Author Topic: Living out of a 40-liter backpack  (Read 20582 times)

lifeafterliquidity

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Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« on: March 27, 2014, 10:55:49 PM »
Hi MMM Badasses,

This is my first post here, nice to meet you all. I've been a big fan of MMM and this community for quite some time and wanted to share my story. I've been living in Silicon Valley for 14 years now and during that time bought into the whole rat race: regular $100 dinners with the wife, leafing through Tesla brochures, etc.

None of that made me happy. Instead, my wife and I recently made a commitment to pare down our lives and invest in experiences. For the next six months, we're going to travel the world and live out of our backpacks: http://lifeafterliquidity.com/2014/03/27/40-liters/

It's amazing how little you need to truly be happy. Can't wait to leave all my junk behind.

Any other mustachians here who have done similar walkabouts? Thanks!

sol

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 12:53:49 AM »
Any other mustachians here who have done similar walkabouts? Thanks!

I spent about eight months living out of a backpack as a much younger man.  Covered six continents in that time, for about $1000/month after airfare.  Totally worthwhile.

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 07:41:26 AM »
I've been living in Silicon Valley for 14 years now and during that time bought into the whole rat race: regular $100 dinners with the wife, leafing through Tesla brochures, etc.

None of that made me happy. Instead, my wife and I recently made a commitment to pare down our lives and invest in experiences. For the next six months, we're going to travel the world and live out of our backpacks

That's so awesome.  Very inspiring!

The wife and I did over two months backpacking Europe with 28L backpacks each.  If we were going again, we'd go smaller.

We're planning on traveling full time in ER with only 1-2 suitcases total for us two and a kid (the kid being the reason we can't just have two backpacks).

Welcome to the forums!

EDIT: Your site looks interesting!  I'm going to have to hit the archives on it to read every post.  Go post about it here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachianism-around-the-web/the-mmm-readers'-blogroll/
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 07:43:02 AM by arebelspy »
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

JPinDC

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 08:07:09 AM »
This sounds like an exciting journey. Looking forward to following along!

SDREMNGR

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 09:23:29 AM »
Wife and I traveled throughout SE Asia for a month for our honeymoon instead of the week in Hawaii on beach sort of thing.  Very much worth it.  Living is cheap if you stay at frugal places.  Easily done for less than $2000 for both of you less travel costs. 

My only recommendation is to pack light.  Every item you own will be just another dumbell on your back.  I would pare down to just one of needed items and just buy on road if replacement is needed.  Share things like soap and toothpaste and shampoo.  Carrying a heavy pack is the WORST part of traveling long time.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 09:25:22 AM by SDREMNGR »

lifeafterliquidity

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 12:22:21 PM »
Wow, you guys are indeed badasses! I was budgeting far more per month for travel, but upon thinking about it some more, we can definitely go more aggressive with  reducing our budget particularly since so much of our travel will be SE Asia.

Thanks for sharing your stories and the advice. MMM is one of the cooler forums I've seen.

All the best,

Eric

lifeafterliquidity

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 12:25:03 PM »
EDIT: Your site looks interesting!  I'm going to have to hit the archives on it to read every post.  Go post about it here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachianism-around-the-web/the-mmm-readers'-blogroll/

Thanks for that suggestion! Just added my site to that thread. Appreciate the warm welcome!

SDREMNGR

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 02:10:53 PM »
We really liked Camboadia, Thailand was nice too but more expensive, Vietnam wasn't as fun for me although we were in the south mostly and the North is supposed to be nice.  Laos and Burma would be more rural if you want to try that.

There are budget travel sites that go way more into how to budget travel but it's quite doable on the cheap.  We ate out 100% of the time and got massages daily and stayed at nice hotels occasionally and even despite that I don't think we spent more than $2500 including bus and train travel between countries.  A friend of mine lived in Thailand for a year traveling solo and spent less than $5000 (in 2003) staying in hostels.

Any how you can make it as fancy or as cheap as you want.  Also if you stayed somewhere for a month and got a rental, it would be even cheaper.  They had month rentals in most of the cities for as little as $250 for a decent room in most cities.  SE Asia is cheap.

lifeafterliquidity

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 02:27:47 PM »
This is so tremendous!

YK-Phil

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 02:39:44 PM »
This is fantastic. I envy what you will be doing, for one reason: you will be with your wife.

