Travel without a bag

I actually do have a bag: a lightweight one that I keep folded on my belt, because I don't want to use plastic bags while shopping. But I'll get to that in a moment…

Edit about this post

My friend Clara did a video of me a while ago about my project. While I changed quite a lot and my item list too, it still gives a good idea about the way I did it. I didn't take part in the editing of the video and was quite amused the way she did it…

Here is the post listing all the items I took during my trip.

Why travelling without a bag?

The idea of traveling without a bag had not even occurred to me until I stumbled upon a blogger claiming he was doing it. After reading his post I was impressed but convinced this would not be for me. Ever. But it was too late. The seed was planted, and I eventually ended up out of Bangkok Airport without anything in my back. Take that, 1 month old me!

Yet, after preparing to travel without a bag, something was bothering me. I was reading blogs about the subject but something was missing. Where will I put my food when shopping? What about water if I don't have a bottle? Tissues? All these questions had something in common. Their answers all implied the use of a demoniac disposable item. Plastic bag. Plastic bottle. Paper towel… This was not in adequacy with my everyday life, where I try to be environment friendly as much as possible.

Make no mistake; I do not believe my choices change something about the world pollution. However, I believe one shall follow what he feels is right, that this is how happiness and synchronicity arise.

Being a minimalist and firmly believing it is a beneficial path for both human and earth, consuming more by using disposables items was making me uneasy. So I decided to bring alternatives, as much as my pocket were allowing me to, and by compromising on other items.

The list of “ethical” items

Let me present you the list of items I took not by need but for ethical reasons.

An extra small linen hand towel

This avoids using paper towel most if the time. I can also use it to clean anything. It's ultra small so ultra quick to wash. Linen absorbs more than cotton while being more eco-friendly.

A cotton handkerchief

Avoid the use of disposable tissues. While linen is nice, not for my nose. Cotton is smoother most of the time. I took a very thin cotton handkerchief.
Quick to clean and dry.

Foldable chopsticks

At the moment I am still looking for them. Avoid the use of disposable chopsticks, usually made of wood. Yes, it matters.

Foldable backpack

This is a backpack I use for shopping or if I need to transport food for the day or during transportation.

I am always trying to avoid petroleum-based product but for now I haven't found a proper way to replace my sea to summit ultrasil day pack. They are made of cordura, a very light synthetic fabric. They are small and ultra light. It's better than disposable plastic bags anyway. I would like however to replace it with a light cotton or linen bag but couldn't find one. Any advice welcome.

NB: I was not sponsored by sea to summit, I think it's a great bag and that's it. They are easy cheaper alternative with pros and cons.

Final thoughts

While it is challenging and I won’t be doing it all the time, travelling without a bag was an amazing experience which taught me a lot about myself. Next time I would like to try it out in a cold country with a coat full of nice huge pockets!