Check (in) Nine

When I first made my booking, I was 138 days out from departure – Ample time to rid myself of the surplus possessions i’ve acquired during my college career. Today, I have nine days left…

Since I will be living out of my backpack for awhile, I need to consider every inch of space that will occupy the 75 liter bag. As the clock ticks, it dawned on me that the task isn’t as easy as one two three. Instead, it’s a matter of how many boxers I pack is how often I will need to do laundry (not my forte).

For any of those who have seen “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney, he has a reoccurring speech in the film about “What’s in your backpack?”. He talks about all of the excess weight we carry, specifically the relationships in our lives and the material things – “…get them into that backpack… feel the weight of that bag”. For some of us, it’s bearable, we’re content with it. For others, it may be too much or even underwhelming; the feeling for more. For myself, it’s being a role model. Knowing that I will be leaving across the pond is at the cost of setting that “backpack” down that George Clooney talked about – specifically my family and those closest to me. Though I realize I as an individual don’t have power over any of it, it’s a constant prayer that I am leaving in good standing. As for the latter, I can cleanse myself of the material things.

Those who know me well often note how much “junk” I have kept throughout the years. For me, a lot of it is the good stuff such as notes, letters, gifts, a 5-gallon gatorade cooler… all holding their own significance (I have kept almost all of my birthday cards since I was ten). The rest of it though are the excess including old shirts I never wear or the TV I never watch and the futon I never sit on.

As I move towards this new role in my life, I want to evolve into a modern day minimalist. That is, having the technology to travel and communicate efficiently while only owning the necessities. While not extreme, 75 liters is a good start.

The first step; get rid of the excess. Check.

Quote C.S. Lewis while I pack:

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”


To conclude, I decided 14 (boxers).


About Levi

Rooted from the pacific northwest, undergraduate student in Colorado

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