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Blog Posts (53)
- Fair Weather Travel
Please note: This post is a work in progress.. just like my life. I fully admit it, I'm a fair-weather, tropical-paradise-hopping, sun-seeking addict.. I pretty much exclusively follow the seasons when I'm traveling long-term.. And why not? If you're lucky enough to be able to travel long-term.. and you have all the freedom in the world... why go somewhere cold?? That is, of course, an over-simplification and (for many) an unrealistic approach to travel; we take the vacation time we get and we go where our friends/partners/families want to go; or we're promised perfect weather and we still end up in a shit-storm. But for those of you who are traveling alone, and who do get to choose when and where you go... these are my arguments for chasing the summer sun. 1) First and foremost, Summer is just better.. I don't know that I have to belabor this point too much... but the sun is shining, the days are longer, people are happier, it's just better. The only downside to summer travel, as far as I can tell, is that everything is busier... and that can be good or bad, depending on who you ask.. 2) Perhaps an obvious one, given the theme of this site, but you can pack SO much less.. I'll never forget visiting California for the first time (as a Minnesota native)... I looked in my buddy's closet and saw, what was in my opinion.. almost no clothes.. just shirts and shorts.. a few pairs of pants.. and wait? What? No jacket?!? It had never crossed my mind before, but it makes sense, when you live in an ocean-moderated, sunny-year-round climate, you only need summer clothes.. Of course, you might have hundreds of variations of summer gear, but it's all summer gear. Our family kept our winter stuff in storage during the summer, and then rotated out our summer clothes for winter clothes when the temps started dropping, usually around mid-summer (kidding). But the point is, packing for a single season, or even two seasons, is infinitely easier than packing for every conceivable location/climate/temperature, etc. And if you're travel plans are flexible, and the simplicity of minimalist travel is on your radar, it makes sense to do yourself the favor of single-season packing. 3) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, and maximizing your time in the sun can do wonders.. This may not apply to everyone, but if you do suffer from seasonal depression, then your winter may be a great time to visit the other side of the world's summer. I use my longish trips to get away during the coldest months of winter; maximizing my time in the sun, while still getting to enjoy spring, fall and summer in a city I love. 4) The tropics are beautiful... There's no denying it, some of the most beautiful places in the world are also, conveniently, located along the equator, with beautiful to moderate weather all-year-round. Of course, you don't want to limit yourself to the tropics, but wouldn't they be a great place to visit while the rest of your friends are suffering through winter?? 5) It may be necessary to keep your pack small If you're using minimalist travel as a way to disconnect and get back to a simpler life, then, by nature, summer travel allows you to carry less stuff.. If you're really getting into minimalism, there's no better way than to go to a place where you can wear the same shirt and shorts every day. What better way to disconnect than by leaving most of your stuff at home?? 6) People are happier, and you'll meet more people.. There are simply more travelers and more people out and about over the summer. Again, this may or may not be your thing, but there are noticeably fewer people traveling during the heart of winter, and if part of your journey is the excitement that comes from meeting new people; you may want to consider timing your trip to coincide with your priorities. Reason's not to chase the sun: fewer tourists; some destinations are meant to be visited in the winter; some activities can only be done in the winter; it makes more sense financially/logistically to start or end in cooler climates; you don't have a choice; you don't like the summer, or you simply don't care. In summary, there are many benefits to fair weather travel, and it's something I wish I'd given more thought to before spending two months in Eastern Europe during their winter; perhaps you wouldn't be as miserable as I was, but hopefully this at least gets you thinking about the pros and cons of seasonal-travel. Warm or cold, your trip will be amazing - and maybe slightly more amazing if you're not caught cold-handed. :P
- Realities and Limitations
