Tag Archives: Backpack

The other day we watched the movie “Up in the Air”. It is definitely about traveling, lots of traveling and especially about flying. So this post is in contrast to our two previous ones where we wrote about slow travel. In this movie the flying and getting from one place to the next is more or less the destination in itself.
We are not here to tell you that one way is better than the other since it’s all up to you. Our personal preference though is to travel slow, rather than rushing from one city to the next only seeing airports and hotel lobbies.

Anyway this is a Hollywood production about a man who spends 320 days per year or more traveling the US, as part of his work. And one of his main goals in life is to accumulate as many frequent flyer miles as possible. So although this definitely is a traveling life style, it really doesn’t have much in common with our approach to traveling and why we believe it is good for you.

The movie itself is not that exceptional and it is not because of the travel theme we mention it here. No, our reason for bringing it up is that the main character also does some freelance speaking engagements where he talks about his take on life. The title of his speech is “What’s in your backpack?” and you can have a look at a 2 minute clip of it below.

Play Video

I can very well relate to what he is saying. All the “stuff” that we have definitely makes it hard to move. Even though we have managed to unburden ourselves several times in one way or another from all the things at home, it still takes an effort every time to set off. As soon as we get back home after a longer journey and settle down for a while, stuff and commitments get hold of us again and the straps on our shoulders get heavier.

Sometimes it can be nice to be settled down, have your stuff around, fulfill your duties and just relax in the comfort of your home. And then at other times the desire to just let go arises. And right now that feeling is rising within us. We want to once again unburden ourselves from things and take off. We don’t know in what way yet and how we will unburden ourselves – but rest assure, we have no intention of doing it with fire :lol:. We know very well that there are other ways, and some of them we have already written about.

You can either do this in a more permanent way by selling and giving your stuff away and resigning from commitments like work. Or you can choose to just put your life on hold for a while by renting out or storing your stuff and asking for a leave of absence from work.

However you choose to do it doesn’t matter. It is just that if you are hoping to go somewhere at all for a longer period of time, you will somehow have to unload some of that stuff in your backpack. And when you do, interesting things might happen and you may realize that you have no desire of putting them back in later on, when you finally have got them out :lol:

We went on a long hike yesterday. We didn’t hike far away, just around the corner from where we live. We put on our hiking shoes, threw some food into our backpacks and took off. The weather was perfect, sunny but not too hot.

Studying the map before taking off for the hike

Studying the map before taking off for the hike

A virgin forest is not totally easy to walk around in, many “obstacles” to pass

Old-growth forest is not totally easy to walk around in, many “obstacles” to pass

Both big and small enjoyed balancing on the many old fallen trees

Both big and small enjoyed balancing on the many old fallen trees

Part of the hike went through a forest which was protected and hadn’t been cut during the last 300 years. There’s a very special feeling walking in an “old” forest like that, solemn. It makes you quiet and reflective and also amazed over the wonders of nature. Over how well everything fits together. How the big, old fallen trees just lies there, transforming themselves into an abundance of new life. How nothing just stands or lies there by itself but is connected to the whole in some way.

Under the surface in the "Coca Cola" water
Above the surface with a water lilly

Above the surface with a Water Lily - The Swedish Lotus flower

We went swimming in a small forest lake. It had this dark brown water, “coca cola water”, as the kids call it. Swimming around there, with no buildings anywhere around, no cars, no roads, no sounds except the sounds of nature, it felt like it could have been any age: “ let’s see, where are we now, yes 2009, well what does it matter…”

We had a picnic up on a small hill overlooking another bigger lake than the one we went swimming in. Already we were starting to talk about going on a longer hike soon. Maybe for a couple of days? Maybe for a week?

We were two families, eight people, hiking together, and we all seemed to appreciate a lot this time away from “civilization” for a while. No stuff, no computers, no telephones (no connection in the old forest, of course). Just to practice “mindfulness” in the most natural way.

We came back after this one day experience a bit different persons from the ones who earlier that day set off. A bit more relaxed, happy and with a few new insights into things we had had time to reflect upon during our walk.

Time for reflection

Time for reflection

We realized again how much traveling can change you, how much it helps you to grow as a person and to see things more clearly. We were reminded of how profoundly life transformative long term travel can be. Just to leave things behind, not only for a day but maybe for three, six or nine months. Maybe even for a year or more. Here you can really talk about coming back as a different person.

This short hike really opened our eyes and let us see even more clearly how all our traveling has contributed to making us to the people we are today and taking us to the place we are at the moment.

So, to summarize: take some time off and go traveling! A day or a year, whatever you choose it will affect your life in many ways and take you to new places, physically and especially mentally.

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