Minimalist Travels with Just 3 Small Bags for 3+ Years – Digital Nomad Life

Minimalist Travels with Just 3 Small Bags for 3+ Years – Digital Nomad Life


>>DANIELLE: Hey everyone, in this video we’re meeting up with Jacqueline. She’s been a digital nomad and full time traveler for over three years. And she’s going to tell us about the pros and cons of living and working out of a suitcase. She also has a pretty minimalist luggage setup. So she’s gonna show us what bags she uses and she’s going to share one of her top packing tips. We met her at Outsite in Lisbon which is the co-working and co-living space where we’re staying this week. It’s specifically for people who work while they travel and we love it because we know we’ll get fast Wi-Fi, we’ll meet other digital nomads, and we’ll have a comfortable place to work. We spent three sunny days exploring Lisbon with Jacqueline and asking her all about her lifestyle and we’re excited to share her insights with you. [Music Playing]>>JACQUELINE: I started travelling in June 2015, so it’s been three and a half years now. When I decided to travel, I had an apartment in Las Vegas and it was full of things. Some things I had never even used before or had only had for six months and were barely touched. And I got rid of everything, sold it all, and decided to travel. And what I have now at one of my family member’s homes is a plastic bin so I’ll keep some things for when I go back to switch things out, but mostly everything I carry with me. [Music Playing] I work for remote companies and right now I’m COO of a small company; and we have team members all around the world working on special projects. All of our work is online. It’s surprising how many remote opportunities are out there. And how many companies are willing to work with employees who want to be remote in order to let them live wherever they’re happiest. I’m not spending any more than I did each month on rent or on my mortgage for my condo than I am now. It’s just that Airbnb is my landlord or different community spaces I stay in are my landlords, so I think it’s attainable for people to look for remote work and not have to sacrifice making a living wage and even being able to save some extra money on the side. [Music Playing] Usually I’ll spend time bouncing between community focussed spaces, places like Outsite and Airbnbs but most of my travel has been in Airbnbs. The time I spend in each location varies. So I’ve stayed in some places as little as a few days because I’m speaking at a conference; and some places, I’ve stayed in as long as three months. When I first started traveling, it was a race to go country by country and rack up as many as I could but now it’s a bit calmer so I travel at a slower pace. [Music Playing] I travel with three bags: one is Patagonia’s Headway bag which is a size 45 litre, I travel with a large size Rickshaw backpack, and then I have a Cambridge Satchel purse; and those are the three bags I travel with. I like to travel with things that elicit a memory or an emotional response so l will pick things up along the way in different countries that I’m in. Another thing that I cannot imagine traveling without and I recommend to everyone are compression packing cubes. Using the compression cubes, it is shocking how much I can fit into my small 45 litre bag. And I’ve also grown to downsize and understand exactly what I need to travel. So if you would have told me five years ago that I would be travelling with the luggage I carry now, I would have said you were crazy. But I sold everything and got rid of all the junk I had in my life and really just stick to the essentials now. Everything that I have in the bag has a special meaning and has a special purpose. Another thing I travel with that sometimes I feel a little silly about is all of my vitamins. So I take about five to six vitamins every day and a lot of those vitamins, I will get when I’m back in the US and then I will pack them in my bag and they travel with me. When I get to a new location, I love exploring nature. I love seeing what museums are there. I love trying new dishes. Most of all, I like getting outside of my comfort zone. So anything I can do to shake up what I know to be true is what I seek out in new locations. Most times when I’m visiting a location, I’m working and I need to live a daily life and so that includes having good infrastructure and having great Wi-Fi but sometimes I will kind of go off the beaten path if I’m taking time off work and then Wi-Fi doesn’t matter as much. [Indistinct Voices] I had an expectation of travel when I first started and I think it’s one that we all share that we glorify travel. I was surprised to find that travel wasn’t a shortcut to happiness and I could find curiosity, passion and awe, anywhere that I was and it didn’t need to depend on the travel or the location. Travel is difficult! It’s hard. There sometimes where a Monday is a Monday no matter where you are. So I decided to write a book about why we travel and why we glorify travel and how that has changed over the course of time when we’re scrolling through our Instagram feeds and seeing beach photos. Is that really travel? Is that what travel looks like on a daily basis? and for me, it is not how it looks on a daily basis. I love traveling. I will probably continue to travel and I’m grateful to travel but I also know that travel isn’t the answer. A challenge to traveling full-time is the language from time to time. I’m learning Spanish and Portuguese and it can be frustrating when I’m not saying things correctly or I can’t think of the right word. Another challenge is it can be hard to not become attached to routines and even to people. Part of how I’ve grown while traveling is I’ve learned to be more present and aware of where I am in the moment versus grasping at things and wanting them to be around forever. [Music Playing] My lifestyle with long-term travel is a fit for me and it’s always evolving. It’s never one exact lifestyle day in and day out. There’s all kinds of things I’m trying and experimenting with and I think long-term travel will be a fit until it isn’t and then I’ll do something different with my life. [Music Playing]>>DANIELLE: We hope you enjoyed meeting Jacqueline as much as we enjoyed touring Lisbon with her. If you want to find out more about her book, Travel Isn’t the Answer, or about Outsite, the co-living space where we met her, we’ll link to both of those in the description of this video. Thanks for watching and please subscribe if you want to see more alternative living videos. We post a new video every single week. See you next time.

