Travel Light - Live Light

Anyone who knows me knows a few things about me to be abundantly true:  I am a proud type-A, I love the smell of books, and travel is a top priority in my life.

In the past year or two, I've been a latecomer to the new trend around mindfulness and I'll tell you what - it's blowing my mind.  I've always loved reading articles on being more productive, more effective, more efficient (and so on), but my recent foray into increasing mindfulness has opened the synapses in my brain.

So recently, I read a blog post from James Clear (if you are into productivity tips, you will devour his articles) where he shared how to travel the world with one bag and offered three simple rules:

  1. Carry less stuff
  2. Reduce weight, not usefulness
  3. Travel with comfortable resilience

Of course, the traveler in me loved this bite-size nugget of travel wisdom, and as I thought about it, it dawned on me that what he recommends for travel, I would recommend for life.  Think about it:

  1. Carry less stuff - for travelers, you don't want to be schlepping enormous bags.  I did this backpacking through Europe as a college student with friends and let me tell you - we spent an unusual amount of time (for 19-year-olds) complaining of back pain.  In life - we get weighed down with actual possessions (most of which don't even mean anything to us) or emotional baggage that we carry with us is exhausting.  So find a way to carry less stuff, whether physical or emotional.
  2. Reduce weight, not usefulness - for travelers, bring items that have multiple uses so you can bring fewer things, and leave behind those that are not useful.  In life - let go of the things in your life (possessions, habits, damaging stories about yourself) that aren't useful.  They are not worth the space they take up in your life.
  3. Travel with comfortable resilience - for travelers, have some faith that if you leave something behind or you're left to your own devices, you will figure things out.  Overpacking in order to avoid any instance of finding yourself without something you need is not worth the burden.  In life - you can only think things through so far.  Have some faith in yourself and your ability to cope with those unexpected twists in life.  You can't avoid them no matter how hard you plan and research, so instead, close your eyes, open your arms, and let in the uncertainty.  You'll be surprised at how strong you are.

To travel is to live.  Travel well.  Live well.

Waiting for a bus in Plitvice, Croatia.  And this is not all my stuff, I'm watching my friend's stuff who is taking the picture, I swear!