Life as a backpacker
What do you pack for a long-term, possibly a life-long trip? We’re carrying almost everything we own in our backpacks.
We left a few things at my parents’ house in Finland. Two big winter jackets and two pairs of winter boots, a few keepsake boxes and a big Indonesian solid wood closet that I was too attached to sell. We also left a small box of seasonal clothes for my parents to send us to Australia. Other than that, we have everything we own with us.
We both travel with a 90-liter backpack with around 12 kg of stuff:
- Clothes, most of them as light as possible, but also a windbreaker and hiking shoes
- A Louis Vuitton handback and pearl necklace and earrings for my luxury-loving soul
- Basic cosmetics, sunscreen and aloe vera
- Silk sleeping bags and travel towels
- A computer and a camera that I have been using surprisingly little and a GoPro I haven’t used at all
- A diary and a few books I keep swapping whenever I have a chance
- A bottle of salty liquorice shots we’re saving for Australia
- Knickknacks that I’m wishing to get rid of at some point
The more I have to carry my possessions, the more I try to find something I could get rid of. Every time I take the backpack off my shoulders and open it, I check with myself whether every little thing is really a necessity. So far, I have left behind some pieces of clothing and odds and ends I don’t even remember anymore. I’m dreaming of a more minimalist backpack, especially because I’d like it to fit as a carry-on bag on airplanes and cause I’d really like to get by with less stuff.
When you leave a fully furnished apartment, it’s almost impossible to think that you could survive without all that stuff. What if something unexpected happens? Would be handy to own something for every possible situation! We’ve come so far from the idea of not having everything at our hands whenever we might need it: everything has to be mine and it has to be accessible at all times. Borrowing something is not as convenient as having it in your endless closet with its endless supply.
When we started to get rid of our belongings in just 58m2 apartment, I was shocked to realize how much we owned, how every closet was full of things. After packing dozens of carboard boxes the apartment still looked like nothing had been packed. It was eye-opening and I felt ignorant: How could I own so much and not even realize it?
I think getting rid of everything made me realize that the less I own, the less I need.
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