I did something similar, but alone, in 2007. I traveled almost a year in south east Asia with for only luggage a nice shoulder bag that contained a week's worth of underwear, my electric razor (of course), toothbrush and toothpaste, a pair of board shorts, sandals, a couple of quality polo shirts, a indestructible but stylish pair of dark raw denim jeans by Naked and Famous (you never wash raw denim) and a black Prada velvet jacket for the occasional expat party crash, and for daily footwear, a pair of Born pull-on leather boots. All in a one bag. Having to deal with a 100-lbs backpack like most backpackers I encountered on the road isn't for me. If you need to get something you don't have, you can just get it locally. That's my main advice when it comes to travel, and life: travel as light as possible.

The nice thing is that a month or so after coming back home, I met this wonderful woman who eventually became my wife.

spoonman

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2014, 09:11:39 PM »
My wife and I hope to do something similar in the future.  I think it will be incredibly liberating to pear things down to the bare essentials.  If you haven't already, you should go check out Go Curry Cracker, they are traveling the world with a handful of bags.

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2014, 09:34:56 PM »
I'm going to have to hit the archives on it to read every post.

Done!  Very enjoyable and added to my RSS feeds so I can read all future posts.

Are you planning to post any money stuff?  That's one of the best parts of the round the world trip stuff, IMO, seeing how much things cost in other places.

Specifically I'm wondering the costs and logistics of the cold weather gear you rented.  More details would be much appreciated.  :)

Congrats on your success!
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

lifeafterliquidity

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2014, 01:23:27 AM »
I'm going to have to hit the archives on it to read every post.

Done!  Very enjoyable and added to my RSS feeds so I can read all future posts.

Are you planning to post any money stuff?  That's one of the best parts of the round the world trip stuff, IMO, seeing how much things cost in other places.

Specifically I'm wondering the costs and logistics of the cold weather gear you rented.  More details would be much appreciated.  :)

Congrats on your success!

Thanks! :)

I indeed plan to write about money stuff. And yes, very interested to report cost of living differences in the places we visit. With regard to my most recent visit to see the Northern Lights (http://lifeafterliquidity.com/2014/03/28/the-northern-lights/), that trip was very anti-mustachian. We went through a tour and paid $120 each for cold weather gear rental: http://www.auroraborealisyukon.com/auroratours/AuroraTourPackage/

The Yukon trip was really expensive, but Southeast Asia should be pretty frugal. Lots of great Airbnb deals, used Flightfox to map out cheap flights, and plan to do activities that are mostly free (like seeing beautiful stuff in nature).

Thanks for reading my blog!

lifeafterliquidity

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2014, 01:24:08 AM »
Also--very impressed to see so many people on this thread who have done similar long-term travel!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2014, 06:37:00 AM »
Not sure if the DW and I will settle on backpacking, bike touring, or a small RV. My preference would be one of the former options.

Will eagerly read your blog!

kkbmustang

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2014, 10:40:11 AM »
Loved the dorm room pic! I fantasize about doing the same slow travel with minimal belongings with my family. Can't wait to read about your adventures.

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2014, 12:00:13 PM »
I'm going to have to hit the archives on it to read every post.

Done!  Very enjoyable and added to my RSS feeds so I can read all future posts.

Are you planning to post any money stuff?  That's one of the best parts of the round the world trip stuff, IMO, seeing how much things cost in other places.

Specifically I'm wondering the costs and logistics of the cold weather gear you rented.  More details would be much appreciated.  :)

Congrats on your success!

Thanks! :)

I indeed plan to write about money stuff. And yes, very interested to report cost of living differences in the places we visit. With regard to my most recent visit to see the Northern Lights (http://lifeafterliquidity.com/2014/03/28/the-northern-lights/), that trip was very anti-mustachian. We went through a tour and paid $120 each for cold weather gear rental: http://www.auroraborealisyukon.com/auroratours/AuroraTourPackage/

The Yukon trip was really expensive, but Southeast Asia should be pretty frugal. Lots of great Airbnb deals, used Flightfox to map out cheap flights, and plan to do activities that are mostly free (like seeing beautiful stuff in nature).

Thanks for reading my blog!

Am I reading that website right in that it cost ~565 USD/person for 3 nights (including hotel room and tour, not including food) and 108/person for the clothes = 1346 for the two of you?

No judgement, sounds like an awesome trip and seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list.. just trying to clarify the total cost.  :)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

YK-Phil

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2014, 12:57:30 PM »
I'm going to have to hit the archives on it to read every post.

