The March theme in the Simple Year programme is Travel. The presenter, Colin Wright, is a young American entrepreneur, who is travelling full-time and whose essays I read at the same time when I discovered The Minimalists in 2014.
The goal for this month's activities is to explore your passions, recalibrating your life to focus on your passions and reducing the unimportant; at the same time, packing (for travel or life) and eventually becoming more focused because of fewer distractions.
The first homework task was making a packing list for an upcoming trip. This suited me perfectly, as we will travel to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland over Easter. Years ago, when the boys were still smaller, I wrote packing lists for our trips to Germany. They were long, very long, and included a lot of 'What if' items. Luckily, times have changed.
A New Approach to Packing
Motivated by this new and much simpler approach, I put together my new packing list according to the following structure:
Core items: things that are foundational to my happiness and ability to function wherever I end up.
Secondary Items: Items that are important in the moment, but may not always be so.
Tertiary Items: Things that might be useful when considering outside variables.
What if’s: The last category and the least important (you might as well leave them at home).
Then, I came to the realisation that maybe it would be a good idea to de-clutter my wardrobe further before I start packing. No sooner said than done, and I started sorting out more items that would go to our local charity. I noticed that suddenly many items I had clung to for many years had lost their importance and meaning to me. It didn’t matter if I owned them or not. It felt liberating to give them away, to let them go.
This exercise made me also aware what I was missing in my wardrobe, a classic white shirt, for example. I am a Summer Personality in Colour Psychology and therefore love classic pieces that stand the test of time. A while ago, I had sorted out my white shirts, which I had owned for ages, and not yet bought a new one. I made a mental note to fill this gap with an essential wardrobe piece.
Similar to essential furniture pieces I recommend using when moving to a smaller home, there are essential wardrobe pieces, which will help you create multiple outfits by combining them for specific occasions with different accessories. Focussing on your essentials when packing for travel is a great way to avoid too much stuff you never wear during your holidays.
Bucket Lists For Life and Other Things
The next part of the homework was to compile bucket lists for the current year, the next five years and the next ten years. Additionally, the programme encouraged us to create lists following the same structure for our work, our relationships and our hobbies and favourite activities. I started working on all these lists simultaneously with the intention to go back on a monthly basis and build them over the year. I hope this keeps me focussed!
How do you pack for travelling? What are your experiences with travelling with less? Would love to hear from you!