How I Minimized My Needs and Maximized My Travel Experiences - TAMBERDI

How I Minimized My Needs and Maximized My Travel Experiences

4:00:00 AM

As a highly sensitive introvert and a writer, while travelling, I am focusing mostly on my feelings, sensations, sounds and pictures. To not distract myself I had to pack as light as possible. First, I had to be able to walk with my backpack so 15kg was the max weight I could allow. Second: I didn’t want to spend too much time packing and unpacking. Third: I didn’t want to spend too much time doing makeup or choosing what to wear.

Yet, three weeks ago I spent over half an hour and thirty euros on the post office to send back home 2,5 kg of unnecessary things (including the bag that you can see on the photo) that I carried on my back.
One of the items was a gorgeous green dress. I thought I would need it, but I’m a tomboy. I’ve worn it twice. It made me thinking, and I had to review my beliefs.
What Minimalism Means to Me and Why I Don’t Need Much

Minimalism for me means having only the most necessary things, so, i.e., I don’t have any makeup cosmetics in my case. I don’t like doing makeup, and I’ve decided that I won’t need it. My cosmetic case has 12 small items inside and a backpack consists of 11 clothes, not counting the lingerie and accessories.
I started travelling at 28th of October. Am I sad that I have to wear two pairs of trousers on and on again? Not at all. Do I sometimes think that I wished to have something else to dress? Rarely. I’m rather happy that I don’t have to spend time searching and browsing through my closet. I’m wearing whatever I have close by, and I’m ready for the day.
Also, I don’t buy unnecessary things as souvenirs. I picked up an advertisement bag in Switzerland. I use it for my laptop, grocery or laundry and I know I will bring it back to Poland. It doesn’t matter that it wasn't pretty pictures of Switzerland or their logo – but I have memories of a wonderful time spent with my friend associated with it.

What is my idea of slow life?

Slow life is also close to my heart. I left a job in the restaurant to travel around the world, to cut myself off from the constant noise, haste, stress and a continuous flow of stimuli.
I like to immerse in the new world slowly, stroll through the city, look how people live.  
I also enjoy cooking for myself. Some people say that they don’t go for holidays to cook for themselves – for me, it’s one of the most rewarding and relaxing activities. I like to learn local recipes that make me closer to a different culture. That’s why I’ve made a cataplana dish three times last week while living in Airbnb apartment in Quarteira.

How to Implement Slow Life Standards While Travelling

Slow life for me means having respect for the environment and economy. That’s why I recycle whenever possible, use sharing economy like Airbnb and Blablacar and I’m learning about a culture of a country that I’m in, mostly by discovering the history and cuisine. I enjoy going to the market, talk to the vendors, buy fresh produce and seafood from them because I can see a face of my seller and hear advice from them.

What a Minimalist Tomboy Needs in Her Backpack

I’m much happier living the life where I look for the memories, views, impressions and relationships, instead of material things. Still, I need some things so if you’re curious what is in my backpack (and I am packed for about four months), then there you have it.
Cosmetic case:
  • the shampoo bar from Lush
I’ve read about them on another travel blog, and I fell in love. The bars are small, smell gorgeous, last for months and make my hair behave.
  • Face wash in a small tube
  • Intimate wash
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste but I also have a liquorice root as an alternative while camping. I used a miswak before; it’s a Salvadora Persica (Arak) root, popular on East. It tastes like horseradish, but it’s healthy, natural and efficient.
  • Crystal deodorant
It should last for a year and has no artificial perfumes. The container was quite large, but it fell apart, and I threw it away.
  • A small tube of sandal oil (instead of perfume)
  • Face cream with SPF 30
  • Mooncup
That was one of my best purchases last year. Takes no space, it’s light, and I can carry it even in my pocket. It’s reusable, should last for over ten years and it did cost me only 30 euro.
  • Hand cream.
  • Two lip balms
  • Flaked soap

  • Six shirts (two long sleeves, three short, one ¾)
  • zipped blouse
  • module trekking trousers
  • jeans
  • Two layer jacket
  • leggings
  • sweatpants

  • trekking shoes
  • sneakers
  • flip flops
  • a large scarf that I’m using as a blanket, pillow and poncho
  • the elastic band that I’m using either as a hat or sleeping mask
  • trekking poles
  • sleeping mat
  • sleeping bag

I have to write a blog from my travels, and I’m a bookworm, so there were a few things necessary for me. I’m a bit old school, but writing is way easier for me on paper than on the screen. So:
  • three notebooks (one for drawing, two for writing)
  • laptop and mouse
  • kindle
  • a few pens and pencils
  • rubber
  • a portuguese magazine for language learning (and when I finish reading it, I will reuse it to make a paper Christmas tree to remind me of home)

But as I mentioned before, I’m a cook. I didn’t take makeup cosmetics but I took some kitchen equipment with me.

Kitchen equipment
  • two parts dinner pail – the pot with the cover that can be used as the pan with two cups and two sporks.
  • Opinel knife
  • spices in a string bags
  • light plastic cutting board
  • yerba mate with bombilla (a straw for drinking)
I’m not a coffee drinker but sometimes I need a kick in the morning and mate infusion works just perfect for me.

Those are my essentials but we’re all different, so let me know: what are the necessary things for you? Are you a travel minimalist or do you prefer to pack your case “for every possibility”? Let me know in the comments.

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