This is an article I wrote back in 2007 but somehow stumbled across it recently unpublished. So here it is my reasons for travelling light.
Traveling around can be stressful at the best of times and I personally really don’t want to make it anymore stressful by lugging around a huge piece of luggage. Taking a larger rucksack and too much gear is said to be the most common mistake for the first time or rookie traveller.
Imagine the situation, you’re late for your flight, train, or bus. You’ve got to pack your bag and get there as quick as possible, but the trouble is you’ve bought a brand new super heavy 80L rucksack which you’ve got to repack and run with the way to your destination (Usually in sweltering heat.). It’s a situation you can avoid by just taking what you really need for the trip and carrying it all in a nice compact piece of luggage.
Small is Beautiful
A good technique for making sure you don’t over pack is to purchase a compact rucksack and only filling it and nothing else. Meaning that anything else you’ve got that will not fit in will simply be left at home. I would say a 50L rucksack would be plenty of room for a trip round the world staying in guest houses and hostels. I took a 35L +8 Berghaus rucksack through Asia and it was a great size for me. Admittedly at times I wouldn’t be able to fit various things in it, but it made sure I wasn’t carrying around items that I really didn’t need.
Whilst travelling in Malaysia I noticed three travelers together all carrying 70L+ rucksacks looking worn out and sweating. All three of them all had metal mesh locks all around their rucksacks to prevent theft (Pac-Safe). Now I’m pretty sure the chances of theft were about as great as in their home countries but I’m sure at home they wouldn’t use such devices, sometimes people get a little paranoid. By wearing these metal mesh locks it made all three of them stand out in a crowd and locals wonder just what was so expensive or valuable that it needed such a great contraption.
But I’m Traveling for so long?
One interesting point of view I have come across is that because someone is going away for an extended period of time they must take more things with them. This is completely wrong, if you were to go away for two weeks you would take as many clothes as you would if you were going for a year, only when you’re away for a year you visit the laundrette a lot more.
Travel Light = Less Hassle
Traveling light is a great way to travel, it means you spend less time packing and more time enjoying. You don’t feel stressed and tired because you aren’t carrying such a heavy load around with you. For these reasons especially when you’re travelling for a long period of time, traveling light and with less gear equals less hassle.
Photo by garryknight