Travelling light? Things I’ve learnt from hand-luggage only adventure

Over the years I have come to really detest stuff. This is probably because I have been on the move for a few years and because my small room at home has now become a space on the sofa and a small corner in my Mum’s room to keep my (what I consider to be) important things.
I take pride in living out of suitcase for months at a time but would feel even happier if I could carry it all on my back. I mean, how much stuff does one person really need? I thought I would test this question by travelling light, first to Morocco and then to Greece. Both trips lasted no longer than 4 weeks combined, but it gave me enough time to see how one small grey bag, no larger than 35ltrs, would hold up. It has certainly taught me a few lessons..

 

You will get very hairy armpits (and legs for that matter but who cares, winter IS coming).
I hear you asking WHY?! As you screw up your face. Unfortunately a razor is classed as a dangerous item and will not be allowed in hand-held luggage on the plane. And if you’re anything like me, you pack light to avoid paying an extra £20 for hold and so refuse outright to buy a temporary razor for such a short period of time. As a single traveller I have no one to impress – it’s liberating to go au naturel once in a while!

 

Choosing what to wear each day is suddenly incredibly easy.
That’s because you only have two choices. When initial packing takes place pick the things you feel most comfortable in and enjoy wearing them every other day. The person you meet today will be different from those you will meet tomorrow. Think about it.

 

Moving from place to place is done with ease.
We’ve all been there; dragging a suitcase around as you frantically try and find your hotel hostel which is conveniently not where it said it was. It attracts attention and leaves you feeling flustered, tired and fed up. Or if you decide taking a taxi would be easier, broke before the adventure has even begun. With a bag on your back you can keep everything with you at all times, blend in with the locals and you have a good reason to explore more, rather than stay in one place for the entire trip.

 

 One bar of soap can go a long way.
It will set you back £1, takes up very little space, is allowed on the plane and will still be sat in your bathroom 6 months later. No threat of spillage either! I’m not afraid to admit I also used mine to wash my ‘smalls’ and it did a perfectly sufficient job.

 

There are essentials not to be forgotten.
Depending on where you go of course. I shall share with you my mistakes: in Morocco it is seen as disrespectful for women to show off flesh, specially their legs and shoulders. I saw plenty of tourists ignoring this but as I aim to respect different cultures, I had to go and buy a scarf that I had forgotten (but I packed strap tops aplenty) – I covered up in the towns and in return I was offered warm welcomes and avoided harassment from local men. Research before a trip is essential, especially when packing light.
In Greece I remembered my chargers last-minute, but forgot my adaptor. Oops. Luckily for me I met friendly hostel goers and met up with my English ex-pat friend who had a spare. Pack, look it over and question if you have all of the essentials that will ensure you have an easy-going trip. Sorted!

 

In the words of Marina and the Diamonds,
“If you’re not careful, your possessions will possess you”.
I urge you to give it a go the next time you go for a little trip, what’s the worst that can happen?

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