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  • Remote Work Options

    Everybody has their ideal way of way of working remote, the best I can do is go through all the variations I've tried in the hopes that one or some combination of the methods will help you decide what you need and don't need, and what works best for you. A quick overview of the methods and options.. Option 1 - A traditional laptop with no accessories; the bare-bones version of minimalist travel while still being able to work; if you're lucky enough to have mastered the tiny keyboard, touchpad mouse and the eye-straining screen, you are truly blessed. Option 2 - A traditional laptop with one or two external monitors, and a wireless mouse and/or keyboard to round out your setup; this is about as close as you can get to a work-from-home setup while maintaining a high level of mobility and productivity. Option 3 - An iPad or Windows Surface Pro as a laptop alternative; just a step down from a full-on laptop, you get much of the functionality of a traditional laptop, in exchange for a slimmer profile and footprint. Option 4 - The phone-as-a-laptop "dream" setup; instead of lugging around a laptop, why not use the one in your pocket? There are a number of early-stage options for phone-as-a-laptop setups, and I'll go into the details of each below; in short, it's a work in progress. Option 5 - Work from your phone; if you've mastered the art of working from your phone, you're already on another level, and I am jealous; for those who haven't, check out some of the tips and tricks below. Option 1 - Laptop with No Accessories You're ahead of the game and there's not much I can help with here, other than perhaps a few honorable mentions such as a dry sack or waterproof laptop bag. Option 2- Laptop with External Mouse, Keyboard and/or Screen Check out SideTrack for a number of attached or detached external monitors, or search "portable travel monitors" on Amazon for various options; you may also want to consider a protective case for whatever monitor you go with. If you are going for an external screen that doesn't come with a built-in stand, check out the low-profile Easel Display Stand or the OTTOPT Portable Screen Stand. Option 3 - iPad or Windows Surface Pro Option 4 - Phone-as-a-Laptop Setup Where others have tried and failed... I have... also failed.. and it is extremely frustrating.. The best I can do is suggest checking out a few YouTube videos on the topic; if you're rocking an iPhone (as roughly half of the US does), you'll definitely need/want a Lightening-to-HDMI Adapter, and if you're constantly being ridiculed for your green Android texts, perhaps the Samsung DeX interface will eventually help turn the tide. If you decide to take the phone-as-a-laptop approach, you'll need an HDMI-compatible monitor, a wireless/Bluetooth keyboard and (most likely) a wireless mouse. Lastly, there are a few other options for using your phone as a laptop that I haven't researched or gone into specifics on; if you're tech-savvy and willing to do some additional leg-work, check out https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ways-turn-smartphone-into-pc/ for additional options. Samsung DeX As an alternative to Samsung DeX, consider packing a Google Chromecast Note: This post is a work in progress, check back later for more updates and details.

