Don’t Let Your Possessions Hold You Back From Travelling

Lee took this photo of a bald eagle as it soared directly above us at Witty’s Lagoon on Vancouver Island, Canada. It effortlessly drifted as a warm current of air lifted it higher and higher into the blue sky. Without any possessions or ties to hold it down, it was free to let the breeze take it anywhere.

I am currently taking inspiration from this free flying eagle and reducing the amount of my possessions so that they don’t weigh me down. I hope that my lack of “stuff” will help me to move more freely.

Before I left for my trip to New Zealand, I stored boxes upon boxes in my parent’s garage to claim when I returned. They were filled with clothing, books, home decor, and anything else that I thought had value at the time. However, I didn’t predict that I would be charmed by a sexy Englishman and my anticipated 8 month solo trip to New Zealand would turn into a 2 year journey around the world including living in England and traveling to Italy and Portugal. Now that Lee and I have finally returned to Canada, opening up those storage boxes after so long was like opening a time capsule from another decade.

The strange thing about going travelling is that it changes you so much that when you return, and the things you held dear no longer have the same meaning.

Almost 95% of the possessions that my 2009 self thought were so important to hold on to have now been thrown away, recycled, given away, or posted online to be sold.

From an entire garage full of stuff, I have reduced my footprint at my parent’s place to a tiny box of childhood memories and old journals. There are still a few things left to get rid of, but my goal in the next 3 weeks before leaving on our cross Canada trip is to get rid of everything I own that I cannot carry on my back.

See that backpack behind me? If it doesn't fit in there, I don't want it.
See that backpack behind me? If it doesn't fit in there, I don't want it.

I know that this seems a bit extreme, and just to clarify I have nothing against owning possessions. In fact, someday I think I might have a house and fill it with beautiful books, paintings, decorations, and other things. However, when my priority at the moment is to travel as much as possible, having to lug too much stuff around is only going to hinder my progress. Sometimes the fact that we don’t know what to do with all of our possessions is one of the things that hold us back from embarking on a big adventure.

Besides, my stuff sat for 2 years in storage and I didn’t even miss it, so how important can it be?

What about you? How much stuff do you own? Do you keep your stuff in storage while you travel? Do you think you would miss it if it was gone? Share your own experiences in the comments below.

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

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One Comment

  1. I’m a firm believer of “out with the old to make way for the new”. It’s all to easy to become tied down by possessions – I’m in the process of de-cluttering as I’m headed to Thailand next year for at least 8 weeks. The route of my journey after that isn’t yet written or decided and could go a few different ways. Having less unnecessary material possessions will make deciding on future options so much easier.

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