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There are a huge variety of ways in which to travel, including motorhome expeditions where you bring everything with you from the kitchen sink to a TV, oven, and collections of DVDs and luxurious villa rental experiences which involve lounging about by a private pool for the majority of the trip.
But for all these luxurious forms of travel, there’s a set of downsides. We never really immerse ourselves fully in a different environment. We’re never really forced to get out of our comfort zone and experience the world, and ourselves, in a radically different way.
The solution to this? Travelling light, of course.
Whether you’re going to load up your motorcycle with supplies and ask your friends what are the best excursions in San Diego? Or whether you’re going to disappear onto the hiking trail with all your belongings for the trip stashed in a modest rucksack — travelling with less can be a transformative experience.
Here are some reasons why travelling light can be a life changing experience.
It forces you to engage more with the world around you
When you’re occupying a luxury villa, or are sitting comfortably in a well-furnished motorhome, as the rain lashes down outside, you are sheltered from your immediate surroundings in a way which may diminish from the full experience of the trip.
When you travel light, you are forced to engage more with the world around you. Instead of relaxing in conditions pretty close to those you experienced at home, you’ll have to negotiate the weather, talk to the locals, visit various establishments in the area to get what you need, and just be more directly involved in your surroundings in general.
It strips down your understanding of what’s really essential in life
We can often, and easily, develop deep attachments to the luxuries we enjoy in life, to the point where we come to consider them essential to our well-being.
But do you really need a coffee maker in your kitchen, and 24/7 access to super-fast internet, and a home cinema system, in order to feel satisfied with yourself and your life?
Travelling light forces you to reconsider just what you consider essential in life. It puts you in a position where you’re forced to look inward and find contentment and balance with less material stuff.
It helps you to clear your mind approach the world on a more fundamental level
We are easily distracted when we’re constantly surrounded by high-powered technology on every side. Our smartphones, laptops TVs, radios, tablets, and more, attract our focus in a major way and keep us from noticing the look of the leaves on the trees.
The world is full of incredible sights and sounds, both as a result of human cultures, and as a result of the work of Mother Nature herself.
When we travel light we remove many distractions from our lives — ideally as many as possible — so that we have the mental space to experience and appreciate the world on a much more fundamental level.