Living more with less : what’s the idea behind minimalist travel bag?

One of the biggest challenge when you are going to travel for a few months is what to pack. It might sound insane but I want to take only a carry on luggage which I like to call my minimalist travel bag. Please keep for you any sexist comments : yes, a woman can travel light. It only takes 3 steps : select, organize, adapt.

Of course, It is more difficult when you are a sketcher and want to bring some art supplies to record your discoveries. I might end up with more sketchbooks than clothes … But I don’t really worry because it never happened that I’ve met George Clooney when traveling. So, no need to take this fancy dress and high heels shoes. That’s being said, I do have 3 dresses in my bag.

First : select. Minimalist means making dozen of decisions including choosing the perfect luggage. Luckily, I’ve found mine in Oslo. I like that I can also carry it on my back if I want. 

Secondly : be wise and organized. I’ve opted for different pockets which makes it more convenient to store and find my belongings. One pocket is for the T-shirts and tops, one for dresses and trousers, one for pyjama, underwear and swimsuits (yes, 3, I cannot always shut down my « you never know » side), one vanity case and one pocket for sketching and writing supplies.

Third : adapt. Take clothes that don’t need ironing. Prefer tops that go with all your trousers. And, if you miss any cloth : just buy it. I’ve managed to also take one umbrella, one pullover and one puffer jacket, in case of less warm places.

Minimalist also implies that I will not have room in my luggage for this wonderful unique aboriginal sculpture, those Polynesian fabrics or this so cute replica of a Moia. I will have to find tiny souvenirs or send some home by post if possible. Big big challenge for a person who collects elephants …

At the end, I am really happy with the content of my bag, which weights 8.2 kilos. I have plenty of cloths and most of the time I will be dressed with style. And the best is that through this new way of traveling I will gain something valuable in my daily life : learn to value more experiences than possessions.

Why a sabbatical year ?

What are we exactly looking for when we decide to take a sabbatical year? Hard to say. Do we want to find something or, on the contrary, to get rid of what is no longer appropriate for us ?

During a sabbatical, many choose to escape their daily life and go abroad for a long trip, taking the risk of maybe never returning.

As far as I am concerned, I do not try to flee something or lose myself in the distance. No, I simply wish to take advantage of another form of freedom, with no imposed schedule or obligations. Of course, it’s a kind of delusion because you can’t totally ignore what is around you or the people you care about.

My main goal for the next 12 months is to have another relation with time, to learn and understand, be it at the other side of the world or just at the corner of my street.

Taking a sabbatical year also means assuming your difference and contradictions : love your job but being able to put it on hold, spend all your savings to invest on your own well-being, leave your loved ones to better come back to them.

I do not intend to accomplish a world tour. First, because it would be presumptuous to pretend to grasp all the nuances of our world in so little time. Secondly because a tour involves a beginning and an end, to which I cannot resolve myself.

So, I’d rather consider this break as a unique opportunity to fulfill my desires, always being open to new discoveries, which of course implies some travels.

This new journey, sometimes just a few meters from home, will hopefully allow me to take the time to get to know myself better and observe the world around me from a different perspective.