See that picture up there? That, my friends, is all my worldly possessions shoved into one carry-on sized backpack.
I know…crazy right?
Take a second to really let it sink in. That 40 liter backpack and it’s contents are all I’ll have on this worldly adventure of mine.
I can hear you asking, “did he bring enough underwear? what about socks? omg he’s going to lug that thing around everywhere?” The simple answer to all three questions is yes…or at least I hope so.
Now, before we unzip this beauty and take a peak inside I want to wind the clock back several months and share with you how I went from a furnished apartment to a pack not much bigger than my old gym bag.
It was a gorgeous August day; the sun was shining, birds were chirping and kids were laughing and playing while I’m quietly sitting on my balcony, freaking the hell out!
Why? I just committed to dropping everything to go travel and I had absolutely NO idea how to make it happen. I mean NONE. There were hundreds of questions spinning around in my head with no answers to connect them with: how much will it cost? when will I go? where will I go? where will I stay once I’m wherever?
These are just few examples.
I think at that point I was only certain about two things: I’m doing this trip and I need to shed all the excess before takeoff.
Full transparency, I didn’t really have that much stuff to begin with. My rented apartment pretty much looked like a craigslist ad for a garage sale but hey, it worked.
Also, anyone who knows me knows that I usually purge before a big move anyway but this time was a little different.
Not only did I need to declutter everything from clothes, to car to furniture but I also needed to buy things that were practical for my new life of travel.
Essentially, that meant starting over since I did’t think the leather jacket and designer jeans would be the best getup for long-term travel.
We’ll give it a few months to see if I was right.
And so began the purge of 2017. I went through everything (and I mean everything) that I owned and asked myself if I really needed it? If the answer was no, I either sold it or gave it to charity.
That process went on for months until I was down to the bare essentials. We are talking just a few outfits.
Meanwhile, I began purchasing everything I thought I needed for the trip: new clothes, a smaller laptop (made in this decade), suitable shoes and of course, one carry-on size backpack to put it all in.
The transition from a furnished apartment down to a simple pack was liberating. It allowed me to prioritize my possessions and see how little I really needed in order to be ready for the trip. But it’s very important to note that I did not do it alone.
I need to take a second and thank everyone who helped me during the 9 months of preparation, especially my Mom. She was tremendously supportive throughout the entire process and allowed me to stay at her house for a few months to save on rent payments. Thanks Mom.
Alright, so I filled you in on the purge process, talked a little about gearing up for the trip and gave thanks for everyone’s support. Anything else?
Yeah, how about tell us what the hell is in the backpack?
So, without further ado, I give you my Carry-on Closet:
- 1 x REI Co-Op Vagabond Tour 40 liter backpack
- 1 x Gonex 20 liter daypack (not pictured)
- 3 x long pants
- 3 x shorts
- 1 x bathing suit
- 1 x button down shirt
- 3 x long sleeve shirts
- 3 x t shirts
- 1 x travel belt
- 7 x boxer briefs
- 5 x socks
- 2 x headbands
- 1 x beanie
- 1 x gloves
- 1 x Craghooper CompressLite Jacket (not pictured)
- 1 x Merrell Vapor Glove 2 sneakers
- 1 x Merrell Moab FST hiking boots (not pictured)
- 1 x sandals
- 1 x Google Pixel + charger (not pictured)
- 1 x Acer R11 Chromebook + charger
- 1 x Amazon Kindle
- 1 x solar charged external battery pack
- 1 x universal adapter
- 1 x Akaso 4k action camera + head & chest mounts
- 1 x TileMate gps locator
- 1 x wireless mouse
- 1 x headphones
- 1 x toiletries bag + first aid kit
- 1 x beads
- 1 x travel towel
- 1 x passport wallet
- 1 x poncho
- 1 x collapsible water bottle
- 1 x inflatable neck pillow
- 1 x sleeping mask
- 2 x earplugs
- 12 month supply contacts
- 1 x bandana
- 1 x foldable sunglasses
- 1 x laundry bag
- 3 x Hojax packing cubes
I think I’m ready, don’t you?