When I write about how to Change The Code I am talking about rewriting your programming so that you change your life for the better.
How this works for you will depend on a variety of factors.
Living a minimalist lifestyle should also translate to other areas of your life. How you live on a day to day basis and how you think about the world.
Minimalist living would mean that you are consuming less. Much less. You just don’t believe the marketing hype that everyone else does.
I want to live simply. And this applies to when I am traveling too. I do certainly enjoy traveling. I love history and museums and architecture and warm sunny beaches. I love experiencing different cultures and meeting people who share those same passions. Wanderlust indeed.
So How Can You Change The Code And Travel?
The main question I would ask is:
What type of traveler do you want to be?
If you just like to wander and enjoy museums and galleries, you will be able to travel with packing less than someone who is going to do some tenting and hiking.
Many travelers profess to want to embrace minimalism but find it impractical.
Are you hitting some night spots or just going to read when the sun goes down? Clubs have a dress code. Your hostel or bed and breakfast does not.
I had the pleasure of traveling to Europe for the summer of 2009. I just wanted to backpack through Italy and Spain, and be able to take my time exploring a few different places.
I certainly learned a lot from that trip. Minimalist travel is not only possible, I feel it is the absolute best way to travel.
I am traveling to Nicaragua in a few weeks and I know that I can only do it if I travel light.
Consider Staying In a Hostel
Staying in a hostel is not for everyone but let me tell you that some of the hostels I have stayed in were more like boutique hotels. They had pools and rooftop bars. If you want a true travel experience you may want to consider a hostel. You can still get private rooms for a fraction of the cost of a large hotel.
You get to meet people from all over the world and hang out with them; you may even become friends with them! They’ll teach you new things and may even offer to show you places they’ve visited.
A hostel seems more like home; whereas, a hotel is very… unfriendly. Hotels may offer information about places that are around, but they are also probably paid to do that. A person in a hostel will tell you about cool local bars or small restaurants that will give you a more authentic travel experience.
When you stay in a hostel, you can’t pack much because there isn’t much room. You will also learn which souvenirs are valuable since you don’t have that room to store them. In a hotel, you can bring a lot of stuff, but you also have to haul around a lot of stuff you most likely don’t need.
So Pack Light
Packing small is essential for any solo traveler committed to embracing the chaos of travel. Why do people feel compelled to bring everything but the kitchen sink when they leave home?
Here is a newsflash: If you REALLY need something you can buy it at your destination.
Packing involves deeply personal decisions. Everyone has their own ideas of comfort and style.
Think in threes. Three pairs of socks. Three pairs of underwear. Three shirts. Wear one, wash one, dry one. You can get more miles out of leg wear, so two pairs of pants and one culturally appropriate pair of shorts or a skirt should suffice. Choose light, flowing, quick-dry cotton-poly blends in matching colors that handle wrinkles well.
I am planning on using a 30 liter backpack for my 6 week Nicaragua trip.
Here is a suggested packing list
Backpack (30 liter max)
Bag liner (heavy plastic trash-compactor bag)
Passport and other documents
2 light packing cubes for organization(These are a life saver!)
1 pair of pants (trousers)
One pair of shorts (or a skirt)
Three pairs of socks
Jacket / fleece (optional for cold international flights)
Bandanna and/or scarf
Comfortable walking shoes
One set of exercise clothes (light shorts, shirt, socks)
Sleep kit: mosquito net, sleep sack, small tarp (if you’re looking to rough it), ear plugs
Shower kit (lots of personal variation, just keep it small): toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant (try the rock), small bottle of all purpose liquid soap
Snacks: snack bars, herbal tea, travel mug, packable chop-sticks
Camera (with batteries and cables)
Computer (small netbook in waterproof box)
Smart phone and headphones Portable USB Charger
Notebook and pens
Portable board game
First aid kit
This sort of travel isn’t for everyone. For me there is no going back as minimalist travel provides a more authentic travel experience. I want to learn things and meet people and I certainly do not want to be carrying around multiple bags of stuff.
Are you a solo minimalist traveler? What is the best hostel you have stayed at? What are your packing tips?
Please comment and be sure to share this post.
“Change The Code. Change Your Life.”