A comprehensive list of limitations with minimalist travel. As much as I'm a proponent of minimalist travel and all it's benefits, there are some negatives that need to be acknowledged. I'm assuming, if you're reading this, that you have at least a basic idea of my definition of minimalist travel; but if you stumbled upon this article and haven't read anything else yet, check out A True Minimalist (the inspiration for this site) and The Bare Essentials (an opinion piece on how little you actually need to travel). With that out of the way, here are the obvious and perhaps some non-obvious limitations of minimalist travel.. You must be willing to pack just a few sets of clothes, and do laundry every day, or worst-case, every couple days; it's not as bad as it sounds, but it's not for everyone. I liken it to hand-washing dishes in the sink; but if you can get over this mental hurdle, the benefits can be great; check out Laundry on the Road and/or Washing Clothes in the Shower for more thoughts around this simple, daily ritual. By nature of the above, you must be okay with wearing the same few clothes every day.. if you can't get over that concept, minimalist travel likely isn't for you; but if you want to hear an argument for why it doesn't matter, check out No One Cares (Expect Maybe You). I pack just three black shirts, one pair of hiking shorts or convertible pants, one swimsuit and maybe a pair of actual pants; depending on my destination; you can see my full packing list here. Ideally, you should be okay with packing just one or two pairs of shoes; I pack just one pair of black hiking/trail-running shoes and a pair of barefoot sandals; check out Oh My God, Shoes! for more detail. Given all the above, you likely won't be able to get into the fanciest clubs, bars or restaurants; perhaps this is a non-starter for some of you, but if you're reading about minimalist travel, you probably don't care. In all of my travels, I've never once felt like I couldn't go somewhere based on my simplistic shirts and shorts (it's a pretty American concept); but once you're on the road, most people either don't care how you look, or, more likely, the people you meet will be on a budget and not trying to go to fancy places anyway... check out Bars and Nightclubs for a more thorough discussion around nightlife on the road. You might have to wear damp or dirty clothes - on occasion - if your clothes didn't have enough time to dry, or if you haven't had the time to wash your clothes in a couple days; it's rare, once you get in the habit of daily washing, but it definitely will happen at some point. At the end of the day, minimalist travel requires some planning ahead, or a willingness to look a little grungy on a hangover travel day; check out Laundry on the Road Part II (Drying) and Dry Times for thoughts and opinions around this extremely annoying aspect of minimalist travel. You may have to adjust your travel plans to match summer seasons and/or warm climates; this isn't exactly ideal (or even feasible) for short trips, but if you're traveling long-term, it's definitely worth considering; check out Fair Weather Travel for my take on chasing the sun. Note: if you can't travel with the seasons, that doesn't mean minimalist travel isn't an option; check out Cold Weather Travel for more thoughts and opinions around minimalist winter travel. You may have to buy some stuff on the road, rent the gear you need, and/or leave some things behind as you move around the world; but one of the main benefits of minimalist travel is realizing how little we need and detaching from the weight of our things; it may feel foreign at first (pun intended), but once you stop caring about your stuff, the freedom you'll feel is palpable. Your work setup may not be ideal.. especially if you're going as minimalist as possible, but still have to work / pack your laptop - with a laptop comes power cables, USB dongles, a wireless mouse and possibly even a second screen and/or larger keyboard; and that stuff sucks to pack. The best advice I can give is to 1) get used to working on just your laptop, with no toys or extras, to keep the bulk to a minimum, or 2) consider these laptop alternatives. You can also check out World's Smallest Laptop Accessories (coming soon!) and Space Saving Electronics for some ideas to help minimize your pack. Lastly, for you "Buy Now" trigger-happy maniacs (myself included).. there's always the mental hump of admitting that you don't actually need to buy anything for your next trip; and I fully admit, half the fun of planning a trip is going to the nearest REI and buying new, "absolutely necessary" gear; just like the grocery store stop is half the fun before a road-trip or mountain house weekend; but the truth is, especially if you're traveling long-term; you'll have a lot more peace of mind if you don't drop $500 on new stuff that could get lost, stolen, broken or forgotten on the first leg of your multi-month trip. Don't let the advertising gods and AI-marketing machines suck you in, or, at the very least, try to remember that you probably already have everything you need for long-term travel, it's just easy to forget. In summary, minimalist travel gives you a ton of flexibility, but it requires a little bit of planning and flexibility on your part as well; and while it's not for everyone, it's definitely worth considering or even giving it a trial run on your next trip. I've never met a long-term traveler who said, "I didn't bring enough stuff," it's almost always the opposite, as I'm sure most of readers of this site can attest to. Whether or not minimalist travel will work for you is completely up to you, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what to expect and how it might look. Keep Reading: Is Minimalist Travel Right For Me? //
- Oh My God, Shoes!
