Monday, 21 September 2015

My 70L Backpack

It's 5:30am and I'm sitting on a park bench in Ho Chi Minh City, with my feet on my 70L Serratus MEC backpack, eating dried passion fruit that the owner of our last hostel gave us as a parting gift. Hundreds of locals are walking, running, stretching, and there's an outdoor aerobics class blasting techno. Our overnight bus arrived early, so the wait is 3 hours in this mysterious atmosphere. I seriously can't stop smiling. Travelling gives you this incredible ability to make the best of every situation, to pay attention to the smallest details, and to live minimally.

I've just brushed my teeth in the bush behind our bench, and "freshened up" with a shower that consisted of only deodorant. I've been wearing the same pants for 3 days and I've given up on underwear all together. Looking at my backpack I have the greatest feeling of freedom. I don't need any "thing" else at all. Material things aren't important to me while traveling. Everything I could ever need fits into this 70L backpack, and to me that's a beautiful thing.

We go through life accumulating so many possessions we don't really need. Gadgets, clothes, trinkets and household items, these things all add up to an overwhelming amount of goods that are "mine". This, combined with the advancement in technology, and the desire to always have the latest edition, we are faced with the decision of want vs. need. In turn, this leads to mass discarding of perfectly good electronics that will inevitably end up somewhere in a landfill fulfilling no purpose. And this doesn't just apply to electronics, our planet is littered with unwanted things that we got bored of. Sometimes we need to pull ourselves away from that lifestyle of buying and wanting, to make the realization that it is more important to have experiences and memories than it is to have material objects. 

Not only will we feel lighter in mind, body and spirit, but we will be saving the planet as well.

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