For most people, the freedom to travel at will that the Internet Lifestyle offers is one of the main draws to living this way.
So often people are confined to a specific job in one particular place and the notion of picking up and moving somewhere else for a while is completely foreign to them.
But once you are able to build your life around the concept of “freedom” and your business is providing you with the income necessary to live how you want, many more possibilities arise.
One thing that is incredibly important to the freedom and enjoyment of your travel is to know exactly how much stuff to bring along.
Have you ever traveled somewhere and been burdened by your luggage? This has happened to me several times and in spite of my best efforts, I always brought too many things on most of my trips.
I remember the first time I went to Costa Rica in 2002.
I brought approximately 10 (big!) books with me, along with way too many clothes. I even brought a full-sized guitar!
I was carrying big suitcases everywhere, and this dramatically lessened the enjoyment of my trip. Carrying around a full-sized guitar was a bit too much, so in 2005, when I travelled to Bali, I decided to bring a Soloette folding guitar.
It only weights a few pounds in a fairly compact case, and did a great job at impressing plenty of Balinese people who enjoyed watching me play. But again, that’s another piece of luggage to bring along and be responsible for.
On my last trip to Thailand, I decided to bring along my Brompton folding bike. It’s a neat little bike that I enjoyed using to visit some of the country. But even though it’s the most compact folding bike you can buy, it still weighed almost 20 pounds with the case.
On some trips, I’ve even brought my big Vita-Mix blender along! As a health-enthusiast, being without your blender for extended periods can be a real challenge.
But every time I travel somewhere, I’m always torn between the desire to travel light and the “need” for some items I feel I can’t live without.
On many places in the South Pacific, the best way to get around is to take small charter planes between islands. On these planes, you’re limited to 25 pounds of luggage — per person!
Traveling light brings an extra level of freedom. When you’re traveling with pounds of extra luggage, you’re tied up to your “stuff” all the time, and it limits what you can experience.
In preparation for my around-the-world trip I went on in 2010, I started reading some books and eBooks by experienced travelers. Every single one of these travel experts said the same: “travel light!”
One book that made a particular impact on me is, “Life Nomadic” by fellow traveler Tynan (http://tynan.net/lifenomadic).
Here’s the clothing packing list that he recommends:
- Two pairs of underwear
- One pair of convertible pants (converts to shorts)
- One bathing suit
- Three shirts
- One bra (for women)
I must say I was a bit surprised when I saw this as I always brought WAY more clothes than this.
In fact, clothes have always been somewhat of a hassle on trips I’ve taken. Even if you bring one-week’s worth of clothes, you always have to figure out where you’re going to do laundry, and that’s not always easy to do.
The logic behind Tynan’s minimalistic wardrobe is that you don’t need more than that if you buy high-quality clothes. He criticized cotton as being the worst fabric for travelers, and instead recommends the company Icebreaker who makes shirts and other clothes from merino wool — a fabric that is ideal for almost all uses.
If you’re wearing one pair of underwear, you’re also washing the other pair. You’re wearing a shirt, but you’re also washing another one.
And when your wardroom is very simple, it’s very easy to wash clothes by hand.
I did an experiment by wearing only two shirts for a week. I simply wore my shirt every day. Then when I took my shower in the evening, I took advantage of the running water to also wash my shirt with a little shampoo.
I let it dry, and the next day wore a new shirt, and repeated the process every day. I found that way I never ran out of clean clothes, and my shirt was just as clean as if I had washed it in a machine.
With that little experiment done, I could see how easy it is to travel with a very limited wardrobe. But beyond clothes, I’m starting to evaluate what else is truly necessary when it comes to traveling, and traveling comfortably.
Tynan recommended a small 28 liter backpack to put *everything*.
28 liters is quite small. By comparison, the average school backpack is 32 liters. I had a backpack about that size, and tried to pack an entire list of things I would bring on a trip, and surprisingly, everything fit in!
After that moment I realized that I really can travel lighter, and have since refined my packing list.
One of my big burdens before when traveling was books. But now, I rarely bring any books with me (with the exception of one or two particular books I’m interested in at the time) and get by just fine with my e-reader and laptop.
There really is a lot of value in traveling light. What you own eventually owns you, and having to be responsible for a pile of luggage when you’re traveling the world trying to experience it to the fullest just isn’t the best use of your energy.
Less is often more.
When you are traveling, you want to experience the feeling of freedom and being carefree as much as possible. When you’re worrying less about your “stuff” you can truly enjoy all that there is surrounding you at all times.
Yours to health and success,
PS: The best way to have the freedom to travel anywhere is selling digital products online like I do. If you’d like to know how to start selling your own eBooks in a weekend or less, make sure you check out my course, “How to Write and Sell Your Own eBooks in 24 Hours or Less”. It’s been completely revamped for 2015, and I highly recommend you check it out and started creating your own life of freedom!