Living With Less!!

Practically everyone would admit to owning more stuff then they actually need and could easily live without if it was taken away from them. Preparing to leave home we had to carefully choose what was going to be essential on our journey and what we didn’t really need but were just so used to having in our lives.

We have relatively small backpacks both measuring up at 55 litres. Which resulted in us trying to pack our bags and then having to take stuff out to make the bag fit and re-pack repeatedly. Essential things like our malaria tablets, other medicines, toiletries, mobile phones, laptop and chargers, plus a few bits of clothing were obviously not going to be left at home, so it was mostly the home comforts and things like a favourite t-shirt that stayed behind. Honestly, Its surprising how quickly they fill up!
BackpackDSC_0935

For the first few weeks that we were on the road in Thailand it seemed strange wearing the same 2 pairs of shorts and 4 t-shirts but it became normal after then and we have never really said to each other, even now, ‘Oh I wish I had my… blah blah blah’.  Because in the western world we fill our homes with so many things we don’t actually need and waste a whole load of money buying it in the first place. When paying $10 for a CD just because there is one track we like on it, could pay for a nights accommodation in a beach bungalow in the Philippines.

This visual of life was what helped us save up for our travelling when we were back home working and sacrificing social time for about 18 months. It was quite difficult at times, but looking back now, it was worth every second and we would both do it all over again!

Living out of such small backpacks for six months, we now know that we can go home and sell a ton of our things on eBay and gather up that money for another adventure later in the year. Because after seeing how happy 99% of families and young children in country’s like Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and especially the Philippines are with their lives, has changed us for the better, as they are living in shacks and work extremely hard for wages as low as $1 a day. Which is hard to get our heads round, knowing where we live in England, what we have around us on a daily basis and what we have access to is a drastic contrast to those living in other parts of the world.

We will both be thinking twice about buying the next CD or an expensive coffee at Starbucks.

By Alan Bogle.

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29 thoughts on “Living With Less!!

  1. i feel the same way. the more i travel.. the less i want to hoard in my home. one day i hope to be able to completely live out of a suitcase. we’ve been toying with the idea of living out of an RV for 6 months and getting rid of everything that doesn’t fit that mobile lifestyle.

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  2. unfortunatlly in the world of today its impossible to take care about this aspetc. i always say to other there are poeple dieing of hunger. help them insteadof buing iphones when you can buy a normale cell phone which will do his work in the same way

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  3. I guess it’s by living simply that we get to appreciate what we have. We are really blessed and sometimes we fail to appreciate that because we always want something more. To go for six months living on necessities put things in proper perspective on what is really essential to you.

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  4. I think traveling through Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan and Korea) left me appreciating what I have. I met some wonderful people on my travels… we got by and shared things like clothes lines, laundry soap, etc. It was an amazing adventure… and yes, we don’t need so much stuff in the Western World. Enjoy your trip!

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  5. It’s definitely an eye opener when you see how much we actually have and do not need or even use. I was born in a country where we did not have much, grown up in England everything changed and now not sure if i could survive previous life

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  6. Wow what a great experience. That’s my biggest goal for 2015 – to reduce and eliminate the needless wants. There’s so much opportunity to simplify and put an end to waste. Thanks so miuch for sharing your experience.

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  7. I really admire people who can travel with just a small backpack! In all my years of traveling, I’ tend to overpack, but am learning to travel light now. Ironically, in my house, I’m very minimalist.

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  8. I echo the sentiments expressed here. I have been traveling for years…and never once have I said, “I wish I brought more.” It amazes me how I can step outside of a consumer mentality when I travel, but drift back into it when I go home…all because I have more or less space to fill. Travel is good for reflecting on priorities and habits and behaviours! Thanks for posting.

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  9. I have been thinking of adopting a more minimal lifestyle lately too, and starting my 6 month long travel has definitely helped! My pack is 46 liters and it is packed to the brim. I’m only two weeks into my journey, and I definitely miss some of my favorite things. But hopefully with time, the longings will subside and I will realize I can do more with less. Great read and a source of inspiration!

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  10. “Living with less”, and to truly appreciate what we have is a fine goal–one I hope to reach on our upcoming RTW trip. Ironically I’ve started shopping around for a pack to take on our trip. Are you happy with 55 litres–you’ve clearly adapted to this size, however, would you recommend a smaller or bigger pack? – Ginette

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    1. We are both very happy with the size of them. There have been a couple of times where we wish we had some more space to buy bits for memories sake, but living with the bare essentials and a decent amount of clothing has been easy. We wouldn’t get backpacks any bigger for the weight on our shoulders. I think a 55 litre will be perfect for a RTW trip like ours.
      Any more questions, we would be delighted to help.
      Safe travels.

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  11. I agree and we are attempting to simplify our lives also.
    Yet, one thing we have to remember is that we, who live the western lifestyle, have the luxury of perspective and choice. It is a wonderful realisation for us but try explaining to someone who has far less than you that it is a good thing and they want more. If they had more, they would not crave less. We have always had too much, so that’s a different perspective completely.

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  12. Totally agree.
    It’s a valuable lesson in life. We just don’t need much stuff.
    I’ve travelled an awful lot for work and pleasure.
    I never check luggage on flights; Carry-on only.
    This is 7-10Kg depending on the airline.
    It’s taken a while to learn it. Every item is multifunctional, light and easy to repair.
    I now have a family and we have managed to continue this; so now as a family of 4 we have about 25Kg of Baggage in 4 small bags while we go on a 5 months trip from the tropics to the arctic circle.
    It’s just not that hard when you realise you just don’t need that much.
    There are a bunch of Ultralight Camping websites out there. Tell me if you have any favorites.
    Have a look at the website by Frank Brown; http://1bag1world.com which is a USA based travel with more business focus.
    My family and I are writing little stories associated with our travels; http://www.LessBaggage.org

    One small laptop is a luxury but it’s also a big part of our “Road-Schooling”. I’m slowly getting the kids to write their own pieces.

    Its all fun.

    Take care.

    Doug

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