You know the feeling
You lock the door behind you, sling your bag into the trunk of your Uber or taxi, and head to the airport with everything you need in your carry on suitcase or backpack. You have a spring in your step and an energy that’s simply infectious. You tip your driver a bit extra because of how great you feel.
You bound past the curbside check-in and go directly through security and arrive at your gate well in time for your flight. You break out your book or just engage in some people watching while sipping a nice cuppa.
You lock the door behind you with a furrowed brow because you’re almost certain you forgot to pack something vital into one of your three suitcases— suitcases that will end up costing a fortune to check to your destination. Just to be sure, you unlock the door, make a quick trip through every room one more time but don’t find anything silently shouting, ‘You forgot me!”
A honk on a car horn interrupts your search-and-rescue operation; your Uber driver is waiting. Hurried, you leave the house and lock up, still uncertain that you’ve got what you need. You get into the car and take off, mildly agitated while wracking your brain for a clue to the identity of the forgotten whatsit. You arrive at the airport, clumsily schlepping your three cumbersome bags to the curbside check-in while virtually pinky-swearing to yourself and any attentive travel gods that you’ll change your ways so as to never again experience this level of travel frustration.
If you had to choose …
If you had to choose one of these scenarios for your next trip, which would it be? Of course, we both know you’d choose the first one. You’d have to be a lunatic to choose the second scenario…and yet… we all have chosen the second option repeatedly.
In my opinion, it’s because we have too much stuff in our daily lives.
Because we’re used to living on a day-to-day basis surrounded by a metric ton more stuff than we truly need, when we leave the house with only the essentials we feel like half of our life is missing.
Probably more than half.
How to know what’s essential
How do you sift through the layers of emotional attachments you’ve formed to your belongings to uncover those that actually matter…those that are truly essential? It’s not easy, but it’s very possible.
I have a brief life experiment for you to undertake in order to gain this valuable knowledge. It’s a great way to become aligned with your desire to live with less. Further, it will change how you feel about the rest of your stuff for-ev-er. 😯
Are you ready? Let’s begin…
The 30-Day Live-Like-You-Travel Experiment
Think about the last time you traveled with only what you needed for your trip…just the essentials. Can you recall such a trip? If you can, I’ll bet it was one of the most memorable. And, I’ll bet it was because you weren’t encumbered by a ton of luggage and belongings that you needed a spreadsheet to track.
I routinely travel for business. If I can help it, I travel with only one bag. I do so because I love the way I feel when I’m carrying only my essentials. If I find that I’ve forgotten anything, like I did yesterday when I was in Salt Lake City, I can easily obtain whatever is missing within 20 minutes and usually for less than $20.
Hair gel: Yesterday I forgot my hair gel. But rather than buy a small travel size (the very size of the item I left in my bathroom at home in California), I decided to forego my usual look for the default Baz hairstyle.
And you know what? No one cared, including me.
How to get started
You can easily get started living like you travel, by purposely living with only the essentials. Here’s what to do to run this experiment.
- Get out a suitcase, even a large one if you prefer
- Pack as if you were going away for a month
- Close up your suitcase
- Live out of this suitcase for the next 30 days; Yes, you can wash your dirties but wear only the clothing you packed in your suitcase
- If you truly need something (other than household utensils, pans, etc.), obtain it and place it in your suitcase, keeping a list of such items
- Don’t use anything that doesn’t have a place in your suitcase
- At the end of 30 days, go through your suitcase noting items that you used and didn’t use
- The items you used are your essential items for living day-to-day
- CELEBRATE KNOWING THIS ABOUT YOURSELF – just not by shopping for more crap you don’t need
What you’ll learn
By taking part in this experiment, you’ll most likely learn that you have what it takes to live like you travel, with only your essential items. Then, and only then, will you be empowered to jettison your extraneous possessions.
This knowledge is the cornerstone of your evolution as a minimalist.
If you used a large suitcase during your 30-Day Live-Like-You-Travel experiment, that’s OK as it can be the first step in your journey. The next time you run this experiment, try a smaller case…and donate or sell your larger one.
You’ll probably come away from this experiment with confidence and a new perspective on all the other stuff currently in your possession.
Good luck and if you undertake this, be sure to tweet about it using the #livelikeyoutravel hashtag!