I stopped counting, but I was probably asked this question over 100 times, mostly by my female friends.
The short answer is: you need to prioritise and say goodbye to a lot of your things. I practised a lot of Marie Kondo (say thank you to the item for the value it provided/the lesson it taught you) before I donated most of my belongings to charity.
Without using any kind of magic, everyone could make this work for them. The trick is to choose items of necessity instead of items of attachment. Personally, I would have loved to bring my good black designer stilettos with me for the travel, but realistically I would only need those shoes for 2 or 3 nights during the next year – so that is a “no”. It is truly helpful to go through your belongings with a friend, a partner, or a person that knows you – I found it too difficult to do by myself and much easier once Nico was in the room with me.
Whether you are going traveling to start your own business or you need a spring cleaning of your closet, this process can be helpful for you. It was for me, and these are the 10 items that we prioritised as items of neccesity:
1. Coffee Bean grinder. We can grind our own coffee and enjoy the local beans wherever we travel. We prefer the Japanese brand Hario manual coffee bean grinder. It requires no electricity outlet and can be dissembled easily so it fits into our suitcase easily.
2. Bodum French press. our go-to model is the Danish Bodum French press (4 cup size). It fits seamlessly into our 20kg suitcase limit and require no wasteful coffee filters. Our coffee gear do require coffee beans, and we get these locally and organically grown depending on our location.
3. Oats. If you pair oats with a bowl, some hot water, and stir with a spoon you can make porridge. We do this every morning, and it is the best start to a busy day with its slimming, fulfilling and diverse styling-opportunities (nutrition-facts, 2018). Style your oatmeal with local in-season fruits and nuts (typically, these are the cheapest ones in the local supermarket). In Thailand, we prefer ripe mango cubes, watermelon and cashew nuts.
4. Wooden bowls and spoons. Our porridge, rice, veggie and ice cream go into our wooden bowls when we eat, style and mix food. It might seem strange to travel with bowls, but as we do not have a home this is such a comforting and recognisable item that provides us with a little homey vibe. Our bowls are from MUJI “Acacia” and comes in four different sizes.
5. Sodium bicarbonate (or baking soda). Not for baking, but we use it as a deodorant. It is actually the most efficient remedy against odour and bacteria. You can also use it to wash vegetables and soak beans to make them more digestible – talk about multi-purpose products! Available in most supermarkets and on Amazon.
6. Multi-purpose soap bar. We use an organic soap bar from Dr. Brommer for our daily shower which helps us decrease harmful ingredients that exist in most shower soaps like parabens, phtalates, formaldehyde etc (nontoxicliving, 2018). We also like LUSH as their soaps are vegan and cruelty-free, and they all look like candy.
7. Dry shampoo. A must-have for Louise (and potentially everyone else with longer hair). Since we go to the gym, or do yoga daily – and I do not wash my hair daily, I use the dry shampoo to maintain a fresh feel and voluminous hair styling. My favourites are Maria Nila Dry Shampoo and Yarok Dry Shampoo Styling Powder.
8. Electric shaver. Since Nico cuts his own hair, the electric shaving remedy saves him approximately 1000$ per year by doing this. We love Philips shavers that can be found on Amazon in various sizes and for different budgets.
9. White t-shirts. A must-have for Nico – he wears only white ones due to the hot weather, and he prefers “Muji” with their seamless and minimal design. Muji only produces t-shirts from organic cotton and they do 3 different fabrics for their round-neck t-shirt model.
10. Camera backpacks. For camera gear, ad hoc food shopping and all-purpose bags. We both use Peak Design as our daily backpack choice – Nico has the black 30L version and I have the grey 20L size. Because of the numerous pockets, the waterproof mechanism and ultra comfortable fit this bag comes with us EVERYWHERE.