Living With Less, But Having More

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

As we packed up our lives in Grenada to set off on our next adventure, we became very aware of just how few possessions we actually own. Normally when packing up a home and moving on, it would take days, even months to sort through everything, purge, pack and clean. But leaving our beachfront cottage was simple.

Why? Because our whole lives fit into 102 litres of space. Nick’s Osprey backpack is 40L, with his day pack being 15L. My Osprey backpack is 32L with a day bag of 15L.

living with less but having more
Our whole lives fit into 102 Litres!

That’s it, that’s all the space we have. Everything we need fits nicely into those four backpacks!

And the interesting thing is – those items packed aren’t just for a trip, they’re everything in life that we own (except for our tent and sleeping bags, which are in Canada). Many people commented on Twitter and Facebook when they saw our whole lives laid out on the floor when we were packing our bags. Questions started coming in about how we are able to fit everything into such small backpacks, and how is it possible to travel so lightly?

The truth is, we just simply do not need a lot of things in life. Possessions and material items don’t bring us joy.

For us, what makes us happy is travelling, working online, laying on the beach, meeting new people, going fishing, doing yoga, reading, drinking wine and eating delicious foods. In order to enjoy this type of lifestyle, all we actually need are our computers, bathing suits, a fishing rod, a yoga mat, a book, a wine opener and some extra clothes and shoes to wear each day.

fishing in kyrgyzstan
Fishing in Kyrgyzstan with a 70 year old local

All of those items fit nicely into our backpacks. What more could we possibly need?

Sure there are things that we all want, but if you really think about it, there’s not actually a whole lot that humans need. By living with fewer material possessions, we feel like we’ve created a lifestyle that allows us to have more!

Here’s what clothing I own:

2 bathing suits

4 pairs of long pants

3 pairs of capri pants

3 pairs of shorts

3 skirts

3 dresses

12 short sleeve tops

2 loose-fitting, 3/4 sleeve tops

1 fleece top

1 thermal top

1 rain jacket

bras, underwear, socks

2 pairs of flip-flops

1 wedge sandal

1 pair of hiking shoes

1 pair of water shoes

I definitely have more than enough clothing, and the funny thing is, even though that’s all that I own, I purged some items when we left Grenada! As far as “other” items go, I own a yoga mat, some jewelry, a hat, a sarong, a towel, a game of cribbage, a Kindle, a laptop, toiletries and that’s about it!

travel packing list
A beach outfit: skirt, t-shirt, sunglasses and flip-flops. Good to go.

Nick owns even less clothing than I do:

5 long pants

4 shorts

6 t-shirts

1 thermal top

1 rain jacket

underwear, socks

1 pair of hiking shoes

2 pair of flip-flops

1 pair of water shoes

He also carries a fly-fishing rod, a hat, a belt, an iPod, a basic cell phone, a laptop, travel-sized speakers, a Leatherman knife, a mosquito net, a frisbee, a towel, toiletries, and that’s about it!

This minimalistic list of possessions means that it’s very easy for us to just pack up and go to a new destination and a new adventure. If we had a permanent home filled with furniture, electronics, supplies, housewares, and everything else that most of us own, life would be completely different.

We love being able to just throw everything into 102 litres quickly and be on our way!

On a more practical level, this is how we actually pack all of our gear into our backpacks:

– We roll all of our clothing. Not folded, rolled.

– We then take all of those rolled clothes and put them into packing cubes (polyester, mesh, zip cubes). These cubes enable us to really condense our items, you would be surprised at how many pieces of clothing we can get into each of the squares.

– We have three sizes of cubes:

h= 5cm l= 35cm and w= 23cm

h = 5cm l= 25cm and w= 18cm

h= 5cm l= 19cm and w= 10cm

travel packing list
Mesh packing cubes – also known as an indispensable travel item.

– The yoga mat straps to the side of my backpack.

– We wear our hiking shoes on travel days and strap the extra shoes on the front of Nick’s backpack.

– Nick’s fly-fishing rod attaches to the side of my bag

– We have our medical kit and toiletries in one of the zip squares as well

And that’s it! Simple. Easy.

We honestly believe that by living with less, we have more. We never feel as though we’re missing out on anything by just having the possessions that we do. We don’t wish that we had a huge house packed with furniture, or that we wore the latest fashions. To us, that’s not what this life is all about. It’s about being debt-free, care-free and stress-free, and by packing light and living the location independent lifestyle that we do, we’re able to be happy and free each and every day.

What do you think of this minimalistic lifestyle? 

Like it? Pin it! 🙂

Living With Less, But Having More

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Nick's advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and he spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging. Learn more about Nick Wharton on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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