Enlightened Venturer

High Maintenance Minimalist Traveler

I have always been that traveler that overpacks. I even purchased lighter plastic luggage so that I could fit more into my luggage! Getting to the scale was always a nerve wracking experience as I was always close to or over the allotted amount. When I would unpack, there were so many items that I never even used. So that brings me to the familiar phrase “One never wishes they would have packed more”.

My stuff for three weeks!

Last year, I turned the big 40 and my dream was to make it to South Africa. With my budget, my travel agent suggested to work with Intrepid. When I researched the packing suggestion for the Oakavango & Beyond tour was a backpack. A what? I never had such a thing! Not even a small day backpack. Since this was my dream vacation, I needed to get onboard and find a backpack.

I immediately started researching, talked to friends and listened to Rick Steves. I needed to find a backpack. We have some sporting good stores in Cleveland, and there is one decent one in Peninsula, Ohio. However, my outdoor store of choice is Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC). Sadly, they are only in Canada, but I was scheduled to visit Montreal. I immediately researched the closest MEC to my location.

Finding the right backpack for your type of vacation and yourbody type is essential  to ensure your holiday is enjoyable.  I enjoyed the research both online and in person. Although, there is a lot of information out there!  I became obsessed with finding the right type of backpack for day trips and three week holidays.   The obsession did not stop there as it overflowed into finding the right type of travel clothing, sleeping bags, pillows, noise cancelling items, and other products to be comfortable while I was away from home.

On my way to Africa!

I survived my three week African holiday, and I even enjoyed the backpack once I got the hang of packing and unpacking it. Since then, I own more backpacks of various sizes and the thought of packing less is refreshing. I even find myself choosing textures of clothing that will dry quick and be comfortable and fashionable during travel.

I am currently planing a holiday this fall in Northern India. My suitcase is not even in consideration.

Have you ever travelled somewhere that took you out of your comfort zone? If so, where did you go? What did you do to overcome your challenge?

If you have any comments, questions, or need advice for your next adventure contact me at enlightenedventurer@gmail.com

5 thoughts on “High Maintenance Minimalist Traveler

  1. Terei

    good backpacks is hard to find as i do the same and over pack and its awesome that you have done plenty of research to find the perfect backpack for your travels.

    thanks for the share.

  2. Vince

    In the past I’ve been a hopeless packer always bringing more that I need but I my last week trip out I pack the lightest I ever have.

    Your point on picking the right backpack for you body is so important. Do you have any guides for what type of back packs suit different travel types?

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Loresa Post author

      Hi Vince,

      Thanks for your comment. It is a good idea to know where you are going, for how long, and what you will need. For example, will the tempature fluctuate? If so, you may need to bring clothing items for multiple climates. Will you have to plan meals and carry water? If so, you must plan carefully For my African holiday, I had to pack a sleeping bag, but not a tent. That sure save some packing space! I currently have a few different size backpacks ranging from a small daypack for day hikes to a 75 L backpack for my longer trips.

  3. Raman

    Hello I really enjoyed reading this post as I can definitely relay, I have been on the same page several times. I always pack more but I have never been to a place where your only choice is backpack. Thank you for sharing this interesting information.

    Cheers
    Raman

    1. Loresa Post author

      Hi Raman,

      Thank you for the comment. Yes, I was in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The first half of my journey was camping and safaris. Having a traditional suitcase would have been extremely cumbersome.

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