The perpetual traveller kit, a tribute to minimalism

Posted on February 24, 2012

One of the big things I undertook last January was to start a new lifestyle, like completely. I wanted to become a perpetual traveller, a nomad, I wanted to be free and have no strings attached in any ways. So what I did: I sold up everything I ever used to own, including my furnitures, most of my clothes, my computers, my car… I left my flat, and redirected my mails to my parents’ place. All what is left can now fit in a single suitcase of 20 kilos, ready to accompany me everywhere and anywhere. But I had to choose judiciously the items to keep with me at all time. Here is my conception of the perpetual traveller kit, the essential things that I cannot afford to leave behind.

The clothing of the perpetual traveller

Clothing is what takes the most space of my suitcase, since I need clothes for different sorts of occasions and I need to change my t-shirt and underwear every day. I need to go to the laundry almost twice a week though, but that’s the counterpart of travelling light. My clothing includes:

  • 8 t-shirts (one every day, with more or less specific usages, like one is for sport exclusively, one is for clubbing, one is quite formal…)
  • 1 shirt for the formal events
  • 1 shirt for the casual occasions
  • 1 pullover (not sure that I will use it in the Philippines though, but just in case)
  • 1 pair of comfortable casual jeans
  • 1 pair of fancy formal jeans
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 7 pairs of boxer shorts
  • 8+ pairs of socks
  • 1 swimming suit
  • 1 pair of shorts for sport

Here is a picture of what it looks like.

The accessories of the perpetual traveller

Clothing is not everything. Here are the accessories I carry with me:

  • 1 pair of Converse shoes (for everyday’s life, because I feel comfortable in them)
  • 1 pair of sport shoes (for working out anywhere I am)
  • 1 pair of formal shoes (when I happen to go to a formal event)
  • 1 case for my important documents (passport, emergency debit card and cash, driving license, photocopy of my ID card that I carry with me all time)
  • 1 toilet bag (everything I need for my personal hygiene)
  • 1 casual belt for everyday’s life
  • 1 formal belt for formal events
  • 1 first-aid kit, contains meds (paracetamol and meds against fever, cold, cough, diarrhea), bandages and anti-mosquito product

And here is a picture

The office of the perpetual traveller

Additionally to my suitcase, I am also carrying a backpack which contains my mobile office (all the things I need in order to work). The same way I exposed my personal clothing to you, I will expose my mobile office, piece by piece, in my next post. Because I believe it deserves a full post to cover everything I want to say about how I organised myself for being a nomad worker.

More to come…

What I think I’m starting to realise after some weeks

Actually, it was in my mind already before, but I think I really realise that I don’t need much to live, and to be happy. I am a recent adept of the simple living philosophy, and all these minimalism practices, and I really believe we can attain a higher happiness by owing less things.

I don’t know if I get a higher happiness directly. But at least I encounter less irritating problems and little frustrations. For example, my car cannot break down, because I don’t have a car anymore. Actually, none of my devices can break down (fridge, TV, heating…) because I just live in fully furnished condos and my landlord can deal with all of this, they don’t belong to me. I don’t have to worry about the utility bills either, my landlord takes care of it also. It feels a little like when I was a teenager and my parents were handling everything for me, I have nothing to worry about.

And what about the freedom to move anywhere, anywhen, with the flick of a finger? If ever I want to experience living in another neighbourhood, I just have to pack up my suitcase and move. Experience another city, another country? Not even more difficult.

I think I found the key to a possible higher happiness for myself. I realised that most of the things I used to own were so useless to me, and even sometimes were nefast for me. By owning less things, I also pay more attention to things that really matter. My home and mind are not filled up anymore with useless things that marketers say I need, but with things that are really essential / make me happy / are important to a human’s life. My home is empty, so all I can do is going out, meeting people, talking and exchanging, and learning.

I’m done with being rich of belongings and cash on my bank account. I now want to become rich in my mind and my heart.

About the author

Cyril Mazur is a serial web entrepreneur with experience in various fields: online dating, forex & finance, blogging, online advertising... who enjoys building things that people like to use.