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Traveling the World as a Minimalist

packed vintage suitcase

We all want to travel more. Yet, most people never achieve their travel goals. The most common excuse is that travel is too expensive and complicated. But, if you approach travel as a minimalist you will not only find that it is more affordable but also you will get more joy out of your experiences.

Traveling the world as a minimalist is not about having less. It is about living more. You have more freedom and more peace of mind. Here are some of the biggest advantages to traveling the world as a minimalist.

Mental and Emotional Freedom

Traveling is hectic. Airports, train stations, and bus terminals are crowded. You have to keep track of your itinerary and your travel documents. The more stuff you pack, the more stuff you have to keep track of. Every item you put in your bag takes up a little more space in your brain. You have one more thing to remember and to worry about.

When you bring only the bare essentials you give yourself more mental space. If you never have to check your bags, you don’t have to worry about them getting lost or damaged.

Why travel if you are going to worry about your stuff the entire time? Pack the basics and enjoy the world.

Make Travel Easier

Imagine heading to the airport dragging three suitcases. You have to deal with waiting in line to check in. Get your baggage screened. Going through the checkpoint into the boarding area. It’s a huge pain.

Now imagine heading to the airport with a carry-on bag over your shoulder, and that’s it.

When you land you don’t wait for bags. You walk right out of the airport. When you have to catch an Uber or a taxi, you don’t have to lug heavy bags, you only have to hop in with your carry-on.

Less stuff means less hassle. Being a minimalist makes traveling physically easier.

Lower Your Impact on the Planet

All the items in your life came from somewhere. They were once raw materials. It took energy to harvest those materials. It took more energy to transport those materials to a manufacturing center. It took still more energy to shape them into their current form and to deliver them to the store where you purchased them. After you’re done with most items chances are at least part of them will end up in a landfill. Every possession exacts a price on the planet.

When you consciously choose to prioritize experiences and memories over accumulation and consumption, you lower your impact on the planet that we all share.

Minimalism is a way to show respect to your home planet and the rest of humanity.

Evaluate and Optimize

Minimalism is a way of life, but it is not a dogma. There are no rules about what makes you a minimalist or not a minimalist. It is more of a guiding philosophy. Minimalism means something different to everyone.

But, if you’re committed to ideals of living and traveling with fewer material items, then you will want to continually evaluate and optimize what you pack. Perhaps, after a few stops around the word you decide you can live one less outfit.

There is no right or wrong answer. Ultimately, what you choose to pack or leave behind is not as important as the process you undertake to make that decision.

Minimalism is about being conscious of your purchasing power and decisions to accumulate physical items.

What does traveling the world as a minimalist mean to you?