Have you ever been on a trip with a huge backpack, and realised that you never used it? Have you ever regretted having to roll a big luggage along the street while looking for your hotel? Good new is that you can set yourself free from heavy luggage with mindfulness and consideration, and I will show you how to do it.
I am a girl. I am not sexist, but in many cases being a girl also implies we have much more luggage than boys, and it is ok to admit this. Sometimes, I thought, I express my girliness in the luggage I packed, having a night gown for any occasion, even when I go to climb a mountain. Later, I understood this had nothing to do with my gender, but more with the emptiness inside. The bigger this emptiness is, the more I tried to fill it with sugar, clothes and things I thought I needed.
Quick way to fill the gap
When we have inner emptiness, we can try to fill it with physical objects, but the easiest way is to fill it with peace and silence. Before packing to go anywhere, sit down and meditate for about 10 to 30 minutes, and fill yourself with inner peace. When you open your eyes, you shall notice a certain level of indifference to the world around you. Do not fear this, it is called equanimity and it will help you deal with the packing situation in a much more reasonable way than before.
Choosing a bag
When we lived together, my father used to say that I can fill any horizontal space with my things and books in 20 minutes. I was almost proud of this statement. If I was given a sheet of paper, I would write all over it, and if I had a backpack, I had to pack it full. Consider this – you may be similar to me, and, despite your equanimity acquired from meditation, you may have the urge to fill all the gaps of your backpack and leave no space. For this, the smaller your backpack is, the better. There are cases, however, when one packs a small bag and then ends up having two extra tote bags for sandwiches and books. Avoid these mistakes, therefore, choose your backpack only after selecting the things you shall pack.
The best way to observe all your belongings is to fold them all in categories on your bed or on the floor. If we put Tshirts in the bag and decide to add more Tshirts, we may not notice packing 4 Tshirts for a 2-day weekend, simply because we cannot observe anything inside the bag.
Invest in some fabric bags or make them yourself for the little things that are always all over the place and you can never find them in the backpack. I use such bags for the computer and phone charger and headphones, and one more – for underwear and socks.
Take no more than 2-3 bottoms and 2-3 tops and wash them regularly. You will notice you are more organised when you have less clothes.
Adjust your wardrobe for each piece to be compatible with other pieces (capsule wardrobe), this will save matching and dressing time, and will provide you with many options.
On this picture you can see everything I packed for a one-week trip to Myanmar – it was more than enough!
There are some things that we never need on our trips, however we always take them (Ex. this allergy cream I used one time, a set of ropes every traveller needs, etc), and there are other things that can be minimised (ex. shampoo bottles, cosmetics, underwear). Get rid of the first category, and see what you can change about the latter.
Below on the photo you can see my skin care and make up bag for Myanmar trip. If I had to pick out only the things I could not live without, it would be – baking soda, toothpaste, menstrual cup, pen, hairband and hair comb.
If you see everything you have, it is easier to toss.
Shampoo can be replaced with baking soda, and hair conditioner with apple cider vinegar (I have doing this for over a year already).
Toothpaste can be put into a small box, and taken only enough for the time of your travels.
Pack light, choose only what you need, and do not worry – the universe will not let you suffer too much.
Have a great light journey!