The number one problem people seem to run into when trying to pack, for short or long-term travel, is shoes. And rightfully so.. there is no "one shoe" for every occasion, and it's extremely frustrating trying to match shoes with outfits, comfort with style, functionality with taste, etc. The absolute best and only advice I can give you is.. quite simply, a reminder that no one cares what you're wearing when you travel. I go into this concept extensively in No One Cares, Except Maybe You.. but in short, at least in terms of style.. you don't need to worry about your shoes; if you stick to simple, neutral colors and don't get too fancy with your outfits, you can wear the same pair every day. This is where having just 2-3 outfits will actually simplify your shoe selection; just pick a style, for example.. "stylish hiker," and go with it, every day. Remember, when you're in a different country, whether it's by the clothes on your back, your hair color, your skin tone, or the constant look of confusion on your face... you already stand out... so stop worrying about having the right outfit for every occasion, and that will free you up to pack just one or maybe two pairs of shoes. Now in terms of functionality, that's a different story; at the very least, you'll likely want sandals for the beach, comfortable walking shoes for daily use and shoes or boots for hiking.. Personally, since I pack the absolute minimum, I pack just one pair of black trail-running shoes, which work fine for trails, long walks, working out and general, daily use. Yes, they look horrible with pants, but I have to remind myself that I'm literally the only person who notices or cares; and if you're really doing travel right, you shouldn't be wearing pants at all. Now I realize it can't or won't be that simple for everyone.. so this is where you may want to get a little creative; for example.. if you're a serious hiker and like to have ankle support, consider packing ankle braces instead of a full pair of hiking boots, you get the same support just in less space; or if you see yourself doing a lot of boating or water sports, consider water shoes, and then leave the sandals at home, remember, you can always buy a super cheap pair of sandals wherever you are, and tie them to your bag or leave them behind if you're heading to cooler climates. I also highly recommend shoe inserts that can be replaced as you wear through them - these can be found literally anywhere in the world and they give your shoes a bit more life. I do pack and recommend a pair of barefoot sandals for beach days and hostel hangs, they take up almost zero space and can be attached to the outside of your bag when traveling (or inside, whatever works). I have a pair of Xero sandals that I've been using for years, they are extremely thin (by design) and very durable; although you could argue not the most comfortable until you get used to them. Lastly, I highly recommend not skimping on this one aspect of your attire, they're low-risk in terms of losing them, and the right (or wrong) shoes can make or break your trip; your best bet is to find the most comfortable, neutral looking, multi-functional shoes available; because you'll be wearing them all day, every day, and for every occasion; remember, comfort is king, and style is just a dirty, forgotten step-child. Last lastly... for those of you who get the reference in the title of this post, I love you. :)
Other Pages (13)
- Minimalist Travel | Everything Else
Everything Else Everything Else Site Map / Pages: Getting Started Guides - Questions to ask yourself if you're planning for a long trip and how to get started "going minimalist" FAQs and Q&As - Questions you may be asking yourself if you're considering minimalist travel How-To Guides - Methods and tips that can be applied to minimize your pack for short or long-term travel Packing Guides - Recommendations and packing tips for various locations/climates/activities, etc. Clothes an d Gear - Recommendations for clothes, tools, products and gear designed to minimize your footprint Tests and Experiments - Testing assumptions , products and methods as they relate to minimalist travel - coming someday Philosophy - Thoughts and opinions on minimalism, minimalist travel and the future of work and travel Blog Posts - All the posts in one spot, moderately organized, as much as my brain allows About / History / Why - How I got started with minimalist travel and why I built this site :) Recommended Articles: The Bare Essentials - The absolute minimum required to travel, with some limitations (opinion piece) The Future of Work and Travel - What work may look like in the future and how it will change minimalist travel The Five Types of Minimalist - A completely made-up categorization of the five "types" of minimalists and how they pack 3 days ago 3 min Fair Weather Travel The case for fair-weather and summer vs winter travel. Advice for long-term travelers. 1 0 Post not marked as liked 5 days ago 4 min Realities and Limitations A comprehensive list of the limitations inherent to minimalist travel. 0 0 Post not marked as liked Jan 22 2 min Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime Anyone, anywhere, anytime; the ultimate goal. 5 0 Post not marked as liked Dec 29, 2022 1 min What is Long-Term Travel? What is long-term travel? 3 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 6, 2022 4 min The Future of Travel The future of work and travel. What travel may look like in 5, 10 or 15 years. 8 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 5, 2022 3 min The Future of Work and Travel The future of work as it relates to travel. 