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Travel stories, inspiration, news and musing

We are the dreamers, the seekers, the travellers, the adventurers, the optimists. It's nice to meet you! There are lots of us with the same DNA - we look forward to sharing the journey with you.

The Ultimate Minimalist

Elissa Webster

This is Andrew Hyde, and these are all of his worldly possessions. Woah.

There are 15 items there folks. Undies and socks are not included. Phew.

It would certainly making packing easier, wouldn't it?! And that, in fact, is exactly why Andrew sold all of his stuff in the first place - because he was embarking on a trip to circumnavigate the globe in 2010.

So what 15 things made the cut?

  1. Arc’teryx backpack
  2. Nau shirt
  3. Mammut rain jacket
  4. Arc’teryx T-shirt
  5. Patagonia running shorts
  6. A quick-dry towel
  7. Nau wool jacket
  8. Nau dress shirt
  9. Patagonia jeans
  10. Toiletry kit
  11. Smith sunglasses
  12. Running shoes
  13. Wallet
  14. MacBook Air
  15. iPhone 3GS

Impressive, isn't it? Andrew is pretty philosophical about it all.

“Minimalism is equally easy as it is boring to do,” he writes on his blog. “What shirt today? The one I didn’t wear yesterday. Once you get used to simplicity, the complex normality others have becomes the audacious thing.”

Now, I have trouble capping the number of things I take on a trip to Woolies at 15. And my house? Let's just say I've got more of an eclectic, collectors sort of approach to decorating. Some would go so far as to call me a hoarder. It's true that I struggle to shake the feeling that anything I might consider disposing of might come in handy one day. And I now have the unfortunate situation of being the person that friends tell when they are planning to ditch something sentimental because they know I won't be able to resist taking it in, thereby ridding their house, but not their lives, of it.

 Case in point - this circa 1995 carved statue lives in my bathroom after being cast out of a friend's house...

Case in point - this circa 1995 carved statue lives in my bathroom after being cast out of a friend's house...

Does this make me a rampant consumerist? I like to think not. It's actually the fact that I value possessions, and the resources that went into making them, that imbibes me with the need to hang on to them. And because I'm very aware of my potential to turn into one of those people who can't open their windows for the stacks of memorabilia - and that there's a fine line between "cozy eclectic" and "hideously cluttered" - I endeavour to be very circumspect about buying new things. I know parting with it will be a serious pain point for me, and factor that into the cost/benefit ratio of bringing it into my life from the get go. I look for stuff that is crafted with care, made to last, tells a story, and has a production process that I can be proud of. Stuff like this

With only three shirts and a single pair of jeans to choose from, Andrew knows the journey, not what you take on it, is what matters most. Since he's only got one of everything, he no doubt chooses it carefully, looks after it, and resists any urge to churn through his belongings at the whim of the latest fashion.  So while no one in their right mind would call me a minimalist, I think Andrew and I might be kindred spirits. And maybe you are too.