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Comments

  1. I’m not a minimalist, I’ve traveled the world but have a home base. I haven’t ‘lived’ there for 3 years but will …one day. I may not be home for months and then touch down for only a few days, but it’s still home. There’s family heirlooms, baby clothes and my souvenir magnets ‘cluttering’ up the refrigerator door. I know where the floor creaks, what that odd sound is and the scent of my linen closet. Traveling doesn’t mean you need to ‘sell everything’ or that you need to give up the home you’ve worked hard to make and where you’ve years of memories. Other people are enjoying my home (and pets!) while I’m ‘wandering the Earth’…for awhile.

  2. Excellent!  I loved that Jacqueline touched on being in the moment, going outside of her comfort zones and being realistic about the actuality of travel.  The work/stay accommodation in Lisbon was lovely!  The World…she is a changing 🙂

  3. Really impressive. Considering her vitamins probably took up a lot of space it is even more impressive. =) Would have been interesting to see some kind of list of what she is carrying.

  4. I’m confused, one minute it sounds like she loves her job and by the title of her book it seems like she hates it.

  5. I've been a minimalist for about 10 years now. Less is more. Not being attached to inanimate objects really sets one free to really live.Thank you
    for your story of adventure and travel with less stuff and more fulfillment.

  6. A vacation is a vacation because you don't do it every day. Once you become a full time traveler, and your working it's no longer a vacation, it doesn't matter where you are.

  7. Ok, but there are minimalists that travel with literally just one backpack. Why make it harder on yourself with essentially 3?

  8. Awesome 🙂 I traveled almost 3years with a 30l backpack .. mainly asia and europe 🙂

    I guess its easier for a man to travel very light

  9. "it's surprising how many remote companies are out there" Right…it seems like they're non existent to me. I can never really find much online. It's either tutoring,IT, or odd jobs.

  10. LOL, I lived this way for six years with a bunch of other guys….in the US Navy. Now 15 years later I have my house paid off and I fill it up with my dogs and whatever I want. Also, my wife can stay too 🙂

  11. I really wonder if she gets lonely living like that 🤔
    Also, pursuing a lifestyle like that- doesn’t it kind of ruin what we love about traveling so much?

  12. How do you go about getting work visas for each country? Legally you do still need one even as a "digital nomad".

  13. This is the most responsible, mature video about a modern nomad I've ever seen! I like that she talks about working and not "glorifying travel".

