels, eating street food, and meeting awesome people was like nothing else.
Second, I haven’t done a pack list in a while but my old pack list still stands pretty true. There are few things that I would change about and I’ll list them below. As for dealing with food, at least in Thailand was simple. Street food, street food, and more street food. The cost of eating out is so low that you can eat on just a handful of dollars.
When it comes to packing less is more. The lighter you go, the better off you’ll be. I started out pretty heavy and ended up either giving away some things or sending stuff home. I originally brought my DSLR camera and a small tripod. This was a mistake. I’ve since went to a Sony NEX F3 and love it. The quality of photos isn’t as good as the DSLR but they are a hell of a lot better than an iPhone or cheap point and shoot.
Before I left I let friends and family infect my brain with the thought of malaria and to be honest, it worried me. Once I got to Bangkok I found a pharmacy and picked up some medication. This was not necessary. I can’t remember the name of the stuff I got but it messed with my head. Once I talked to a few other travelers my worries were squelched and I stopped the medication and things got MUCH better.
Something else to think about is the amount of time you spend there. ALWAYS budget for more time than you think you’ll need. When my time came I wasn’t ready to come home. I had spent much less money than I had originally thought I would which meant I could have spent more time there. I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE! But, my visa was up and my ticket was non-refundable. To date, that is the biggest mistake I made with my whole trip.
MY LIFE NOW
My life now has changed significantly. I’m not an extreme minimalist like I once was. I’ve bought a vehicle, got a “regular” job, and even managed to find myself a partner in crime. Going from having WAY too much stuff and excess of everything to extreme carry-everything-on-your-back minimalist, I’ve finally found a nice balance. I know what I NEED to get by and I know what I DON’T need. The term “everything in moderation” comes to mind when I think about my life now.
My advice for anyone thinking about trying this lifestyle is try it. I won’t hurt anything and you will more than likely learn a lot about yourself and who you are. Stuff is just that, stuff. It can be acquired again. Minimalism and travel changed my life in a way I never thought possible. I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world. If I could, I may go back and change a few things but that’s questionable. If things were different I wouldn’t be where I am today and I wouldn’t be with the person I’m with and I don’t want to change that.
Hopefully I answered most of your questions Sharon. I know I kind of skipped out on the pack list question but I’m not sure it would be relevant. Just remember, less is more and you can always follow the BIT rule.
B.I.T. = Buy It There
I hope you figure out what you’re doing and if you do end up travelling, LET ME KNOW! I’d love to hear about your travels and adventures.