May 7, 2012

A Minimalist Experiment

A few weeks ago, due to a family emergency, I had three hours to pack and then nine people would cram in one car for an 8 hour drive to Portland. Needless to say, it was a challenge. It also posed the perfect chance to try a minimalist experiment inspired by Zen Habit's post on Teaching Kids to Pack Ultralight.

The experiment? To pack for a whole week, with only a small duffel bag.

What I packed:
  • 3 shirts (one tank top, one t-shirt, one long sleeve)
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • A belt
  • My bible and notebook
  • My sketchbook
  • 1 book
  • Toiletries in a tiny makeup case
  • My i-pod (it's smaller than my phone)
  • My phone
  • My camera
What I learned:
  • Make sure all your clothes fit. One of my jeans were too tight and didn't fit. I ended up with only one pair of pants for the entire trip which became problematic when I spilled Chinese food on them.
  • I didn't need my sketchbook - copy paper or my notebook work perfectly fine, and I didn't draw anything anyways.
  • Bring a packed lunch so that you don't resort to fast-food.
  • Don't forget your phone charger. Bringing a phone without a charger is useless.
  • The car ride was a lot more comfortable with less stuff.
  • I didn't need my i-pod - I had a more fun talking to people instead of listening to music.
  • It was easy to pack up quickly and get going earlier with less stuff to cram in the car.
  • I didn't have to carry a huge bag around town
Overall, I loved this. I can't wait to do it again. Despite the few problems I came across (my pants not fitting, for one), I highly suggest doing this. Just, take into account the lessons I learned so that you don't have to repeat them.

Do you travel light?

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