Traveling light

I had to travel recently for a conference, and I decided to apply what I've learned about minimalism so far.

Traveling as a tech person means carrying more electronics and peripherals than most people, and things can get complicated and heavy quickly. This time, I tried to prevent that, and I succeeded.

Since it's a work-related conference, my office laptop came with me, which is small and can be charged with a 30W USB-C charger. Also, a portable 4G modem, a power bank, an e-book reader, and a phone took the ride with me.

That meant a lot of chargers and cables before.

To my surprise, all the peripherals needed for this arsenal of devices can be reduced to a 2-port charger and two cables. That was unimaginable until recently. That removes a lot of volume and weight from the backpack, making it much easier to haul around both on the plane and at the destination. While we still have 15 competing standards for these things, the devices use a small subset of these. Convergence is good.

It's worth noting that the cables and charger are aftermarket items. While this adds another cost item, their long life, daily use, and the convenience they bring are incomparable to this cost. As I've noted before, minimalism and frugality need not be the same thing but, these one-time costs become negligible if the item has a meaningful lifetime.

In my opinion, peace of mind is priceless.

On the luggage side, I took a similar approach. Reducing what's packed to bare essentials and adding extras for critical items only saved a lot of space and weight. That, in turn, enabled me to fly without checked luggage and saved me a lot of time at the airport. I'm not a person who carries everything and the kitchen sink everywhere, but making small changes had a much greater impact than I anticipated.

Another nice side-effect is the time I've saved while packing. Fewer items, less thinking, less hauling, and importantly, much less stress and anxiety.

That is precisely the thing that I wanted to achieve when I started exploring minimalism.

I'm starting to see the results I hoped to achieve with minimalism, but I'm at the beginning of my journey. I'm sure that as I go deeper, I'm going to meet with issues I've never thought about before, but that part comes later for now.