Done!  Very enjoyable and added to my RSS feeds so I can read all future posts.

Are you planning to post any money stuff?  That's one of the best parts of the round the world trip stuff, IMO, seeing how much things cost in other places.

Specifically I'm wondering the costs and logistics of the cold weather gear you rented.  More details would be much appreciated.  :)

Congrats on your success!

Thanks! :)

I indeed plan to write about money stuff. And yes, very interested to report cost of living differences in the places we visit. With regard to my most recent visit to see the Northern Lights (http://lifeafterliquidity.com/2014/03/28/the-northern-lights/), that trip was very anti-mustachian. We went through a tour and paid $120 each for cold weather gear rental: http://www.auroraborealisyukon.com/auroratours/AuroraTourPackage/

The Yukon trip was really expensive, but Southeast Asia should be pretty frugal. Lots of great Airbnb deals, used Flightfox to map out cheap flights, and plan to do activities that are mostly free (like seeing beautiful stuff in nature).

Thanks for reading my blog!

Next time you or another Mustachian plan to see the aurora or do some cold weather adventure, check out Yellowknife. I house-sit here to cut my costs to the minimum and if it works in my schedule, I let couchsurfers stay at my place. Cold weather gear is not a problem, got tons of everything needed, for free.

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2014, 01:23:06 PM »
Next time you or another Mustachian plan to see the aurora or do some cold weather adventure, check out Yellowknife. I house-sit here to cut my costs to the minimum and if it works in my schedule, I let couchsurfers stay at my place. Cold weather gear is not a problem, got tons of everything needed, for free.

Really?

That's a generous offer, I may take you up on that!  :D
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Jomar

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2014, 07:42:26 PM »
Awesome! You're going to have a blast! I've spent about 2 years living out of my backpack or on my bicycle, out of my panniers. Last trip I did was a 5 month backpacking trip through Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh, Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan, plus China and Thailand. 23 L bag (a lightweight duffel that I pulled out of my panniers at the end of the two month bike trip from Amsterdam to Istanbul I did right before the backpacking trip). Amazing all the stuff you realize you don't need! At one point I went 2 months wearing the same pair of jeans and the same shirt every single day. Most comfortable jeans I've ever owned. I think most of my frugal habits have developed out of my travels. Anyway, enough of my humblebrag... have fun!

mushroom

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2014, 05:02:59 AM »
Awesome! I hope you guys have an amazing time!

My husband and I traveled to 26 countries in Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific for one year in 2012 for $36,000 total for the two of us including flights, about half the time in developed countries and half in developing countries. We always either rented a private apartment or got a private room/bathroom in a hostel as opposed to a shared room or bathroom (except for some camper vans in Australia and New Zealand). I tracked expenses very closely, so for southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia), we spent $24-32 per person per day including all costs like transport, with the outlier of Burma, which ended up being $46 per person per day. This was with eating out for every meal and ordering as many drinks as we liked since the food was so cheap and doing a bunch of fun activities like renting a scooter or going snorkeling. And you could definitely bring down the costs even more by staying in one place for longer and renting an apartment.

We're back in the U.S. now working to build up our 'stash but it was one of the best things we ever did. We have so many amazing memories from our trip.

Oh, and we only used carry on backpacks (similar size to yours although I don't remember the liters) and it was so much better than the large beasts that most backpackers carry around.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 05:12:20 AM by mushroom »

lifeafterliquidity

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 08:53:46 AM »
I'm going to have to hit the archives on it to read every post.

Done!  Very enjoyable and added to my RSS feeds so I can read all future posts.

Are you planning to post any money stuff?  That's one of the best parts of the round the world trip stuff, IMO, seeing how much things cost in other places.

Specifically I'm wondering the costs and logistics of the cold weather gear you rented.  More details would be much appreciated.  :)

Congrats on your success!

Thanks! :)

I indeed plan to write about money stuff. And yes, very interested to report cost of living differences in the places we visit. With regard to my most recent visit to see the Northern Lights (http://lifeafterliquidity.com/2014/03/28/the-northern-lights/), that trip was very anti-mustachian. We went through a tour and paid $120 each for cold weather gear rental: http://www.auroraborealisyukon.com/auroratours/AuroraTourPackage/

The Yukon trip was really expensive, but Southeast Asia should be pretty frugal. Lots of great Airbnb deals, used Flightfox to map out cheap flights, and plan to do activities that are mostly free (like seeing beautiful stuff in nature).

