Minimalism, the term being thrown around as another movement for the masses that is finally sweeping America after being a thing of Asian culture for decades. But, the term is important for those who want to travel more purposely and more often. There are great books on minimalism out there, I suggest looking up Black Minimalism, but the term is problematic. The concept of minimalism is simply casting off clutter in your physical, emotional, mental, and now your financial space and making room for freedom. For some, blacks do not have the luxury to cast off wealth in the same way whites do as wealth is usually needed to reaffirm who they are in the context of education and status in a society that may associate them by how they look. This is important to note, in the space of minimalism some blacks must navigate it differently. For me this has been a hard transition, like so many I grew accustomed to holding on to things and to keeping them for the sake of displaying my education and status. I started to do give things away a few years ago, mostly to friends and family at first, then to the Salvation Army, and now it’s become a part of my yearly cleansing to just part with things to see them disappear and hold on to the memory of a moment more intentionally without a physical reminder.
Ideally, this will begin to affect the way you travel as I myself began packing to reflect my need to focus on being immersed in a place and not to have the vision of me looking immersed. I start packing with the essentials in mind of course which means toiletries and I make sure they are packed according to FAA guidelines to prevent any trouble passing through security screening. Some places are more relax than others, so by just following the rules to begin with it’ll cut down on any delays. Pack what you need to comfortably survive the trip. This doesn’t mean bumming it as a man I like looking the part too. That means having a mix of casual and business casual clothes that allow you to go everywhere. I pack at least one jean, one pair of slacks, and two shorts depending on where I’m going. For shirts, I pack for day and night. If I am going away for at least seven days I think of the weather and pack enough variations to make a suitable outfit for any occasion. I pack a shoe that can be formal and casual and I pack a pair of sneakers that can double for gym and heavy walking. If I over count on anything its underwear and socks, as you never know how many showers you can take in a day while away.
How does this all impact your pocket though? Well, its simple, the less you accumulate and the more you focus on the essentials the more money you have for traveling and spending on travel. Go through your closet and start selling those shoes and coats you know you’ll never wear again and you’ll not only feel free, but make a little change as well. This does not mean you become a minimalist to make money and spend it all on travel because that defeats the purpose of being called a minimalist. Saving and planning is also a big part of minimalism as financial freedom also helps with reaching a greater peace of mind. I am also going to encourage that if you do take on minimalism to travel more often then choose destinations that will further the economic development of places that have people who look like you and in turn stimulate a more robust industry for that destination. For airline carriers to consider more flights to a country, or for tourism to thrive anywhere it must first be considered a major destination.
For women, packing is somewhat trickier, but I will say this. If you think of your carry on luggage as your marker. So a bag pack, your pulley or duffle bag should fit in the size checker at the airport and fit everything essential for making your trip pleasant. You should have all the looks you need as traveling is also a moment of immense rediscovery and that takes an outfit or two. I would never want to impart knowledge on packing for females as I think it’s important to have what you need and that’s clearly different when we talk about sex. What I will say works for most of female friends that travel often is to think of making things versatile, a sweater that can be dressed up or down, a scarf that can serve as a head piece, and create combinations that make you look brand new with each day.
In the end, in becoming a black minimalist you are moving towards becoming more authentic, introspective, creative, determined, focused, responsible, and a self-sufficient individual in search of simplicity and the freedom in affords you. The freedom that you are afforded is in my opinion priceless, it affords you a peace of mind.