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How Being Intentional About Your Possessions Can Improve Your Life

After 5 years living out of a 15-pound backpack, here’s my reflection.


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Adam J. Cheshier

3 years ago | 1 min read

“Many people are scared to adapt.”

When I read this in an article from

Jack Krier on Medium, I started applauding. In my living room. Alone. I clapped. Finally, someone gets it.

Adapting, to me, is a part of life. If life is truly lived in seasons, we have to adapt. Yet, too many don’t want to face the task of change.

Change is challenging.

Change is unknown.

Change is scary.

If there is one thing I’ve learned after five years of nomadism, it’s that adapting one’s life brings on as many fruitful gains as it does challenges.

Nowadays, I itch for change. A sedentary life gets slow and easy. A life without new challenges is too dull.

Adapting to change drives activity. Through activity, we get movement and adrenaline, and a mix of other clues that show us we’re alive.

Jack writes that living from two backpacks for a few years has changed his life. In the article linked below, he highlights six realizations backpacking has brought him. All are positive, but I can sure as hell guarantee adapting to it wasn’t easy.

It takes patience to pack your life into a few bags. Or, as in my case, one 15-pound bag that carries all my life’s possessions (that’s including my 5-pound laptop). It requires self-reflection, as Jack has experienced. He had to question his dire needs and what’s important in life.

As a result, it requires parting ways with quite a bit, too. At first, that was sad. I was constantly leaving sentimental value behind. There is no room for useless things in my backpack.

But, after a while, I realized the memories are still with me. Material things with sentimental value are only things. The memory is what you hold onto.

I’m not saying the minimalist way is the right way to live. To most people, it must seem crazy. However, I only wonder what-if more people showed the desire to be intentional with what they own. As if they were living out of a backpack.

Maybe adapting to other parts of life would come easier, too.

Originally published here.


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