Thanks for reading my blog!

Am I reading that website right in that it cost ~565 USD/person for 3 nights (including hotel room and tour, not including food) and 108/person for the clothes = 1346 for the two of you?

No judgement, sounds like an awesome trip and seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list.. just trying to clarify the total cost.  :)

Sorry for slow response, hard to find internet right now!

And yes, it was about that much. We did this very last min and sacrificed money for convenience. The best time to go see the Northern Lights is in March/April, and we're at the height of a 11-year cycle. We didn't want to miss this window.

Go now!! :)

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2014, 09:55:57 AM »
Thanks!
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

RootofGood

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2014, 07:49:36 AM »
lifeafterliquidity,

We decided to try "lifebeforeliquidity" and backpacked 6 weeks through Mexico.  This was one summer between my junior and senior year of undergrad.  I cajoled my girlfriend at the time (who ended up marrying me!) to join me on the adventure of a lifetime that we would never be able to have ever again while we were still young.

We spent $700 each for those 6 weeks including a "first class" Greyhound bus ticket to/from Mexico that let us see all the glorious states between North Carolina and the Rio Grande.  Along the route in Mexico, we suffered from pickpocketers and other assorted thievery.  We accidentally stayed in one or more whorehouses (hoteles de paso).  After talking our way in at the border, we hiked to the top of pyramids, swam in the oceans with sharks, drank some beer, laid in some hammocks, got stomach bugs, and had a generally awesome time.  Perhaps the best $700 we have ever spent. 

Fast forward 15 years later and we find ourselves in radically different circumstances.  Now we have 3 kids (the youngest being 2) and we have lots of free time and money.  I'm retired and Mrs. RootofGood worked out 9 weeks paid time off this year and at least 3 months paid time off next year.  She may quit after next year's "sabbatical". 

So far, we have decided to do an epic trip by car with our 3 kids up the east coast via NYC (for some 4th of July fireworks) then spend a few weeks in French speaking parts of Canada before returning through Toronto and Niagara Falls.  The plan is to spend 5 weeks total getting there and back.  In a 14 year old Honda Accord.  Not exactly 40 liters, but probably not a lot more than that per person (ie whatever fits in the trunk of a Honda Accord).  We are skipping Central America/Thailand type of backpacking for the next year or two since the little guy is so young.  But eventually we'll be back to our old globetrotting ways!

I'm enjoying your blog, by the way.  Neat concept and cool to see someone who can see through the Madison Avenue lifestyle of Silicon Valley.  We're a little jealous of the northern lights you saw.  Not sure if we can see them from Ottawa (the farthest north we plan to go), but seeing them is on our bucket list.

lifeafterliquidity

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2014, 07:58:29 AM »
Wow, what a badass story! Thanks for sharing that. Really great to hear that kids didn't delay retirement for you--common perception seems to be that more kids equals longer runway until you hit retirement. Will definitely follow your blog moving forward!

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2014, 08:17:30 AM »
Awesome story root!  Am I reading that right in that you finished your junior year of college at 18?  (Signature and under your username says you're 33, and you said that was 15 years ago after junior year of college).  That's pretty badass!
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

RootofGood

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2014, 08:19:13 AM »
Wow, what a badass story! Thanks for sharing that. Really great to hear that kids didn't delay retirement for you--common perception seems to be that more kids equals longer runway until you hit retirement. Will definitely follow your blog moving forward!

We dodged the big sticker items like huge house, massive SUV's, and 5 star prestige daycare.  Not buying (<-- pun!) into those things saved us at least a half million dollars.  And not being used to living a bloated lifestyle, we need much less to get by each year.  And therefore a smaller portfolio. 

And we have enough budgetary freedom so we can blow it on fun things like extended travel.

RootofGood

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2014, 08:21:38 AM »
Awesome story root!  Am I reading that right in that you finished your junior year of college at 18?  (Signature and under your username says you're 33, and you said that was 15 years ago after junior year of college).  That's pretty badass!

Good catch!  It was actually 14 years ago.  Once you're as old as me, you're entitled to round to the nearest half decade.  :) 

But since I started college as a junior, yes I suppose technically I was 18 when I finished my junior year.  I just had 2 senior years after that.  Finished 2 undergrad degrees by 20.