  • Choosing a Backpack

    Please note: I do NOT get paid to review or advertise products, I'm just sharing what I've learned and experimented with in regards to bag size, style, type, etc., in the hopes that it will help you decide what's right for you. In addition to that, these recommendations are geared towards minimizing your footprint for long-term, international travel; and while the same tools and methods will work for short-term or domestic travel, they may not be nearly as applicable, beneficial or realistic. Your backpack will always be a personal choice, but my recommendation is to keep it as small, simple and cheap as possible - your "backpack" will get a lot of wear and tear, and the cheaper it is, the less you'll worry about losing it or replacing it as it wears out (and it will wear out!) For each bag type/size, I'll tell you what I loved and didn't love, and why I settled on a small hiking backpack. For a quick overview, I've traveled with the "traditional" 55-65L backpacks (REI if you're curious), a 33L Aer Travel Pack 2 "digital nomad" laptop bag, a 25L Skog Waterproof backpack, a 20L Gregory Day Hiking Backpack, and my current backpack, a 21L Mystery Ranch Urban Assault bag. But before we get into that, ask yourself the following questions.. What's the minimum size bag you need to fit everything you need? If you're attempting to follow the Minimalist Method and wash your clothes every day, you can drastically reduce the size of your bag; for advice on what to bring or not bring, check out What YOU Should Pack, and then look through the Gear and Clothes section for tools and gadgets that can significantly reduce your need for space. Once you've figured out how many clothes you'll be bringing, you can then narrow down your bag search based on other factors such as... Will you be hiking or walking a lot? - Consider a hydration or hydration-compatible backpack Will you be spending a lot of time on or near water? - Consider water-resistant bags/backpacks, waterproof electronics bags or waterproof laptop sleeves Will you have your laptop? - Consider laptop sleeves, dry sacks or laptop-specific bags And now, onto the various types of bags and backpacks you're probably considering.. "Traditional" 55-65L Backpacks I won't go into the details here, I think it's obvious I'm a proponent of packing the bare minimum, but to give you an idea of what I hate about large bags.. Pros of large (45-70L) backpacks.. They give you ample space for everything you could possibly need; two weeks worth of clothes, multiple pairs of shoes, hiking, camping and cooking gear, space for gifts for friends and family. Cons of large backpacks They're expensive; and the more you spend on your bag, the more time you'll spend worrying about whether or not it's safe at your hotel or hostel. They're bulky - you'll constantly struggle to find places to store your luggage, since you can't take it with you on day trips or half days, and you may struggle to fit that big bag in the limited storage space provided by hostels. They're heavy and limit your flexibility - the second you start moving, that bag becomes a burden, even if it's just a "travel day" - lugging it around is annoying at best and painful at worst. They effectively invite you to pack more than you need, it's no secret I'm a proponent of packing the bare minimum, but it's hard to imagine even filling a 40L bag with useful things. Laptop Bags If you're the digital nomad type, you may like and prefer the professional look and built-in protection of a laptop bag, but I've found myself regretting the purchase for a few reasons. They're expensive, and the last thing I want on a long-term trip is to constantly be worried about my nice, new $200 laptop bag. They scream "laptop" by design - if and when I bring my laptop on long trips, I actually don't want people to know I have a laptop, I'd rather not invite unwanted attention, even if it's safely locked up in a storage locker.. and when I'm on the move, a low profile bag is always preferred. On the plus side, laptop bags are designed to protect your money-maker and keep your things well-organized; they look amazing and frequently come with well-thought-out design considerations like RFID protected pockets, adjustable/hidden straps, expansion pockets, and water-resistant materials, etc. If your laptop is your life, and the above considerations don't concern you, there are a lot of options.. I'm a fan of Aer, Nomatic, Peak Design, and Gravel bags; or do the typical google search thing and find something you love. Also feel free to check out my post But I NEED My Laptop to determine if bringing your laptop is absolutely required. Lastly, if you decide on any other bag type, but still want extra protection for your laptop, consider a waterproof laptop sleeve like the Aqua Quest Storm. Waterproof Bags I started researching waterproof bags as my go-to for long-term travel, but I'm not sure if the reasons are completely obvious, so I'll give you a couple examples.. I once rented a motorcycle in Costa Rica, and while riding back to San Jose to return the bike, got caught in a tropical downpour, I had to ride to get "home," but was completely soaked head to toe, bag and all. Our boat broke down off the coast of Cozumel in massive winds and waves, everything we brought had to be transferred to another boat, only there was no way to keep the boats close, so we had to jump