travel

'I'm travelling the world for a year with ONE carry-on bag.'

You’ve heard of minimalist living, but now is the time (and I think Marie Kondo would agree) to embrace minimalist travel.

Minimalist travel can mean different things to different people. For some it’s all about the footprint they leave on a place, for others it’s about a carefully curated suitcase and for the rest it can simply be a way of life, which is then applied to travelling. I’m still perfecting the latter, but I’d say I fall into the all of the above category.

I guess you could call me an ‘avid traveller’ and since spending my gap year teaching English in Vietnam as a loud 18-year-old, you could say I’ve caught the bug. I’ve busily kept my passport in use since then and now in my early thirties I can’t see any signs of retiring just yet. My mum has started calling me her gypsy so let’s go with that. But recently my travel style has changed.

LISTEN: Lexi talks to Holly Wainwright on the latest episode of I Don’t Know How She Does It Travel: 

It all came to me in 2017 whilst walking 900kms through Spain. Starting on the east (near the boarder of France) and completing the journey on the far west coast. Walking the Camino de Santiago required me to carry all of my possessions on my back for 30 days, and so without realising it, I had invariably exposed myself to the concept of living like a minimalist.

I need to mention that this concept was as foreign as the language I was clumsily attempting to learn. It wasn’t something that came naturally to me and is something I found required patience, encouraged further reading, and conjured many mishaps – not dissimilar to my fumbling Spanish.

After returning home to Sydney, I explored the idea of living with less (stuff) and as the concept evolved in my understanding so too did my habits. I started by taking stock of everything I had in my house and rather spontaneously, decided to cull it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lexi Connors (@whoislexiconnors) on

ADVERTISEMENT

Beginning with the dreaded spare room, where everything without a proper place to live sat and collected dust, then onto the bathroom cupboards, then the kitchen and then finally to my wardrobe. I would repurpose items, give them to friends or recycle them. But when it came to my wardrobe, something transpired.

I decided to try Project 333 (where you hand select 33 items in your wardrobe to wear for three months) and curiously I didn’t feel quite so bad about halving it. For the first time in my life, I was actually glad to be disconnecting with it all and keep only what I needed (and yes, before you ask, only if it sparked joy!)

The timing was perfect, I had a few trips coming up and so for the foreseeable vacations I would try something I had never tried before – travel with less. Travelling with carry-on luggage only to be exact and to the unacquainted that’s a maximum of seven kilos. Ooft.

And try I did. And you know what, it was totally fine. Before I knew it, I was obsessed with the idea and convinced (rather easily) my boyfriend to do the same. No more lost luggage after a rushed airport connection, no more staring aimlessly at the baggage carousel and most importantly, an easy way to move from place to place without 20kgs to lug about. It was quite literally a weight off my shoulders.

So from there, the idea was born, and this year we’re taking things to the extreme as we embark on a yearlong adventure, travelling around the globe with carry-on only.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lexi Connors (@whoislexiconnors) on

ADVERTISEMENT


But are we just travelling with less things in a bag? Not quite. We’ve adopted travelling with less in conjunction with slow travel principles, ultimately less being more. Slowing down means less dashing and fleeing from country to country and more grounding to make deeper connections within communities we’ll be visiting. We’ll also aim to leave less of a footprint on the planet by reducing our plastic consumption (we’ll no longer have a need for take-away coffee cups and containers) and less use of resources (we’ll choose Airbnb over hotels and try not to fly excessively) whilst being mindful of not visiting unscrupulous animal attractions. To me it’s all of those things.

I’ve now quit my job and soon I’ll have moved out of my apartment, and as I box up my life for the foreseeable future I dream of the people I’ll meet and the places we’ll go.

I hope one or all of these elements of minimalist travel help to inspire others to rethink how they currently see the world and if they’re really game, consider travelling carry-on only too.

Please follow the journey on Facebook @avaycay, subscribe to the blog to see where we are each week www.avaycay.com or follow my shocking attempt at Instagram @whoislexiconnors.

Are you brave enough to try ‘minimalist travel’? Tell us in a comment below.

00:00 / ???