That’s Right. I convinced my wife (a woman who loves her scarves, has a nail polish collection that could rival a salon, and sells SeneGence skin care) to live out of a backpack. For at least a year.
Here’s how I get her on board.
The idea can sound insane for those of us who live in homes full of tools, pictures, books, and furniture. We are used to piles of things all around us, which is why we get these questions all the time:
- What will you do with all your stuff?
- How much clothing will you take? (Won’t you smell bad all the time?)
- Why not just take a big suitcase?
These are honest, legitimate questions. We’ve had to work through them ourselves over the last few months (and we haven’t always been on the same page). Despite the logistical challenges carry-on travel presents, it’s become clear that it will be ideal for us.
Here are some of the reasons we’re excited about carry-on travel.
1. Easy, Low-Space Travel
We don’t want to check luggage, board trains with large suitcases, or fumble around with multiple bags. By reducing our load to one carry-on sized bag each, we will be able to avoid all of those circumstances. A carry-on backpack is easy to travel with, never has to be left to the devices of airlines, and means we are never more than arm’s distance from our belongings.
As digital nomads, we will be moving from place to place often. The ability to pack up our lives and wear them on our backs will be liberating and empowering.
2. We Just Don’t Need Much Stuff
How many shirts in your closet do you actually wear? How many “just-in-case” items actually resolve an emergency? If you’re anything like us you probably live amongst an excess that many times go unused or unappreciated.
As long as we’re disciplined enough to actually do laundry (and we will be!), we won’t need more than a week’s worth of clothing. Instead of a closet full of clothes for different occasions, we’ll have a backpack full of multi-purpose clothes that can work for almost any occasion.
*Side Note From Lauren*
Ok guys, those of you who know me well are wondering *how* on God’s green Earth I will ever survive doing this. History does NOT show me to be a light packer, and at first I was completely against this idea. However, the more we planned and the more real this whole adventure started to become, the more I realized it will be the easiest way to go. Now that I’ve been planning on it for a while, I’m actually excited to downgrade my closet to just what I actually NEED and LIKE. It means I get to choose quality over quantity, and while I know at times this will be a challenge for me I am looking forward to the humbling plans God has placed before us. Also, Garrett promised I could bring my personal SeneGence stash, which is the only way I would agree to this. 🙂
*Back to Garrett*
Don’t worry. We’re not going full monastic (at least not yet). We will store plenty of our current luxuries while we are gone and gladly reunite with them once we return to the stationary life.
3. Carry-Ons Compliment Our Goal
We want to grow closer. To each other. To God. To our neighbors around the world. Not closer to our possessions.
The reduced load will lift a burden that sits on our attention. Our minds will be freer to explore the world, in all its diversity, struggle, and beauty. There won’t be the drudgery of picking outfits or dusting shelves, no pressure to buy the latest fad or urgency to cash in during a sale.
Sure, this simplicity can be accomplished with a bigger suitcase, but there would likely be a large amount of unused space in it. It just makes sense to keep things small.
Possessions will be our tools, but they won’t master us. We’ll be wholly available to each other and our journey.
Still Think We’re Nuts?
We may be. Living out of a backpack is not normal. But neither is working remotely and traveling the world.
So we’re okay with not normal.
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Normal is overrated anyway. Why be normal when you were created to be unique?