Saturday, October 3rd, 2015. Helsinki, Finland.
The afternoon sun is kissing the tops of the pines surrounding my friend’s house, and I am packing.
I’ve had an idea in my head for months now, and seeing as I’m in no hurry for once, this seems like the perfect opportunity to realize it.
I’ve been living out of my purple, 60-liter Osprey backpack for just under a year now. This is the second time I’ve done so, and I can pack in 10 minutes—15 tops—when needed.
Today, though, I take my time to fold my clothing into neat piles and gather every last small belonging into a compact square in the center of the floor.
I’m not exactly sure why, but taking stock seems important…
The more I travel and the longer I wander, the better I understand how much I need, and how much I am able to carry. (And still, always, it is too much.)
More and more, too, I recognize the difference between need and desire—the meaning of priorities. I don’t need even half of what I choose to carry with me. I do in fact need my laptop for work, and maybe a few changes of clothing and some warm layers.
But my practice poi? Small bag of jewelry? Pretty shirts, oversized headphones and red lipstick? Indulgences and whimsy—and I know it…
What I keep—I recognize I keep out of attachment, not out of necessity…
This is only what I can carry.
Some of it I need; some of it I want, but if it’s too much weight or doesn’t all fit, something has to go.
This isn’t for everyone; hell, it may not always be for me. Nevertheless, this is a viable way to live, and—I believe—a powerful exercise in living simply.
I hope these images might inspire you to try the same—even if it’s only for a walk around the block! 😀
[This is only an excerpt from a longer piece about this project written for elephant journal. For the full story please click here.]