in and swim to the rescue boat - again, everything soaked. After checking out of a hostel near Iguazu Falls, Brazil, we took an unplanned boat ride near the falls, I had everything with me, but didn't realize we'd be going into (i.e. under) the falls, if there was ever a time for a waterproof bag, this was it. I could keep going, but I think you get the picture... on the plus side, waterproof bags offer you peace of mind for those (planned or unplanned) water-based excursions; they're great for day trips to the beach, waterfall hikes, hot spring soaks, lake-side paddle boarding, boat outings, etc. however... What I don't like about waterproof bags, is how heavy and inconvenient they become when you're doing anything other than water-based activities.. I've come to prefer (and require) easy-open bags with either a clam-shell or butterfly opening - versus the roll-top design inherent to any waterproof bag. Instead, I've opted to use smaller, light-weight dry sacks for all the electronics inside my backpack, which provides both flexibility and organization, while getting the same peace of mind as you would with a fully waterproof backpack. You can see how I pack here. Hydration/Camelback Backpacks I'm an advocate of hydration or hydration-compatible backpacks, although my current backpack doesn't fall into that category; and I would mention saving the planet from water bottles, but the truth is that you will want to or have to buy filtered watered in many (if not most) of the countries you visit, so you may not be saving anything - but at least with a hydration pack, you can buy large water jugs and fill your hydration pack at the hostel. Alternatively, you may want to opt for a small, collapsible water bottle for your daily outings, I'm a fan of the 25oz (750ml) Hydaway water bottle, due to its soft, silicon construction, versus the Vapur Flexible water bottle, with its Polyethylene (i.e. hard plastic) construction, which I constantly feared cutting my hands on when I reached into my bag; you might also consider the 1L Hydrapak Stow if you're looking for an ultra-lightweight, water filter-compatible option. Day Bags Despite the already small, daily-use backpack, I sprung for a low-profile, semi-waterproof chest sling bag; there's something comforting knowing that your most valuable possessions are tied tightly to your chest when you're on long trips or falling asleep on a train. It may take some trial and error to find one you love, I tried the Osoce anti-theft bag, the Zomake anti-theft bag, the Weiatas anti-theft bag and the Waterfly sling chest bag, before finally settling on the Topnice chest sling bag, due to material/fabric comfort alone. Another item that I love and have used used hundreds of times - although recently I haven't needed to pack it - is an ultra-compact, compressible day bag. I've had an 18L Sea-to-Summit Nano Pack that I've used for 15+ years, and it's still in great shape, but there's an Amazon Basics option and a water-resistant Osprey option as well; I doubt you can go wrong with any of them. Hiking Backpacks (My Personal Preference) As you've maybe seen in other posts, I travel with a 21L Mystery Ranch backpack (shown here) - it's small, comfortable and light enough to hike with. I've found "comfortable enough to hike with" to be the best determining factor for selecting a minimalist backpack, it's comfortable when you're on the move and packing everything, and works just as great as a day bag when you're settled in a city for days, weeks or months at a time. This bag does come with a small laptop (or iPad) sleeve that fits my 13in laptop perfectly, although you wouldn't be able to go much bigger, and while it's perfect for my needs, I don't expect it to be perfect for everyone. Benefits of hiking backpack.. Perfect for daily use and packing all your belongings when you're on the move Easily replaceable if it gets lost, damaged or stolen - the nearest outdoor gear or sports store should have many options Generally inexpensive, usually under $100 to replace in a worst-case scenario Many hiking packs are hydration-pack compatible, with all the benefits mentioned above Cons of a hiking backpack.. Extremely limited in how much you can pack (but that's why you're here, isn't it?) No built-in laptop protection - despite being able to fit small laptops, there's generally not a lot of padding for your money-maker A lot of them are ugly - at least in my opinion - it can be difficult finding a bag that looks decent whether you're hiking, hitting the beach, exploring a city or hitting a coffee shop to work Not a lot of internal organization - most hiking packs are simple by design, but this can be annoying when you prefer to have specific pockets for all your stuff Summary There are thousands of options to choose from, and it completely depends on your personal list of essential items, which you'll need to decide on before you even choose a backpack. So before you go looking for the perfect bag, ask yourself these questions.. What's the minimum size bag I need to fit everything I need? Do I need my laptop and/or do I need laptop protection? Do I need a waterproof bag or can I use a dry-sack for my electronics? Do I want the flexibility (and inherent limitations) of a small backpack? Do I want lots of internal organization/pockets for all my things? Read Next: The Minimalist Method - How I keep my pack small and maximize flexibility

