Project: Minimalist Summer

Posted by:     Tags:      Posted date:  May 21, 2011  |  11 Comments
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Four years ago, I met an interesting fellow. He had been traveling all over Europe with only a daypack and he’d been doing that for the past 5 summers. All he had with him were 3 pairs of socks, 3 t-shirts, 3 undies, 1 pair of jeans, a rain jacket, towel and a few toiletries. Each day he would wear one set of clothes, wash the other set and have a third as backup.

It sounded so simple that I wanted to try it. So for two months that summer in 2007, I did the same. It was great, traveling light makes hitch-hiking easier. But wearing the same clothes every third day meant my clothes wore out quickly and looked grubby. I was also teaching English at a summer camp in the Czech Republic and my students even asked me if I was poor. To be fair, I did look like a dirty hippy.

By the end of the summer I had to throw all those clothes away. In retrospect, it was a bit too extreme to limit myself to only 3 sets of clothes.

This summer I’m going to try it again. This time however I’m taking only a carry-on bag, so I’ll have a bit more space. I’m going to take my laptop and few other clothes, but I’ll have to leave my trusty sleeping bag behind due to lack of space. The rest of my stuff will be looked after by my mates in London (I know, they’re awesome).

I’m actually a bit nervous because I’ve gotten quite accustomed to living a comfortable life on the ship. I’m also not used to traveling without my sleeping bag. So this will be a step outside my comfort zone. The summer I become a dirty hippy again.

What are your summer plans?

About Me

I'm a wanderer, couchsurfer, writer, illustrator, uncoordinated dancer, unwitting minimalist, party enthusiast, free hugger and now a crewman. Follow me @roymarvelous .................................................................................................................... Also, find out how to work on cruise ships. Or check out the new T-shirt & Card store.

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11 Comments for Project: Minimalist Summer


haha I love this idea! I'm not sure I could – for girls, its not the easiest thing to do… I even complain if I can only take a carry-on bag for a week on the beach when you may think "what else, besides for 2 bikinis, flip flops and a towel would you need?".
I like the challenge… and I'm really looking forward to the outcome 😉

My recent post There’s Something I Am Dying to Tell You


    Thanks! I'm kinda scared that I'll forget to do laundry and have nothing to wear haha!


Have you seen


    Thanks Monique! Looks like a great resource – will need to refer to the packing list 🙂


haha, summer hippie AGAIN?!?! three sets of clothes would be way too few for me- but I love clothes- it's actually a problem how much i love clothes- but I admire your choice. I packed 30 items into a carry-on in the winter and was fine creating different outfits and such for the whole month.

This summer we are taking a bunch of road trips and heading to Nashville, Vancouver, and Colorado.
My recent post Sunsets Over the Grand Canyon


    30 items into a carry-on? Wow, that's impressive.


Guys are lucky. You can have 3 outfits and be ok. Girls need dresses, the right types of shoes for the dresses, accessories, flat iron and make up!
or I could look like a dirty hippie, but then I would never wanna take pics of myself.

I'm always amazed by people who could live so minimally, but sometimes they do smell. so ya, please throw out your clothes as they wear out and get some new ones 🙂 you will be doing everyone a favour!
My recent post Being an Independent Traveller – its really no big deal!


    Guys like to look good too though. I just wish I knew how!!


Yeah probably too extreme. Fortunately I managed to squeeze in 5!


We try to keep what we pack to a minimum, which means a lot of solid black and gray t-shirts. However, when we show pictures to friends they always say, "Did you wear the same t-shirt everyday for two months?"
My recent post The Last Month

The Art Of Backpacking With Only A Carry-On Bag

[…] summer I gave myself the challenge of traveling for 3 months with only a carry-on bag. I call it my Minimalist Summer. I was planning on taking a few low-cost flights, hitchhiking and traveling by bus and train around […]