I travel a lot. This tends to mean I spend a lot of time packing.
This year, I’m making some weighty goals to travel (both near and far) exclusively with carry-on luggage only. That’s a total of seven kilograms.
The idea came about after I walked 922km along the Camino de Santiago two year ago. I carried everything I would need for thirty-two days in a backpack weighing 10 kilograms. After the first few days of walking, when I could see how much progress I was making, I realised how much easier travelling was without heavy luggage. In an odd way, it was kind of enlightening.
I wondered, how great it be if you could travel long term without the stress of a bag the size of small child on your back. And then – it happened – the light bulb moment. What if I just take carry-on luggage for all my future travels?
In all honesty, I had no idea where to begin, so I did what most do – I asked Google for help. One out of 1,870,000 results piqued my interest: Project 333. Creator Courtney Carver set’s the theory that you segregate your wardrobe and hand pick 33 items to wear for three months (excluding active wear, underwear & loungewear). This was going to be tough.
I figured if I can last three months with 33 items of clothing (including accessories and shoes– I’ll give you a moment to get your breath back) then surely I can travel for an extended period of time with just seven kilograms. Surely!
It was an exciting goal but it was also a logistical nightmare, particularly given my heaving wardrobe and habitual love for clothes, accessories and swimwear.
In reality, it was beyond easy; I separated each item into one of three categories; charity bin, keep for another season or keep for the challenge (by this point you’re probably thinking “ain’t nobody got time for this sh*t” and believe me, I hear you.) But the Christmas holidays enabled me a solid two weeks to get it done and it’s been a total game changer.
If Tidying Up with Marie Kondo hasn’t taken over your television and changed your life already – you need to stop what you’re doing, pull a sickie and sort it out. In a nutshell she’s an organisational goddess who visits people’s homes and asks them if the items they’re hoarding spark joy. Author and host of her own de-cluttering television series, Marie Kondo speaks openly about how clutter can affect our anxiety levels, sleep and ability to focus. I could definitely relate; being surrounded by clutter was getting me down.
Admittedly, my obsession with de-cluttering started before Marie Kondo came to Netflix – not in the cool ‘I knew the band before they were famous’ kind of way, more the ‘wow I should really do something about this’ kind of way. In this case, I was fortunate to have the time to actually do something about it. And so I did!
So, if you’re wondering why on earth carry-on travel would be of advantage to anyone, allow me to enlighten you, these are some great reasons why carry-on is king:
- Not having to wait months for your luggage to appear on the conveyor belt post flight.
- Most airlines require you to check in between one and three hours before boarding – not with carry on! Just check in online, download your boarding pass and away you go, cruising in for your pre-flight glass of bubbles.
- Never experience lost luggage again. Your travel companion is always near.
- It’s less of a burden when trudging through airports, train/bus stations. Having to carry a wheelie bag, handbag , day pack and ask for directions all at the same time, not ideal.
- The clothes you actually do take away with you – you love. And for the most part, all your pieces will work together like a stylish, clothing version of the Tetris game.
- Once the initial shock of feeling like there aren’t enough outfit options wears off – the sentiment of needing less is the ultimate feeling of freedom.
So how am I actually going to do this? With this trusty companion of course!