  • The Hypocrisy

    I feel the need to acknowledge a somewhat hypocritical aspect of this site - should I really be making product recommendations, while touting the benefits of minimalism? Can I really say I'm a minimalist when I pay $80 for a set of socks? It's something I admittedly struggle with.. On one hand, I love the concept of minimalism and the freedom that comes with not caring about material possessions... knowing that all the important things in life - love, connection, happiness, creativity, expression, creativity, contribution, novelty, exploration, etc. are all free - they're available everyone, at all times, wherever you are in the world - there's nothing physical or material in that list. Minimalism can serve as an incredible reminder that we already have everything we need; the basic necessities for survival are universal, and everything else is internal. Minimalist travel is like putting your phone on airplane mode and realizing how much happier you are; it's like going for a long, solo hike and remembering that you're surrounded by beauty; it can help you recognize how lucky you are, how little some people have or how unimportant your material possessions are; it can help you notice the weight of material things, how we get emotionally tied to our stuff and how those emotional ties can wreak havoc on our minds; and it can help you identify the true value of things, what means a lot to you, what doesn't, and why. There are many, many reasons to consider minimalist travel; but it's the philosophical concepts that are so eye-opening and, potentially, the most beneficial. On the other hand, I'm a technology enthusiast at heart; I love the ingenuity and creativity of the human race, I love thinking up new products, designing and building things that make people's lives easier, and finding new tools or products that simplify life and travel - it's just fun. In my post What IS Minimalist Travel, I mention that minimalism is, for me, a combination of some of the core concepts of minimalism and our inherent desire for some level of comfort, flexibility and style. Note that I say desire and not need; there's a fine line between desire and need, and it's different for everyone. I would argue that I need my phone, and you may argue that you need five pairs of pants.. and neither of us are wrong, but my hope with this site is to help you define what's necessary for you, while sharing some of the tools, methods and mindsets that can make travel easier and more enjoyable. some options and alternatives to minimize your stuff through a mix of sacrifice, creativity and yes, occasionally, the right tools. At the end of the day, I hope to simplify the travel experience, to make it more accessible to more people, and to show that you don't need a million things or a lot of money to enjoy traveling. Lastly, and on one foot, I have an immense respect and appreciation for high-quality, long-lasting tools and products; they're frequently beautiful, eloquent, well-designed and simple to use; you can feel the thought, energy and time that was put into them; like an amazing piece of art.. and I like to think that high-quality, long-lasting tools are better for the environment long-term. I have this beautiful, black leather duffel bag that was my grandfathers, passed onto my dad and then on to me when he passed, I've had to get the zippers re-stitched, but other than that, it's in great shape; I wonder how many duffel bags I'd have gone through if I didn't have this one? How much money would I have wasted trying to find one I loved? How many of those bags would be in a landfill somewhere, waiting to decompose over their 10000 year life-span? My point is, you can be a minimalist and still appreciate and respect high-quality products, you can be a minimalist and still embrace the creativity and usefulness of a well-designed tool, and you can be a minimalist and still embrace the necessity of new technology that makes life and traveling easier. Note: This post is a work in progress, check back later for full thoughts and sentences "Do you see yourself using this for 10, 15 or 20 years?" "Could you see yourself passing this down to your children, or your children's children?" "Is it useful, beautiful or necessary?" That's the question you should be asking yourself; whether you're cleaning out your closet or packing for a long trip; if it doesn't fall into one of those categories, donate it - and notice the weight come off your shoulders. My grandmother was a hoarder, my mother.. a semi-hoarder.. she has thousands and thousands of pictures, antiques, trinkets and memorabilia.. and it's incredibly hard for her to part ways with certain things. One of the most helpful things to remember in this case is to ask yourself if that cherished memory of yours.. could become a cherished memory for someone else... If you'll never wear that shirt again, but it reminds you of your best friend... could it perhaps, someday, provide the same value to someone else? If you'll never use that cup again, but it brings up memories of some of your favorite times at your favorite bar with your college friends, could it mean the same to someone else down the line? (need to finish) Okay, I've gotten off-track a bit... let's get back to the conundrum. (need to summarize) Ultimately, minimalism can help you recognize how little you need and how stuff can weigh you down.. but it's equally important to acknowledge and embrace the ingenuity and creativity behind the products and tools we can't live without. Note: This post is a work in progress, check back later for full sentences and concepts