  14. Wow! You two have gone a long way in production quality since your videos two years ago. Congrats! KEep up the good work, love what you do! Btw: I have my van now, yeppi!

  15. Jacqueline, Happiness=knowing yourself well, being grit, having balanced lifestyle, and being objective responsible.

  16. I did that part time freelancing as a private crew member for eleven years. Now, i deeply cherish my non moveable home, watching others travel. LOL

  17. I've lived in 3 CONTINENTES & 17 Country's, right now I'm settled in the US, for several years, I lived the CLASSICAL AMERICAN LIFE, 4000 SF HOUSE, DRIVING several HIGH END EUROPEAN CAR'S, and the CRASH of 2008 happened & a Divorce, I got RID of all my EXECESSEVE BAGGED and now I'M in to the MINIMALIST CONCEPT, ENJOYING LIFE AGAIN & TRAVELING to the FULLEST, and my CHART of HAPPINESS is OFF the SCALE !!! You DON'T NEED, that EXCESSIVE bagged to be HAPPY and to be SUCCESSFUL !!!! LIVE & TRAVEL & ENJOY !!!

  18. I have to say my husband and I are sitting here watching this and want to jump through the screen and shake her while steaming "HOW do you find those jobs?!?". She said it was easy, except we've been looking for years, I'm not joking years, for remote digital work and it either won't pay our or they need a very specific degree or skill set that we don't have or can't get. HOW??

  19. This was not a How-To Pack, instead I found a really great video on life. Listening to her speak about her life feels so peaceful, relaxed and present. I would watch this video again as a way to center, calm and focus. Thank you!

  20. We can see she has two full sized coats! She is a bit of a mix, writes a book about not travelling, and promotes it at the same time?

  21. I think she hit the nail on the head when she said travel isn't a shortcut to happiness and I think many people think travelling will solve their problems. Either way, she was inspiring 👌😁

  22. I dont understand how you make money I am not compatible with tech cannot edit matter effect my new phone damage my eyes

  23. I am buying her book. I have been travelling, volunteering and studying in 5 countries in the last year. "A Monday is still a Monday". You got me there

  24. An amazing insight! This video is generally very helpful & interesting. I’m working as a tour guide but would love to be a digital nomad one day. Currently documenting that journey on my channel…

  25. Funny how the downside of this was not talked about.
    Trendy minimalism? nomad "working"? Lots of spin here and no substance.

  26. What about carbon footprint? Air travel is one of the biggest causes of global warming, CO2 emissions. More and more people are travelling, for leisure and for work, and this is putting an enormous strain on the environment.

  27. the roman stoic seneca advised that travel is useless for clearing a mind cluttered with burdens: "you must change the mind, not the venue" (letters 28.1)

  28. Can you explain how you manage while traveling with health insurance. I am interested in this life style and are researching how to go about it. Has this been covered in any of your videos?

  29. Jacqueline! We met this morning in Los Angeles. Fantastic interview. It was great talking with you. All the best on your adventures. Pepper aka, Pamela

  30. Traveling light is great, but be aware that most airlines will only allow you 2 carry-ons, so she would have to check that third bag, even if it's small. They're really cracking down on this in recent years, counting purses etc. as bags.

  31. She was an excellent speaker, very realistic, which is something you don't hear alot from most people. I've noticed many people you've focused on have similar realistic views about how they are living, not the IG perfect crap that infiltrates most media.
    thanks for the good work!

  32. But does she travel the world by airplane ? Don´t want to bother…but that is not at all environmentally friendly 🙁 and it doesn´t have a small CO2Footprint. Just wondering what the Focus of your channel is…

  33. Very brave to do something like this and very inspiring! Minimalism is definitely the way forward and I also agree that travelling doesn’t make you happy as happiness is created from within 👍🏽

  34. Travel once in 3 or 4 months, that will spice up your experience. Frequent travelling leads to anxiety, as you will be thinking about preparing for your next journey, and some times the new journey may be labor intensive

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