Tag Archives: 100 thing challenge

Gear Post 2018: What’s In The Bag?

It’s that time of year when all us Digital Nomads review what’s in our bags, read Tynan’s annual Gear Post and then make our own respectively.

Here’s mine:

A couple of notes. First, there’s one typo in the video – spot it and you win a prize… not really. Second, I forgot my little earbud handsfree kit. It goes without saying that my guitar goes everywhere with me but I don’t need to do a “What’s In The Guitar Case” video do I? I’ll give you a clue: it’s a guitar.

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As you can see, I’m in a beautiful house-sit at the moment, which means I can do unheard of things such as get the 2 for 1 offer on milk, since I can KEEP IT IN THE FRIDGE!!

However, crazy as it sounds, I’m finding that I use my Life-bag as normal. Even living in a house, I live out of that bag, keeping what I don’t carry in the van mostly and then swapping things out, including my spare trousers, umbrella, raincoat etc. The result is that when I want to go out, I don’t have to get ready to leave the house, I just grab the whole bag.

Any questions I’m happy to answer. This post is both dull and interesting depending on how you look at it. I spend a bunch of time on geeky stuff like this, so I can get it sorted and move onto the creative things in life, so here’s hoping my geeky research can be informative for likeminded fools/heroes.

Here are the details to go with the video. I’ve included brands where it matters. I don’t like advertising products because there’s almost no such thing as an ethical product… but the way I see it, if there are any brands which I find support me to consume/carry less, and create a minimal lifestyle then those products should be shared.

  1. Big Bag: Osprey Farpoint 40 – the only Digital Nomad specific bag I could find in a shop to try, and it was well worth the money.
  2. Laptop: Macbook Pro, 2012, provided by my workplace (I’m a Skype tutor)
  3. Webcam: Logitech c920. My first video with it… it’s an improvement from the inbuilt or my standalone.
  4. Clothes: Brands don’t matter as long as everything that can be wool IS wool and fits you.
  5. Packing cubes: eBags – recommended.
  6. Hard drive: Lacie rugged – totally droppable!
  7. iPhone Mic: iQ7 – a clear upgrade from the iPhone mic, for music, but not a replacement for a recording studio.
  8. Camera: Sony Cybershot II – from 2009, yet still doing ok apart from short battery life. I’ve bought 3 batteries for it that I charge in the van.
  9. Penknife: Victorinox – the big one.
  10. Mouse and Keyboard: Mouse is random. Keyboard is Anker and trumps the apple equivalent in all ways.
  11. Foldable USB/Phone charger: MU
  12. Mini Tripod: Joby Gorillapod – tough, magnetic, flexible and worth the money.
  13. Noise cancelling headphones: Bose QC25s – good enough for mixing audio. I wouldn’t compromise by using in-ears.
  14. Kindle: Paperwhite
  15. Phone: iPhone 5s. I do hate recommending apple, but they have served me well I’m afraid.
  16. Keyring multitool: Doohickey
  17. Boots: Made by Chuckles Shoes, Exeter. I had them made before I was a minimalist traveller, which is why I didn’t consider weight at the time, but they are a first rate and I’m having them make a lighter pair soon.

That’s all.

-Kimwei

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Filed under alternative lifestyle, Digital Nomad, minimalism, travel

Confessions Of A Minimalist – Getting Rid Of Stuff Hurts!

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Powder pack – check! Carpet bag – check! Talking umbrella – check! All set!

You may be surprised to know that although I’ve been a minimalist for most of my life, I do find it really hard to get rid of stuff. Putting my sketches from school and uni in the recycle bin this morning was a real wrench (even though I’ve scanned them). Giving away books I can’t get digitally and would prefer to read again is tough too. It’s also a real pain having the feeling of wanting to play an instrument that I’m not travelling with, or don’t own anymore.

So why do it? Well, I’ve always said I prefer real books to e-books, but I prefer e-books to a mortgage. Many people say that they couldn’t do what I’m doing because they have too much stuff. Less stuff = more freedom.

Initially when I moved out of my yurt in 2013 I had no idea that I’d still be without a permanent dwelling 3.5 years later. I was not prepared for the transition. I had too much stuff, and no real way of dealing with it. It was a kicker taking furniture I’d hand made to the dump to be smashed up. 

Recently I’ve been brainstorming places to travel to after France, and some of them can only be reached van-free. I’d like to be prepared this time.

If I can make my life work on a day to day basis with what can be taken on a plane, I’ll be all set for international travel. I should be able to go abroad for a few months at a time, with no van, and still live my normal life with no disruptions.

So: 

  1. Clothes
  2. Phone
  3. Laptop
  4. Guitar

Ideally the top 3 would fit in a carry on bag (I also own other music stuff and bike stuff, which I’d store because it’s too expensive to sell and buy again when I get back).

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Originally Bly was told she would never be able to do such a trip. Why? Because a woman would need too much luggage?!? As you can see, she managed with just one hand-satchel. See: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bly/world/world/html

 

I’d like to get used to this early, so it becomes second nature. This means going through another purge, some aspects of which might seem extreme – learning to cut my hair with scissors and ditch the buzzer, learning to exercise barefoot and get rid of trainers, and chucking all sentimental documents (once scanned) in the bin.

 

I want to say at this point that this is tough. This purge not only includes things I actually use, it means saying goodbye to things that I psychologically depend on as constants since my surroundings change so frequently.

Down to a point, discarding can be fun and a good release. It can mean letting go of the weight of things you don’t need. However, I feel already way below that point, and it’s destabilising. Technology is on my side – all media can be digitised, but only the information content of a document can be captured in a scan. There’s no substitute for the real letters of a loved one, or the CD signed by your hero. Goodbye to those. 

Dave Bruno touches upon this theme in his 100 Thing Challenge, in which he purges some things which used often, were irreplaceable and meant a lot to him. Overall, it was worth it because of the personal developments he achieved by fulfilling his challenge. 

So, the question is, is worth it to me? Every time I come back to the same answer – I’d rather enjoy the freedoms that I have with less stuff, than reach into the recycle bin and draw out all my old letters. Every day I’m thankful for the life I lead and daydream about where I’ll travel next.

I’m part of a new generation of people who are nomads rather than holiday makers. We’re living normal lives, but moving location often. This being the nature of my life, I have to constantly let things go. In many ways that’s a good thing, and feels like a more natural way to be.  Doing so is good reminder that there’s more to life than stuff, and that nothing can truly be held onto… but this post acknowledges that it still hurts a little. 

-Kimwei

Also check out the Symphony For Happines Vlog

… and connect with me @:

facebook.com/kimweidotcom

Music @:

kimwei.com

youtube.com/kimweidotcom

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