How to Fit Your Life in a Suitcase

Three days ago, I realized I needed to pack and move out of my place, not sure how many different places I would move into over the coming months. Having lived practically all my life in one place, I couldn’t for the love of Christ figure out how I would ever fit my entire world into one suitcase and a piece of hand luggage. 23Kg seemed ruthlessly unfair of airlines at that point.

Moments later, like all netizens my age, I got Googling and soon hit upon a number of posts enticingly titled to help you pack in a single bag. Anyone who’s ever traveled knows how soon his lovely collection of practically everything he ‘likes’ turns out to be his worst nightmare when he needs to lug it around during travel.

I hit upon a website of particular interest. Hours later, having assessed my requirements, I was ready to pack. I learned that packing light is not about packing frugal, rather about reflecting on your past, re-assessing your requirements in a society obsessed with consumerism and then throwing in some creativity with the actual act of getting stuff into your bags.

I walked to the local mall that day. I saw people all around me buzzing in and out of discount stores with big red discount numbers displayed on glass walls. I sat at McDonalds and sipped on my hot coffee. It’s then that it dawned upon me.

We all carry more than we need. It seems to be hard-wired into us. I looked at people around, most of them could do with less – be it food or material things. Everyone was well clothed, well dressed; yet people flocked to stores like anything. I will be honest, when I used to see a discount offer, I would pounce on that pack of 3 black t-shirts myself.

I reflected on my day’s worth of packing efforts. What I had done was massively important to self-realization. I had achieved the ability to differentiate between my needs and my wants. All I needed to live, even after 30 odd years of life, was just one suitcase. All the rest that remained was good, but in excess. I did not need it; I simply desired to have it, never realizing that just caring for those expensive things that I didn’t need in the first place took much of the fun out of traveling and life.

I felt de-cluttered and free, as if relieved of shackles around my ankles. In a deeper aspect of this thought, I was relieved to know I didn’t need as much money to live as I previously estimated. What I needed were happy experiences, friends and good health. Not necessarily 40 shirts in my cupboard or that PSP, iPod and camera that require to be charged ever so often to keep batteries from draining.

One travel blog from a practical and creative man had helped me assess myself as a human being.

I have also managed to cut down on my eating and lost 26 pounds in 3 months recently. I’m healthier and I get better attention from the ladies now :-) . But that should be a topic for another blog post.

I do not wish to be labeled guilty of promoting individual blogs; but I do think it can do a lot of people good, even if just to help you pack lighter. Here is the link to the blog I referred. It’s Tim Ferriss’ guide to traveling light.

The author decided to give in to his itch to write and share his impressions & stance on life. An MBA from UK and an engineer by profession, he’s found his solace by the might of the pen! Please mail your valuable suggestions or feedback to

(Post image from Flickr by WordRidden)

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2 Responses to “ How to Fit Your Life in a Suitcase ”

  1. Congrats Sunny and welcome to living out of one suitcase. I love it and have been doing it for several years. Just left Vancouver a few months back and am in the US enroute to Argentina with just one suitcase.

    I love not having `stuff’ and instead accumulating experiences. Your life will be richer for it and you will feel more free


  2. I live a One Suitcase Lifestyle, not matter how long I plan on being in a place. It makes me happier. And when I buy something, that means something has to go. It’s a great way to live. And you’re right. Happy experiences, friends and good health is all we need. And none of that counts toward the strict 23Kg. Good stuff.

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