That summer in Vietnam, my Farpoint 40 helped me to new levels of travel freedom.
I wrote a post last year about my journey towards minimalism. That summer in Vietnam, my Farpoint 40 helped me to new levels of travel freedom. No wheels to lug over broken concrete and the entirety of my gear in a single carry-on bag. Being able to visualize all my possessions in one mental picture was exhilarating.
After my previous wheeled shell case, I also loved the Farpoint’s multitude of zip pockets and organization capabilities. There was a place for everything. I especially liked the quick access pocket at the top of the bag which came in handy for grabbing stuff on the go or at airport security when getting to my clear bag of liquid items. This bag is also extremely tough. After 9 months continuous travel it barely had a mark on it.
To top it off, this bag has 4 carrying options: zip-away shoulder straps and waist harness, padded top and side handles and a detachable shoulder strap. Because of the humidity in Asia and not wanting a sweaty back I rarely used the shoulder straps. Besides, the backpack was never that heavy and I could manage with just the shoulder strap or handles. It also became my travel workout to carry the bag by the handle with one finger and do dumb-bell curls as I walked.
So why on earth am I giving this bag up?
I remember going to the airport early one morning last April for my flight from London to Phuket, my brand new Farpoint 40 over my shoulder, and I already felt weighed down. I wanted “lighter”. For the next 9 months I schemed how to reduce weight. I cut down on toiletries, threw away all but one pair of socks and boxer shorts and gave things away.
After 6 months in Asia I was super light, but still nagged by the feeling I was carrying around more than I wanted or needed. This was emphasized by rarely carrying the Farpoint on my back, as mentioned earlier, which made the weight of the back strap system redundant. I was using a £100 backpack like a holdall.
20 liter challenge
Throughout last year in Asia I increasingly toyed with my fantasy about getting rid of my bag completely. What would it be like to travel with no bags at all? Back in London at the end of the year I read about people who’ve done limited trips with nothing but the clothes on their back and what they can carry in their pockets. Regev Elya’s No Bag Travel concept really, really intrigues me.
But for now I still need a bag. One evening 2 weeks ago I experimented with transfering my most essential travel gear, including laptop and other devices, into my Berghaus 15 liter daypack. It was tight, but it all fit.
I spent the next week Googling 15 to 20 liter backpacks and eventually bought one that might do the job. Which one is it? In true suspense fashion, I’m not going to announce it just yet. Stay tuned for Part 3 of my Minimalistic Adventures!
Are you a minimalist traveler? Has this post resonated with you? I’d really appreciate your thoughts in the comments below.