13 Dec 2016 - 5 min read
Have you been carrying too much unnecessary things when you travel? All you need is a more mindful travel plan. It’ll help you pack better the next time you hit the road, because you’ll only use what you need and need only what you use.
You’ve probably already heard about minimalism after spending a good amount of research on how to pack and travel better — effortlessly. Minimalism isn’t for everyone, but I can assure you that it will help you in your upcoming travels, if you give it a try.
When I say minimalism, I’m not saying that you need to blindly purge what you already have. What I suggest is focus on what you already have and make the most of it. That way, you’ll less likely feel the need to buy things you don’t need and don’t have yet. You’ll then realize how rewarding the experience can be.
So how does minimalism make you a better traveler? As you explore this article, you’ll find the answers to what minimalism can actually teach you.
Minimalism is all about simplicity, and within simplicity lies practicality. The good thing about the two is they’re not meant to weigh you down. Indeed, minimalism gives us a more simple, practical, and mindful life. How?
Minimalism makes you focus on things that are more important. When your mind is more focused, you’re able to have better judgement. Try asking yourself this question: Do I prefer a heavy or a light bag when I travel? You’ll likely go for the light bag, simply because a light baggage also means more comfort, and it’s okay to feel that way.
Simplicity and practicality also make it easier for us to make decisions, even during the most challenging periods of our lives. That’s because our focus is directed to our current problem instead of the unrelated things around us. Minimalist folks believe the less things they have, the more focused they are. Try it, and you may see how relaxed minimalism will make you feel.
Apart from simplicity and practicality, minimalism also focuses a lot on the art of letting go. There’s more to life than possessions.
When traveling, I’ve always had to let go of some things; things that carry sentimental value. I must admit that it wasn’t easy for me to let go of the things that were once mine, but after the process has long ended, I no longer think about them anymore. What I had remain as memories, and I no longer feel attached to any of them, even to the places I’ve been.
It has always been a struggle for me to explore new places, meet new (awesome) people along the way, and then just leave. I always felt sad whenever this happened, but I guess that’s the beauty of it.
I’ve realized that although I have to say countless goodbyes to everything and everyone, they’ll always remain in my thoughts. Yes, I may have moved on from the spots where I was, but I believe I’ll come back to those familiar places again.
You see, minimalism doesn’t just teach you not to get attached to material possessions. It also teaches you how to deal with the feelings that follow. I’m glad that I’ve lived in every moment while I was there, and that’s what my next point is all about.
Traveling is all about gaining life experiences, exploring new places, and capturing moments. At least, that’s how I look at it. However, there’s no point of doing so if we fail to live in the moment. Put your phone down. Focus on yourself and everything around you. Instead of filming every second of your journey, feel the experience instead. The real thing is always the best thing, and while you’re in it, why not enjoy it while it lasts?
When traveling, focus on the most important situation — your travel. Focus on whatever that drives you to travel in the first place, not your bags or the things in your bags. As I’ve mentioned earlier, when your mind is clearer, you’ll feel more relaxed. When you feel relaxed, you’re happier, and you’ll be able to remember things better.
Hence, there’s no need to unnecessarily hoard thousands of photos and videos in your external drives, because the best place to store memories is none other than your heart.
Don’t generalize all travelers. Not all travelers are lost. Not all travelers are rich. Not all travelers go on vacations. Not all travelers are reckless, be it in their actions or decisions. Not all travelers are tourists — and not all tourists consider themselves as travelers. How are all of these connected to minimalism?
Technically, all of these individuals are travelers. What makes them different from one another is their ideas about traveling. Many of us rely on things like our phones, cameras and cash in order to travel (happily), but what if we don’t have any of them at all? What if you had them, but then lost them while you were out traveling?
It’s situations like these where you’ll begin to realize what traveling really is, and what it really means to you. It’s not always about sunny days and sundaes. It’s also situations like these that will help you identify the kind of traveler you are, and if traveling is impactful on your life, or otherwise.
As for me, I’ve realized that even with less things in my backpack, I can still travel happily on the road. It has made me realized one thing: For me, traveling is not a trend. It’s a lifestyle.
Life is not all about chasing dreams and money. In a competitive world like ours, it’s not surprising that many of us find ourselves spending too much time on things we don’t necessarily need or even believe in. Hence, we forget what exactly we want in our lives.
When you travel, it won’t be surprising if you adopt the same kind of mentality, attitude, or lifestyle you’ve already adopted in your everyday life. Unless you’re ready to open your mind and make space for new things, traveling is pointless. To have this space, you’ll need to create them — and minimalism can help you create that space. Not only is minimalism healthy for the mind, it’s also healthy for your well-being.
Once your mind has accepted the idea that less is more, you’ll also find yourself spending more time with yourself doing things you love, or spending more quality time with those who matter to you. You no longer depend on keepable material possessions to make you happy. Perhaps a plane ticket to a new country, where you can create and collect memories, will do! You may also realize that minimalism helps you manage your money better, and you can spend your hard-earned cash on things that are more meaningful to you.
Have you considered adopting the minimalist approach in your travels? If so, why? If you find this article inspiring, help us spread the word by sharing it to your friends and family!