Pack Lightly. Travel Lightly

I love traveling with only a hand luggage. That teaches me to practice the art of minimalism.

When I can take a big suitcase, I usually throw in lots of things, hoping that they will work. Often I would end up with some pieces that I would never use on a trip. With the hand luggage and a week-long trip, I cannot thoughtlessly stuff in clothes. I need to choose, make combos and use my brain. When I pack then my carry-on, I end up with things I ultimately love. Just the best clothes, my favorite jewelry and simple solutions. I love simple solutions! And such packing makes me think about how I want to live my life. 

When I go out of my home, with my carry-on, I feel light and free. And in these moments I realize: this is how I want to live my life. Light and free. 

I could never call myself a minimalist. I jokingly admitted that I was a maximalist. And a Soviet child in me abhorred the idea of living with less things. I grew up with very few things! I wanted more – not less. More is more. 

Well then, “more is more” it will be. I had to go through that experience too. I did my share of buying stuff, of getting a wardrobe overflow and mess (while at the same time, sighing that I have nothing to wear 😆). Now I want to change my course. 

I want my life to be like my carry-on luggage. Only best things, only the most favorite ones. Real love – instead of just real stuff. I want few but quality products, quality experiences, my favorite people. To do the things I love, to meet people I love, to own clothes and jewelry I love. 

Maybe, this is a sign of getting older – and I am ok with it. There was this idea on my favorite podcast “The good life project”: “When people are young, they do a lot of things and go to a lot of parties. But it often happens that you go to a party, meet 20 new people. 10 are boring, 5 are weird, 2 are freaks, and only 3 are worth a second chance. The youth have to search, sift through and find what works for them. The older people don’t do it – because they have found what works for them. They have three people in their life – but they are the best ones. The older people do the things they love, meet the people they love and don’t need going to hundred of parties”. 

Maybe, it’s not true for everyone. Maybe, you are that kind of older person who loves partying and meeting new people 😉. But I love this ability of getting more quality-conscious with age. Getting older is not bad, really! If it lets you create the life with better quality and the things you love, leaving the rest behind. 

This point sheds a new light on the idea of minimalism. It is not about restricting myself. It is about creating better quality. In all I have and do. In clothes, at home, at how I spend my time. In my relationships, hobbies, vacations. 

I am ready to explore this side of minimalism. Not the ascetic one, but the one that lets me sift out the real luxury. 

Because I don’t want much. I just want the best 😆 I want to pack lightly and travel lightly. In all kind of senses. 

What kind of luggage packer are you? How do you like to travel? And how has your attitude changed through years? 

The Real Luxury

Many wish for designer clothes or bags – my biggest wish is for life by design. And may the design be my own.

For almost a year I was working in the department store in Oslo that sells the most expensive and exclusive brands. Lately Norwegians have gotten more interest for the high-end products and Oslo started to develop its own area of luxury shopping. Some years ago these streets were filled with kiosks, small shops and cafes. Now in their place there are all the famous fashion names.

Walking past them every day, I had enough time and opportunity to contemplate about luxury. And I came to conclusion that, for me, luxury is not Louis and Gucci, not flying with a private jet, popping champagne bottles. The greatest luxury for me is to live my life by my terms and rules.

Read More »

Sunny Coffee Sum-up

Two months ago I was telling you the story that Sunny coffees are not from Norway – and now I have to eat my words.  Guys, the past month Oslo has seen the amount of sun and heat that equals, maybe, to the five years of total sunshine in Norway. We hadn’t been talking about anything else than that. And we hadn’t been doing anything else than doing summer. In Scandinavian style. But I was also drinking coffee. And taking snaps of it. And snaps are for sharing! So here are my sunny coffees, in their summer style – in Norway!

Read More »

Easy Living in the Summertime

Scandinavian summer is the best. When it happens. And it happens. This year we have experienced a natural miracle: three weeks of summer in a row! In May. Like never before. It never happens in May. It very seldom happens during the summer too. When the temps go up to 30 degrees – and stay there. When evenings are so warm that you don’t need a jacket. Some say, it’s the global warming, some say, it is the direct wind from Sahara, blowing between the low and the high pressure (can it reach all the way up to the North?). It’s unbelievable, but it’s true. While the South of Europe is cold and rainy – Norway, for once, is enjoying the real summer!

Scandinavian summer is the best because it is never too hot. Only a bit too warm at night because the houses are built for winter, not for summer, no one has AC and the fans get sold out with the speed of light these days. Even though it is burning in the sun, the shadow is always cool and the wind is refreshing. This is the best version of summer I ever know! If it would last for three months, like it does in other places, who would travel to the South? To the full airports, taxis, hotels, packed up beaches. Who? Usually we have to go because we need sunshine. As it is said here: “I love Norwegian summer. It is the best day of the year”. That’s the real reason why we travel. One day is just not enough 🙂 But if it would last  – the rest of the world would come to us in summer! 🙂

easy living in the summertimeRead More »

The Importance of Play

Sometimes I like sitting on the bus without headphones and listen to people. Mind you, on the bus in Norway everyone is usually very silent, except the teens and the foreigners. The locals speak to each other in low voices. One morning, however, I was lucky to hear an interesting talk. A guy was telling about his master thesis: a role of play in learning. He told how the first year of school was first meant as a transit from the everyday playing of kindergarten to the school life. And how it changed nowadays with the prevalence of testing and result-oriented study from the earliest years. “I don’t want to call it play, it is a little bit scary to use this word” – he said (and I smiled internally. Norwegians’ choice of words can be funny sometimes. Maybe, I will write about it one day). “I would better say “learning through exploring” instead of playing”, he continued. And I thought: Bingo!

Because my blog’s name is about exploring, that’s why 🙂 No, not just that. Because I also had been thinking about the concept of “play” – applied to our adult life. Sometimes I ask myself: how come we adults become so boring?

the Importance of PlayRead More »

Traveling in Prehistoric Times

There are so many things that make our traveling easier these days. Apps, Tripadvisor, online maps and GPS, travel blogs. And still I wish for more. I wish for an option “to set back all the novelties – and travel like in the old times”. I am not so old yet (well, it depends on the perspective, my 37 is a stone age for the teens :)), but sometimes I feel like a grumpy old-fashioned lady from another century. When I start recollecting, I wonder if there are still many people who could understand what I’m saying. Let’s do it for a while!

Do you remember travelling without google maps? When you had to ask strangers for the way and figure out the instructions in any language. The best were Spaniards. On my feeble and polite “Hablas ingles? Do you speak English?”, followed by their energetic “Si, si, si” – “Where is this place?” they would almost grab my hand and go: “Mira, guapa, todo recto, de recha, al fondo, primera – no, segunda – si”. And I would just read their hand movements and improve my Spanish vocabulary immediately.

Traveling in prehistoric timesRead More »

Lifestyle in Details

It’s been a while since I wanted to share impressions from my space – and couple of weeks ago this wish was rekindled by The Moonsoonfamily’s Mom post  in which she generously showed us her place. The post was called “Share Your Home” and I took it as a call to action.

Writing about things in my home in my previous post on minimalism also made me take my camera and document the state of affairs. This can be a visual follow-up on my story: a maximalist trying to change her way into a more minimalistic direction 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARead More »