There is something about backpacking around the world that gives me a sense of freedom. I feel so free when the only thing I own is on my back… free to move, free to meet people, free to travel. I feel like the less I have, the freer I am. It takes less time to pack, less time to board a plane.
Have you noticed the less you have, less you worry? Your mind is clearer and freer. We obviously need to own a minimum to be happy: food, shelter, clothes. But besides those necessities, the rest can keep us away from happiness.
Just like spring cleaning. Every spring, we usually clean our home in a more thorough way. We take it a step further and get rid of clutter. Our spring cleaning tradition looks a lot like the Chinese tradition of the preparations for the Chinese New Year. Chinese rid themselves of physical and even mental clutter to get their life back under control.
Getting rid of broken things and junk is one thing, but reconciling with others is another. Sometimes, our minds are even more cluttered than our homes. This mental junk is not only tiring, it keeps us in an unhappy state of mind. Let’s be in peace again with others and with ourselves.
I think backpacking is perpetual spring cleaning. Since I don’t have a lot of room for my stuff in my backpack, I have no choice but to keep only the things I really need. So I get rid of clutter. The less I have, the less I have to think and worry about. My mind is freer. So I am able to learn and experience new things, take control of my traveling and get the best of it.