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  • Mr. Minimalist | Blog

    All Posts (40) 40 posts How To Guides (9) 9 posts Clothes & Gear (10) 10 posts Packing Tips (14) 14 posts Everything Else (15) 15 posts 5 hours ago 2 min Remote Work Options Options and accessories for remote work, laptop tools and alternatives, phone-as-a-laptop thoughts and recommendations. 0 0 4 days ago 7 min Choosing a Backpack Bag and backpack considerations for minimalist travel. 31 0 Jul 28 4 min The Hypocrisy The struggle between "letting go" (pure minimalism) and embracing technology and useful products. 1 0 Jul 26 3 min Electronics and Gadgets Portable chargers, cables, tech and gadgets for long-term minimalist travel. 1 0 Jul 26 2 min Space Saving Toiletries Space saving toiletry items for long-term minimalist travel. 1 0 Jul 26 2 min What If I Told You.. Grab your passport and go, right now; you'll be amazed at what you discover. 0 0 Jul 26 2 min No One Cares (Except Maybe You) Tips to minimize what you pack (hint: no one cares what you wear or how you look when you're traveling). 3 0 Jul 26 3 min The Bare Essentials (Packing List) A list of what I consider bare essentials for any long-term travel, minimalist or otherwise. 2 0 Jul 25 2 min Oh My God, Shoes! The bad news is.. there is no shoe that does it all; casual shoes look best with casual clothes, hiking shoes look best with hiking... 15 0 Jul 19 1 min Space Saving Items Space saving items for daily use and minimalist travel. 10 0 Jul 6 4 min The Future of Travel The future of work and travel. What travel may look like in 5, 10 or 15 years. 7 0 Jul 5 3 min The Future of Work and Travel The future of work as it relates to travel. 8 0 gear (10) 10 posts packing list (9) 9 posts how-to guides (7) 7 posts questions-to-ask (7) 7 posts travel tips (7) 7 posts packing tips (6) 6 posts clothing (3) 3 posts future-tech (2) 2 posts packing guides (2) 2 posts 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

  • Mr. Minimalist | Packing Tips

    Packing Tips and Ideas to Help You Pack Recommended Articles: ​ Pre-Travel Questionnaire - Questions to ask yourself before packing for long-term travel The Bare Essentials - The absolute minimum required to travel, with some limitations (opinion piece) Travel Clothes (What To Look For) - Recommendations and considerations for travel-specific clothing Choosing a Backpack - Personal thoughts on choosing the right backpack (opinion piece) The Minimalist Method - How and what I pack to minimize space and maximize flexibility Jul 26 2 min No One Cares (Except Maybe You) Tips to minimize what you pack (hint: no one cares what you wear or how you look when you're traveling). 3 0 Jul 3 3 min Pre-Travel Questionnaire Questions to ask yourself if you're packing for long-term travel. How and what you pack will always be personal, but there are number of... 7 0 Jul 1 4 min How and What I Pack My version of minimalist travel is packing only the bare essentials; 2-3 days worth of clothes, a small hiking backpack and a few... 19 0 Jun 16 3 min The Evolution of a Minimalist A made-up journey from "true" minimalist travel to digital nomad. 7 0

  • Mr. Minimalist | Everything Else

    Everything Else Everything Else Recommended Articles: ​ The Benefits of Minimalist Travel - A comprehensive list of the benefits of minimalist travel and why it's worth trying 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 6 days ago 4 min The Hypocrisy The struggle between "letting go" (pure minimalism) and embracing technology and useful products. 1 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 26 2 min What If I Told You.. Grab your passport and go, right now; you'll be amazed at what you discover. 0 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 26 2 min No One Cares (Except Maybe You) Tips to minimize what you pack (hint: no one cares what you wear or how you look when you're traveling). 3 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 6 4 min The Future of Travel The future of work and travel. What travel may look like in 5, 10 or 15 years. 7 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 5 3 min The Future of Work and Travel The future of work as it relates to travel. 8 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 29 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... 13 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 29 3 min The Goal of This Site I built this site for a number of reasons... some selfish and some selfless, as varied as human nature. I was truly inspired by the... 2 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 16 3 min The Evolution of a Minimalist A made-up journey from "true" minimalist travel to digital nomad. 7 0 Post not marked as liked Jun 14 3 min What IS Minimalist Travel? What does it mean to you, what are your goals and how do you want to travel? 41 0 Post not marked as liked May 3 2 min The Bare Essentials (Opinion Piece) The bare minimum necessary to travel. 28 0 Post not marked as liked 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. 84 0 Post not marked as liked Jul 13, 2021 3 min A "True" Minimalist A true minimalist traveler needs almost nothing, just a passport, ID and a few clothes. 61 0 Post not marked as liked 1 2

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