By: Abby Larson
Excess is a part of every-day life; today’s main stream media is constantly pushing us towards seasonal fashion trends, the newest health fads, or the most sleek and innovative gadgetry to help “simplify “our lives. So when I started reading a book called “No Baggage,” a memoir about one woman’s lugggageless three week European expedition, I was intrigued and refreshed. Here was a regular 20-something gal named Clara who trusted her companion when he said that they would be perfectly safe, happy, and comfortable, despite not having more than a handful’s worth of items along on their trip. No options, no fuss. By having nothing, Clara and her man took unnecessary stress and decision making out of their trip and were able to fully immerse in their adventure.
With this story fresh in my head, I decided to contemplate what most people deem necessary to feel safe, happy, and comfortable and then test my hypothesis with a three day weekend in New York City, using only a medium-sized purse to pack. Most of what I brought was unsurprising; a toothbrush, a pair of comfy shoes. But when it came to choosing personalized items, my unique identity shown through my possessions. Bare-bones me was up for exploring the busy soho streets, midtown parks, and Brooklyn coffee shops of NYC. Unburdened me wanted to be able to stop drop and yoga, and then maybe go to a bar in the West Village for an Old Fashioned. It was liberating to travel without a weighty suitcase, and exciting to have the ability to be spontaneous. I had all I needed with me, and no excess holding me back.
Whether you are visiting New York City, or headed to the beach for the weekend, I think my helpful tips and minimalist packing, which includes what I wore on the plane, shed much needed light on what a person “needs” to not only survive, but enjoy an adventure. Let them guide and encourage you to take your own minimalist weekend adventure.
Tips to get you started:
- bring light layers to avoid bulk
- Pack things you can easily hand wash in a tube if you’re in a pinch
- If you’re worried about “matching, pick neutrals over patterns or colors. You can't go wrong with a pair of versatile black drop crotch pants!
- Bring a bag with an over the shoulder strap to free up your hands
- Remember that if your visiting friends, or couch-surfing, you can usually borrow other items
1 small wallet for credit cards and cash
1 piece of ID
1 stick of deodorant
2 pairs of underwear
1 pair of Red Triangle Tribal Buddha Pants
1 black sweater
1 pair of shoes
1 phone, charger, and headphones
1 travel sized tooth paste
1 mini bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo
1 large hanes v-neck tee
1 black crop top
1 small make up bag containing: UV protection sunscreen, mascara, Sugar lip balm
1 pair of sunglasses
1 medium weight coat
1 pair of earrings
1 nalgene water bottle
1 book- (everyone needs a plane book, am i right?)