On Traveling Lightly

The non-clothes portion of my packing for a 3 night, 4 day trip to New Orleans.

One of my favorite ways to practice minimalism is in the way I prepare for, pack, and approach travel. There’s a phrase that’s thrown around in this domain that I think captures it well; “traveling lightly.” I had some recent trips where I tried to make that mantra the focus of my experience, but it also got me thinking about where else I’ve noticed myself trying to lean into lightness, in ways other than how much stuff I put into a suitcase:

It’s interesting I mentioned so many tech things. I think my relationship with my gadgets is the newest frontier to my evolving minimalism practice. I don’t own very many clothes or many of the other knick knacks that many folks seem to have, but for the past couple years I’ve always had the latest and greatest gizmos. This was probably as an overcorrection to my teens and early twenties where I couldn’t afford the things I really wanted. After a period of exuberance in my early thirties, I think I’m starting to swing back the other direction.

There’s something freeing about understanding that you need fewer physical items than you thought to feel secure and prepared for whatever might happen. Of course, there’s a balance to be struck between being prepared for contingencies and falling flat on your face because you failed to bring or have something important. In most cases, though, it’s totally safe-to-try to lean further into the “travel lightly” mindset than may feel comfortable. It almost always works out just fine.

There’s probably a version of this article where I take the same concept of “traveling lightly” and answer it only from a non-material point-of-view. Traveling lightly is something that can be done without thinking about personal belongings or physical items at all and instead focusing purely on the mindset and quality of attention it implies. Perhaps next time!

How do you like to “travel lightly” in your daily life? Shoot me an email at sam@samspurlin.com or find me on Twitter and tell me your favorite thing to do (or not do).



Organization design guy at The Ready.

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