When we sold all of our belongings in 2013 we made a very deliberate decision. With three kids in tow, the idea of traveling with just one carry-on each was both frightening and liberating. We spent many nights going over the “what if” list and eventually took the plunge.
After over 1200 days on the road, 26 countries, and 20 U.S. States, the following items have been instrumental in our success to live large with less. As you will see, these items have transcended the “travel essentials” category and become central in our daily lives on so many levels.
It is not uncommon for me to take an international flight, give a speech and go trekking in the same weekend. My CAbi stylist creates a wardrobe for me that works in four seasons, two hemispheres, casual to formal, and all fits in one carry-on! Not only that, but when something wears out or I sit on chewing gum in a train station in Slovenia, my stylist finds a way to get clothes to me. From Italy to New Zealand, and beyond, I can travel lightly and in style because of CAbi! When I get dressed I feel honored to wear beautiful clothes made by a company dedicated to empowering women.
To say we bought the right carry-ons to hold all of our worldly goods, is an understatement. Our Osprey Meridian Wheeled Carry-Ons have been everywhere, dragged over cobblestones, planes, trains and automobiles. The daypacks that accompany the carry-ons have been used for school bags in Tuscany and hiking the Great Walks of New Zealand. We have taken them skiing in Italy and bushwhacking in Indonesia. We are astounded with the performance of this luggage that has truly enabled us to engage in so many varied activities with ease.
We start every day as a family with the Livits. What we have learned over time is that we don’t need to focus on what is bothering us to fix it. As a matter of fact, sometimes that makes it impossible to move forward. The Livits are a powerful practice that prove to us day after day that anything is possible. For $3 a month (less than a price of a latte) you can have these practices delivered to your in-box. If you buy a subscription for yourself and a Gift Livit Subscription by the end of 2016, we will donate 50% of the profits to an orphanage that is near and dear to our travels. Not only that, we will also enter you into our weekend giveaway each time you buy a Livit subscription. The more gifts you buy the more chances you have to win!
We use our Kindle’s every day. Since we have been out of the USA most of the last three years, we don’t have access to any streaming or videos, but what we do have is priceless. I have written many times about the incredible libraries around the globe. We have such a great library system in the U.S. and our library (KRL) allows us to download books from the most remote corners of the world right to our Kindles. We can also download free music “for keeps” with Freegal and we check out full color magazines through Zinio’s agreement with the library. Giving the gift of Amazon eBooks is huge in our family since reading is our number one form of entertainment. Kindle makes it easy and affordable!
If you are interested in giving experiences to that special someone on your list, a Trusted Houseistters subscription is perfect! They offer gift vouchers for both home/pet owners that need quality sitters as well as those interested in becoming trusted house sitters. More than half of our time wandering the globe has been spent house sitting. From a vineyards in Provence to an organic farm in New Zealand, we have lived like locals all over the globe because of our Trusted Housesitter membership. Whether you go to the other side of the globe, or just down the street, the experience will shift how you view the world. That is a powerful gift!
Our North Face gear has been through the ringer and it still looks brand new. It is one product line that has been fairly easy to find anywhere due to its global brand reputation for remarkable performance. We each have North Face shells and REI fleece layers. They are essential layers and they can be stuffed into almost any size handbag so they are always within an arms reach. From windy Wellington and skiing in the Southern Apennines, to brisk sunrise hikes in the Zillertal Alps, these jackets are essential to traveling light without sacrificing comfort.
Livology: A Global Guide To A Deliberate Life
When I was 10, I remember finishing Little House in the Big Woods on Christmas Eve and thinking, someday I will write a book. This book is Volume I of that dream and it all happened while we were traveling the world. It is a travel memoir, guided journal and collection of short stories all in one and we hope it inspires you wherever you are on your personal journey.
What I love about our Lululemon gear is that it has amazing athletic performance but it can also be every day, stylish clothing depending on the piece. I have worn my silver cape hiking Diamond Head on Oahu and to Christmas Eve dinner in Tuscany. Not only that but this stuff is tough! We have put this gear through the ringer (but never the dryer which is easy because we haven’t seen one for 20 countries or so). I am excited to try some of their kids gear for Bianca next time we are in the States.
The DV888 Yoyo
I had no idea when we left that this classic American toy would become a passion for our boys. It makes sense now because they have no space to lug larger toys around. They always have a yoyo purchased from Yo Yo Tricks in their pocket. From airports to immigration offices and train stations, yoyo’s have kept them happy for hours on end. People often attempt to drop money next to them because they are so captivated with their tricks. I haven’t been this impressed with a toy since Legos!
REI Outdoor Clothing
This Seattle based company and the products we stock up on from REI remind us of home no matter how far we go. Our Smartwool socks, Kuhl pants, REI’s First Aid Family Travel Kit, and ExOfficio skivvies, are things we use every single day. We keep an REI list in case we have a place where we can pick up mail and someone can ship supplies to us. We love the company for its customer service, hometown vibe, and sense of adventure!
One small piece of luggage each requires us to purge, move, borrow, donate, and recycle. Our nomadic lifestyle has completely shifted our focus to experiences versus things but there will always be a need for some essentials. One thing we know for sure is we must continue to carry-on.
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