And I managed to bum around Mexico for a whole summer.  Although technically I was also researching the public transportation systems of Mexico for independent study credit toward by BA in Spanish Language and Literature.  I took a few pics of buses, taxis, trains, subways, etc.  Interviewed a few syndicate chiefs.  Rode on some bumpy back roads in 2nd class chicken buses.  Then developed a web page explaining Mexican public transport.  I got an A. 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 08:25:47 AM by RootofGood »

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2014, 08:28:44 AM »
But since I started college as a junior, yes I suppose technically I was 18 when I finished my junior year.  I just had 2 senior years after that.  Finished 2 undergrad degrees by 20.

That's a huge leg up in fast FI!  Compare that to people who start college at 18, then take a (nowadays typical) 5-6 years. 

And then all those that do more schooling afterwards - grad school, law school, medical school.. I know people still in school in their late 20s.  One of the arguments for not going to college is the opportunity costs of those years, but when you blaze through them, that argument is moot.  And getting to work right away in your (very) early 20s, with the degree, accelerates FIRE a ton.

Nice work.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

RootofGood

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2014, 08:55:02 AM »
But since I started college as a junior, yes I suppose technically I was 18 when I finished my junior year.  I just had 2 senior years after that.  Finished 2 undergrad degrees by 20.

That's a huge leg up in fast FI!  Compare that to people who start college at 18, then take a (nowadays typical) 5-6 years. 

And then all those that do more schooling afterwards - grad school, law school, medical school.. I know people still in school in their late 20s.  One of the arguments for not going to college is the opportunity costs of those years, but when you blaze through them, that argument is moot.  And getting to work right away in your (very) early 20s, with the degree, accelerates FIRE a ton.

Nice work.

I took a detour through law school and picked up a JD before going into engineering full time at 23.  So I didn't have a completely optimal path to FIRE. 

I know what you mean about the folks still in school in their late 20's. I watched so many facebook friends (from HS and college) who were finally finishing up PhD's, post docs, residency after med school, etc.  They started working around age 30-31, right about the time I was putting the finishing touches on my FIRE portfolio. 

Melody

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2014, 05:22:34 PM »
Wow you guys impress the pants out of me! I'm doing 6 weeks in the USA with a 50L pack (not stuffed full as it's only allowed to be 10kgs to meet carry on restrictions). This is about right for me... it's more about weight than pack size for me, as it can be helpful to have a bit of air in our pack it makes it easier to retrieve stuff and also means I can put my shoulder bag inside the pack if needed. The main modification I had to make was to pick really light weight shoes. I live in my doc martens, but we're going to Vegas where it will be hot, so I had to get some lightweight sneakers (my skate shoes were something like 1.4 kilos and the sneakers I got were more like 400grams). I'm also taking some dressy flats (240grms) and some flip flops (170grms). So yep, it can totally be done, even for someone who thinks they can't "live" without 4 pairs of shoes!
The rationale for the dressy shoes was I can use them to dress up some of the outfits if need be. My travel clothes are focused on Smart Casual made from sensible lightweight fabrics (for example Jeggings rather than jeans, as I could hike in the jeggings comfortably, but not jeans and because they are a dark colour they can be dressed up too. My thermals are classic black made from quality merino wool, with my black and white checked mini it's good to go for a night on the town but equally helpful when camping.) The main challenge was the variety of temperatures and the fact we are going camping (includes incredibly basic camping gear - i.e. a sleep sack and insulated cooler bag for our night in death valley where we're gonna rough camp in/near the 4x4 we are hiring.) The rest of the time we are using a campervan which comes with mattress, cooker etc. We're also visiting Yosemite and San Fransisco in the same trip so the full temperature range is being covered (well not snow, but for Australian's this is a full year of temperature swings!)
I've also got a bag full of technology (tablet computer, camera, phone etc) and travel medicines.

We're budgeting $12,000 total for this trip (2 people, 6 weeks, including flights from Perth). Accommodation is a mix of national parks camping, staying with friends, 3*-4* hotel, air b-n-b and hostel (private rooms).

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2014, 08:08:18 PM »
That sounds awesome Melody.  You'll love it, and never forget it!

Let me know if you've got some extra time when you're in Vegas.  My wife and I love to get together for a fun activity or a meal with other Mustachians when they pass through our town.   :)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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Melody

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2014, 02:54:20 PM »
Hey,  wish I had had time, but its been a hectic trip... this is my first time on the forums since I left home,... can't wait til I can travel wihout a time frame, as I would be happy to have more days like this one relaxing on our friend's deck in nirthern California interspersed with all the travel days...

Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk


catccc

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2014, 03:47:36 PM »
Wife and I traveled throughout SE Asia for a month for our honeymoon instead of the week in Hawaii on beach sort of thing.  Very much worth it.  Living is cheap if you stay at frugal places.  Easily done for less than $2000 for both of you less travel costs. 

My only recommendation is to pack light.  Every item you own will be just another dumbell on your back.  I would pare down to just one of needed items and just buy on road if replacement is needed.  Share things like soap and toothpaste and shampoo.  Carrying a heavy pack is the WORST part of traveling long time.

Funny, my husband and I traveled throughout Hawaii for a month for our honeymoon.  Most anything can be done frugally if you try!  We did stay at a lot of inexpensive places, like hostels, and with nature as lovely as it is in Hawaii, we did maybe 1/2 of our nights in a tent.  It was awesome. 

Emg03063

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2014, 09:25:15 PM »
I thru hiked the Appalachian trail from Maine to Georgia when I was 31.  ~6 months and $5k, including gear and travel expenses.  I have a journal online that I will PM a link to if anyone is interested.

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2014, 09:45:59 PM »
I thru hiked the Appalachian trail from Maine to Georgia when I was 31.  ~6 months and $5k, including gear and travel expenses.  I have a journal online that I will PM a link to if anyone is interested.

I'd love to see it!  Please post the link (or PM it to me if you don't want to share it publicly).  :)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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limeandpepper

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2014, 08:07:09 AM »
Hello, I like what you're doing, and your blog is interesting! It looks like you've already started your journey? My boyfriend and I will be traveling in Asia for the second half of this year, and if it all goes well we may extend our trip. Hand luggage is sufficient for me, but my boyfriend will have check-in because of his photography gear. So we won't technically be living out of a backpack, but we'll still be keeping it pretty simple. You can pop by my journal if you want to know more. And I would totally follow your journal if you start one here, though you're probably busy enough with your blog as it is. Would love to exchange tips and stories!

bwall

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2014, 03:08:41 PM »
I spent 12 months traveling back in the mid 1990's through Southern Africa and the middle east at age 23. Three T-shirts, two pairs of shorts, one pair of long pants, one dress shirt, three pairs of socks, one pair of shoes, a tent that I could set up by myself in the dark after a few weeks. I still thought I'd packed too heavy though. Daily budget: $15/day, for everything; transportation, food, entertainment, accommodation, etc.

It was a trip that changed my life in ways that I couldn't have imagined at the time. And I am a better man for it.

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2014, 05:08:44 PM »
Great stories here!! I did a 2 year backpack trip many years ago. Ended up discovering 2 things - first, I don't actually like the "travel" part of travelling so had a tendency to stay put in one area for a few months at a time before moving on. Second, I didn't need as much stuff or money as I thought I did so was able to just use a small backpack. I generally stayed at very inexpensive hostels or guesthouses when travelling, and  rented rooms in shared digs when staying put for awhile so didn't need to bring camping stuff - just a few clothes. I did used discount rail passes or bus passes on occasion i.e. at one point I had a 2 month Eurail pass that I used the hell out of), but often hitchhiked for free in safe countries (was a female travelling alone so might not be the wisest choice now), biked or just walked.  I am still doing the solo long term travelling thing now but with a vehicle so I can bring my dog - and still own a house which I will be selling soon to travel full time. Tent camp mostly so bring more stuff but mix it up with budget motels and furnished off season vacation rentals.  Once my dog has gone on to the Big Fire Hydrant In The Sky I plan to travel via backpack full time for a couple of years or more.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 05:10:43 PM by Spartana »

train_writer

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2014, 02:46:41 AM »
What great stories and a great idea of the OP.

Now for my humble advice, it would be that you only take one backpack between the two of you and one small daypack. But I think you are already doing that.

I made 3 somewhat longish (month per time)trips with my spouse, all by public transit, and I really preferred the 2 times we only took one 60l backpack over the first time, where we both took a 40liter pack, because you can take turns carrying, easier to watch or store etc

Happy travelings and keep your blog up!

arebelspy

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2014, 08:03:34 AM »
What great stories and a great idea of the OP.

Now for my humble advice, it would be that you only take one backpack between the two of you and one small daypack. But I think you are already doing that.

I made 3 somewhat longish (month per time)trips with my spouse, all by public transit, and I really preferred the 2 times we only took one 60l backpack over the first time, where we both took a 40liter pack, because you can take turns carrying, easier to watch or store etc

Happy travelings and keep your blog up!