9 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 3, 2022 6 min The Dream The ultimate goal, to give people the freedom and knowledge that they can go anywhere at anytime with minimal effort or planning. 0 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 28, 2022 4 min The Benefits of Minimalist Travel For the sake of those who may not be convinced that minimalist travel is practical, cost effective, inspiring, easy, good for the... 27 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 28, 2022 3 min The Goal of This Site Why a site dedicated to minimalist travel?? A few reasons actually, some selfless and some (admittedly) selfish; and while I don't think... 12 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 16, 2022 3 min The Evolution of a Minimalist A made-up journey from "true" minimalist travel to digital nomad. 12 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 14, 2022 4 min What IS Minimalist Travel? What does it mean to you, what are your goals and how do you want to travel? 73 0 Post not marked as liked May 2, 2022 2 min The Bare Essentials (Opinion Piece) The bare minimum necessary to travel. 38 0 Post not marked as liked 1 2
- Minimalist Travel | Home Page
Welcome to Mr. Minimalist! Please note, this site is a work in progress, you'll come across half-written articles, half-written jokes and placeholders for articles I intend to write but haven't quite gotten to yet (tracking my procrastination in real time); but if you love traveling and love traveling light , there's probably something in here for you. If you've never heard of minimalist travel and are simply curious what it's all about.. check out.. A "True" Minimalist - An eye-opening true story and the inspiration for this site What IS Minimalist Travel? - A personal definition of minimalist travel.. and what it could look like for you . Why Minimalist Travel - A comprehensive list of the benefits of minimalist travel and why it's worth trying If you're a seasoned traveler looking for tools, techniques or methods to help minimize your pack, check out.. How-To Guides - Travel hacks, tips and methods to minimize your pack, simplify travel and save money while traveling Packing Tips - Recommendations and packing tips for various locations/climates/activities, etc. Clothes an d Gear - Recommendations for clothes, tools, products and gear designed to minimize your footprint And if you're s till curious about minimalism or minimalist travel, check out.. Everything Else - Site map, getting started guides, personal blog and a bunch of other shit.. I mean stuff. Lastly, please feel free to comment, ask questions or create an account and share your own experiences/advice with minimalist travel, I'd love to hear from you! Jan 27 7 min Advice for Long-Term Travel Advice for long-term travel. Lessons learned from year-long trips and extended stays in far-off destinations. 6 0 Jun 14, 2022 4 min What IS Minimalist Travel? What does it mean to you, what are your goals and how do you want to travel? 73 0 Jul 15, 2021 4 min Why Minimalist Travel? From the practical to the philosophical to the fun, why minimalist travel is worth trying and how you can get started. 92 0 Jul 5, 2021 5 min Laundry on the Road Part 1 (Washing) Laundry on the road, hand-washing in the sink, washing in the shower, portable wash-bags and other methods for doing laundry while traveling 64 0
- Minimalist Travel | Blog
All Posts (49) 49 posts How To Guides (14) 14 posts Clothes & Gear (12) 12 posts Packing Tips (18) 18 posts Everything Else (15) 15 posts Philosophy (6) 6 posts Product Reviews (0) 0 posts Tests and Experiments (0) 0 posts Thoughts and Opinions (2) 2 posts 1 day ago 4 min Realities and Limitations A comprehensive list of the limitations inherent to minimalist travel. 0 0 5 days ago 3 min Laundry EVERY Day The pros and cons of doing laundry and hand-washing your clothes every day while traveling. 3 0 6 days ago 4 min Top 10 Ways to Minimize Your Pack The top 10 ways to minimize what you pack for short or long-term travel. 3 0 Jan 27 7 min Advice for Long-Term Travel Advice for long-term travel. Lessons learned from year-long trips and extended stays in far-off destinations. 4 0 Jan 22 2 min Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime Anyone, anywhere, anytime; the ultimate goal. 5 0 Dec 30, 2022 1 min Top Laptop Accessories 2022 External Portable Monitor - Bluetooth Mouse (rechargeable lithium battery, no USB plug) Bluetooth Keyboard (rechargeable lithium battery,... 2 0 Dec 30, 2022 2 min Top Phone Accessories 2022 The best minimalist phone accessories for 2022. 2 0 Dec 29, 2022 1 min What is Long-Term Travel? What is long-term travel? 3 0 Aug 8, 2022 2 min Laptop Accessories and Alternatives Options and accessories for remote work, laptop tools and alternatives, phone-as-a-laptop thoughts and recommendations. 14 0 Aug 4, 2022 7 min Choosing a Backpack Bag and backpack considerations for minimalist travel. 39 0 Jul 28, 2022 4 min The Hypocrisy The struggle between "letting go" (pure minimalism) and embracing technology and useful products. 10 0 Jul 26, 2022 3 min Electronics and Gadgets Portable chargers, cables, tech and gadgets for long-term minimalist travel. 6 0 gear (13) 13 posts how-to guides (13) 13 posts travel tips (13) 13 posts packing tips (11) 11 posts questions-to-ask (10) 10 posts future-tech (8) 8 posts packing list (8) 8 posts philosophy (6) 6 posts clothing (4) 4 posts packing guides (3) 3 posts everything else (1) 1 post laptop-accessories (1) 1 post Get in touch! Questions, comments, feedback or recommendations? Shoot me a message - I'd love to hear from you! First Name Last Name Email Thanks for submitting! Message Send Contact Form