Living out of 2 carry-on bags saves me over 70% on expenses
Would you believe that I’ve cut down my entire life to just 2 bags?
That’s it. Everything I need to live and run my life plus my company I do out of 2 bags, and they’re carry on. It’s what enables me to pack and move to a new country in less than 90 minutes.
But I didn’t just come to only having 2 bags in an instant! It took me 2 years to go from my 3 story beautiful apartment in Toowong in sunny Brisbane, down to a 2 story apartment, then down to a single floor apartment. Each time I moved I got ride of almost half my stuff. But even at the last place I still had WAY too much. And it was overwhelming!
Can you relate? Have you ever had that feeling that you’ve got more stuff than what you need (or want)?
Before I tell you how I went from 3 stories to 2 bags, let me tell you why this is an amazing time on the planet right now. Because you don’t have to own everything. You can just use it. Things have never been easier. I won’t pretend that this is for everyone – it’s not! But you might find something here that you can use.
When I turn up in a new city, I rent myself an amazing apartment that has all the furniture I need. New fridge, big TV, bed, kitchen, etc – for half the cost of a hotel, thanks to AirBnB.
This means I can just turn up with my 2 bags, unpack in 30 mins, and I’m instantly at home. If there’s anything missing, a quick trip to the local shops, and for less than $100 I’ve got all the essentials I require.
What's in your backpack
I think that’s a great speech about possessions. Do I agree about us all being sharks… no, I don’t think so…
So if that’s housing covered by 2 awesome bags and AirBnB… what about transport?
Where’s the car? Well thanks to Uber, I no longer need to own a car! In some cities (like New York or Chiang Mai) you don’t even need a car – the public transport is so easy, cheap and available you can get anywhere. But in other places, using the Uber app, a private limousine style service shows up within a few minutes for half the cost of a taxi!
Then I use a maps app to find my way around, and either Happy Cow (vegetarian dining) or Yelp (everything else!) to find good places to eat.
Last week after I left NYC, I went to Encinitas, a beach town near San Diego for about a week. After that I flew down to Mexico City (which is where I am now typing you this) and in both places those 4 apps setup my life – AirBnB, Uber, Maps and Happy Cow. A couple of clicks on any of those apps and I had my new location sorted.
I think that most of us at some point feel the weight of all our possessions.
It’s because I now have less that I can live like this. And it was a process to get there!
I was able to downsize by moving to smaller apartments, but in the end that wasn’t enough. So I threw some parties and told everyone to come over and just take what they wanted. Whatever was left, I either sold to second hand shops, or gave away.
I had all my libraries of books, CDs and DVDs that I’d been collecting for all my life, I just digitised all of it. Every book, album or movie, I scanned, ripped or copied onto my hard drive. It went from filling rooms to fitting in my hand.
That was 2 years ago, and I haven’t missed any of it.
I then got the most incredible bag system in the world from Eagle Creek, called a Switchback 22. I bought about 4 different high end bags, spent about $1600 to tested them all, then sent them back – because the multi-purpose 2-bags-in-1 Switchback 22 beat the lot. The cube packing system that fits inside it is like having a travelling wardrobe, it keeps everything in it’s place. And it means I can just walk onto the plane, because it’s all carry on.
So with the combination of the right gear, and the right apps, it’s now possible to integrate into a new location fast with this tool we call a phone! And this type of lifestyle is saving me around 70% off my normal expenses that I’d be paying if I was living a “normal” life. It’s not just fun, it’s a whole lot less stressful, and less expensive!
A couple of nights ago on my first night here in Mexico City I’d found my way through all the dark back streets to an all vegetarian street food taco stand using the Happy Cow app. It was packed with people!
I got chatting to one guy who said it took him 5 years to find this place, then he laughed when he realised I’d found it in my first day.