Interesting idea. The wife and I each used a bag (28l each) when backpacking Europe, but we could definitely have slimmed down.  Afterwards (for "next time") I was always picturing a smaller bag each, maybe 18l, but I'll have to think about your idea, maybe one 28l and one very tiny one..
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

MidwestGal

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2014, 08:08:37 AM »
That makes perfect sense to only take one large pack, then a smaller one.  I would worry about security issues but that would make life a whole lot easier!

That sounds like a great trip, it's on my lengthy bucket list and will happen hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2014, 10:37:54 AM »
Hi lifeafterliquidity, this is my first post too. I just want to say I have an older version of that same backpack, and I love it! It's great as a carry-on bag, and the rain cover turns it into a duffle bag if you want to check it on a flight.
My longest walkabout was for 4 months four years ago. That experience changed my life, and really open my eyes to how few material things I need to be happy.

Enjoy your trip!


Hi MMM Badasses,

This is my first post here, nice to meet you all. I've been a big fan of MMM and this community for quite some time and wanted to share my story. I've been living in Silicon Valley for 14 years now and during that time bought into the whole rat race: regular $100 dinners with the wife, leafing through Tesla brochures, etc.

None of that made me happy. Instead, my wife and I recently made a commitment to pare down our lives and invest in experiences. For the next six months, we're going to travel the world and live out of our backpacks: http://lifeafterliquidity.com/2014/03/27/40-liters/

It's amazing how little you need to truly be happy. Can't wait to leave all my junk behind.

Any other mustachians here who have done similar walkabouts? Thanks!

Melody

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #43 on: July 01, 2014, 06:20:29 AM »
Buying a new bass guitar killed my packing light.... whoops! But it wasn't an impulse buy... it was a "when the right vintage bass comes into my life I will buy it as I am still using beginner gear" planned purchase.

malacca

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2014, 10:37:42 PM »
Wahoooooooooooooo!

Melody

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2014, 05:47:01 PM »
Having loads of fun with it! Shared my packing list with my friend who went and out did me, normally a heavy packer she got her stuff down to 38litres  :-)

bognish

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2014, 03:35:02 PM »
I traveled 6 months out of a small school backpack. Clothes are really cheap in Asia, and nice clothes from home get beat up quick if you are wearing them every day and washing them alot. I would by 2 or 3 tshirts for $1. Wear them for a week or so, then leave them behind in the hotel when I left. Never have to worry about getting them washed or showing up in every picture for 6 months wearing the same thing. Vietnam and Thailand have incredibly cheap tailors. In Vietnam on our honeymoon, when we wanted to go to a nice place for dinner we would drop by the tailors in the morning and get an outfit made to fit. A nice suit, shirt and shoes would cost less than $10. People wear clothes everywhere. If you are traveling to a place with a lower cost of living than home, it is easier to buy what you need on the road, than it is to lug around nice things from home that are too expensive or sentimental to throw away when you find out you aren't using them.

cakie

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2014, 06:32:07 AM »
I travelled 5 months in Europe with a 34L backpack. My partner's was bigger though, about 50L. I think it's a real INTJ thing, optimising travel. Anything over 10kg starts to be too much for me, and i like being able to carry it on the plane :)

Next time we do a big trip, we will go smaller. He will take my 34L bag and I will take a smaller bag. We needed the big ones because we spent the first 3 months in cold weather, and jumpers take up space.

My biggest recommendation is the incredibly helpful onebag.com site. He's a serious optimiser, some very cool tips!

NinetyFour

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2014, 07:47:03 AM »
I thru hiked the Appalachian trail from Maine to Georgia when I was 31.  ~6 months and $5k, including gear and travel expenses.  I have a journal online that I will PM a link to if anyone is interested.

I would love to do the Appalachian Trail sometime.  Please send me a link to your journal.  Thanks so much!

Emg03063

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Re: Living out of a 40-liter backpack
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2014, 08:57:53 PM »
I thru hiked the Appalachian trail from Maine to Georgia when I was 31.  ~6 months and $5k, including gear and travel expenses.  I have a journal online that I will PM a link to if anyone is interested.

I would love to do the Appalachian Trail sometime.  Please send me a link to your journal.  Thanks so much!

Sent.  For everyone else's future reference, please PM your requests for a link for best response, also so as not to overly hijack the thread. :)