David Erik

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Travelling light

”Is that bag everything you brought? Really? [pause] Wow.”
- fellow traveller on a train, who launched into a complaint session regarding unnecessary and heavy stuff in his huge bag on the floor

Something that nomads often talk about is the value of packing light. The less stuff you bring with you and carry around, the more you can appreciate the traveling itself. As a person that like the feeling induced by actions like deleting files from my computer or throwing out old papers that I no longer need, this looked like something interesting for me. During two weeks of traveling Europe by train, I finally really tried this concept.

It feels great.

Being able to bring all the stuff I need to live decently, in one pretty small backpack (that I, as a side note, have used as backpack since elementary school, thank you McKinley for this amazing quality), is both very flexible and simple. I can carry all my stuff on my back the entire day, and sure, it could be tiring sometimes, but it doesn't even come close to carrying one of those monstrous 40 litre bags bags full of unnecessary stuff (and lets not even mention the bags on wheels). If I stay somewhere where they give you the possibility to lock in some stuff in a locker, I can literally put ALL my stuff there. Having only one small bag is also useful when flying, no need to check in luggage and no risk of having your luggage getting lost as long as you hold it in your hands.

When travelling light and with a less-than-normal amount of stuff, this puts some pressure on the stuff you actually bring. The things you have should be smaller than normal if possible, but preferably still better than normal - this is a combination that naturally is not always easy to achieve. A good example is a typical microfibre towel, a towel that takes a lot less space than an ordinary one, while still outperforming other towels (maybe except for coziness. And cost). Apply this notion on everything you bring, and you will be surprised how little space and weight all the "important" stuff together accounts for.

The main rule: When you only have a few things, make sure they are truly excellent.