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Some time ago I decided to pare down my rather massive at least to me Tortuga Outbreaker 45L bag and it’s pounds of weight and compartments. I grew tired of carrying the big bag over a shoulder or on the back. So I decided to find something that would support less and let me move faster with less. I went with the much lighter Eagle Creek expanse hauler bag. I also divested of clothing. I found this bag was so much easier to carry as carry on when I flew and also easy to check when lazy. When I rode Amtrak across the US earlier this year the bag could be with me in the sleeperette cabin. One of the things that had bugged me was the day pack and also lugging around a bigger bag. So when I was in California I replaced a smaller bag someone gave me in Vietnam with a even smaller bag by NutSac. The bag I got carries the daily essentials when around town or in airports and transit stations.

One thing I did pick up earlier this year was my FujiFilm XT30 camera and the lens, extra battery and SD card, charger and cable and I also bought a lightning to SD adapter so I could get the images more easily. Of course all of this stuff did not fit in the smaller every day carry bag so I then bought a bigger daypack. Back to carrying the bigger eagle creek bag and a day pack again.

This was not going to work for me. Something had to go. I wanted less and lighter and more portable and less stops and starts for the images. So a few days ago I gave all the camera gear and the backpack to a Vietnamese friend here. She was amazed but needed it to advertise and vlog her Vietnam tourism business. I did not need or want it. In fact I had grown to dislike the gear rather intensely and could not tell the real difference in the photos i shot with my iPhone 11 and it. I also wanted away from the day pack and the larger bag when on the go. I have no fondness for looking like a backpacker in Southeast Asia because I am not one. My life is completely different than theirs. I also wanted simpler and gentler. When I decide to go to Cambodia or Laos or wherever I want ease and speed of travel. When I take photographs of people and places and things I want simplicity of editing and backing up to google photos.

In other words I want,


And I want less. I don’t need a 45L 5 pound bag to carry so few things. I have consciously pared down the stuff to reach this point now. Where basically everything is less for me. Fewer of all things. A simpler life devoid of big things.

The camera was the last big thing to go but it’s been the mission and desire for years to simply go with less. Less or none of it all. It makes life more tangible and rewarding and fun to have less. No debt, no property, no house. No jacket or jeans. Simple clothing easily replaced in a market in Cambodia. The only expensive thing are shoes but now I have two pair of Chaco sandals. One not worn yet for the 5 to 7 miles walking each day. It’s hard to get them here so I carry an extra pair.

How little do you have? Or how much? Could you just go if you ever decided to bail on life? Fit it all in a 45L bag? Carry the most prized possessions as memories and moments?

Do you secretly desire a simpler and kinder and gentler life? Maybe you are retired or will be. When the virus ends or dies or does it’s final dance perhaps you will decide to take an adventure of less. I’m here to tell you you can do it. Fear is normal but don’t let it take you down. There will be a place out there that may call to you. Take a chance. Growing old is not growing complacent or rooted to the earth. Now you have time to consider and look at what you want in life. You too can settle for less.

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