How to Be Minimalists, Pack Light and Do Slow Long Term Traveling

BackpackME Ashray and Zara_
Ashray and Zara trekking the ice field of Chilean Patagonia

We’re​ ​Ashray​ ​and​ ​Zara​ ​from​ ​India​ ​and​ ​Portugal.​ ​We are ​world​ ​travelers​ ​and​ ​digital​ ​nomads.​ ​We​ ​spend​ ​our​ ​days exploring​ ​the​ ​world,​ ​while​ ​we​ ​work​ ​online,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​where​ ​we​ ​are.​ ​We​ ​run​ ​the​ ​travel​ ​blog​ ​​Backpack​ ​ME​,​ ​where we’d​ ​like​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​anyone​ ​to​ ​travel,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​where​ ​they​ ​come​ ​from!

BackpackME Ashray and Zara
Ashray and Zara in Lisbon Portugal

​How​ ​and​ ​why​ ​did​ ​you​ ​get​ ​into​ ​traveling?

Back​ ​in​ ​2011,​ ​we​ ​were​ ​working​ ​in​ ​Dubai.​ ​We​ ​had​ ​been​ ​living​ ​in​ ​the​ United Arab Emirates​ ​for​ ​several​ ​years​ ​and​ ​yearning​ ​for​ ​a change.​ ​So​ ​we​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​take​ ​off​ ​and​ ​go​ ​travel​ ​the​ ​world​ ​for​ ​a​ ​year​ ​-​ ​which​ ​later​ ​became​ ​six years​ ​and​ ​counting!​ ​But this​ ​didn’t​ ​exactly​ ​happen​ ​overnight.​ ​Still​ ​in​ ​Dubai​ ​we​ ​had​ ​an​ ​idea,​ ​we​ ​worked​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​save​ ​money​ ​and, eventually,​ ​hit​ ​the​ ​road.

We​ ​were​ ​both​ ​travel​ ​lovers​ ​before​ ​this​ ​big​ ​adventure​ ​but,​ ​up​ ​until​ ​that​ ​point​ ​of​ ​time,​ ​due​ ​to​ ​lack​ ​of​ ​time,​ ​we never​ ​got​ ​to​ ​enjoy​ ​much​ ​more​ ​than​ ​holidays.​ ​Now,​ ​we’re​ ​full​ ​on​ ​into​ ​long​ ​term​ ​slow​ ​travel.​ ​We​ ​take​ ​our​ ​sweet time​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​each​ ​place,​ ​partake​ ​in​ ​activities​ ​we​ ​probably​ ​wouldn’t​ ​consider​ ​if​ ​our​ ​time​ ​was​ ​more​ ​limited​ ​and overall​ ​enjoy​ ​getting​ ​a​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​what​ ​local​ ​life​ ​is​ ​all​ ​about​ ​in​ ​the​ ​places​ ​we​ ​travel​ ​to.

BackpackME Ashray and Zara
Ashray and Zara in South Korea

​How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​finance​ ​your​ ​travels?

We​ ​are​ ​location​ ​independent​ ​professionals.​ ​Apart​ ​from​ ​running​ ​our​ ​travel​ ​blog​ ​Backpack​ ​ME,​ ​Zara​ ​works​ ​as​ ​a freelance​ ​travel​ ​writer​ ​for​ ​other​ ​online​ ​publications,​ ​and​ ​Ashray​ ​is​ ​involved​ ​with​ ​several​ ​websites​ ​and​ ​start-ups in​ ​different​ ​topics​ ​ranging​ ​from​ ​video​ ​games​ ​to​ ​hiring.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​tell​ that ​we​ ​don’t​ ​like​ ​being​ ​stuck​ ​in​ ​one​ ​place​ ​only and​ ​we​ ​also​ ​don’t​ ​enjoy​ ​doing​ ​just​ ​one​ ​thing!

Why​ ​is​ ​traveling​ ​important​ ​for​ ​you?

Travel​ ​is​ ​the​ ​best​ ​school​ ​of​ ​life​ ​there​ ​is!​ ​Even​ ​though​ ​we​ ​both​ ​have​ ​a​ ​formal​ ​education,​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​relevant things​ ​we​ ​know​ ​these​ ​days​ ​are​ ​outcomes​ ​of​ ​life​ ​experiences.​ ​And​ ​what​ ​best​ ​to​ ​cover​ ​a​ ​wide​ ​range​ ​of​ ​life experiences​ ​than​ ​traveling​ ​and​ ​doing​ ​so​ ​in​ ​very​ ​distinct​ ​corners​ ​of​ ​the​ ​world,​ ​isn’t​ ​it?​ ​Right​ ​now,​ ​it​ ​would​ ​be​ ​so hard​ ​to​ ​picture​ ​our​ ​lives​ ​without​ ​traveling.

BackpackME Ashray and Zara
With the Vanguard Havana 41 backpack in Seoul Korea

How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​bring​ ​your​ ​things​ ​with​ ​you?

We​ ​like​ ​packing​ ​light,​ ​and​ ​believe​ ​that​ ​a​ ​minimalistic​ ​attitude​ ​(both​ ​on​ ​the​ ​road​ ​and​ ​at​ ​home!)​ ​give​ ​you​ ​great freedom​ ​and​ ​flexibility.​ ​We​ ​carry​ ​our​ ​stuff​ ​inside​ ​Osprey​ ​Meridian​ ​backpacks,​ ​which​ ​are​ ​great​ ​because​ ​they​ ​can be​ ​used​ ​as​ ​regular​ ​backpacks​ ​strapped​ ​on​ ​your​ ​shoulders,​ ​or​ ​simply​ ​wheeled​ ​around​ ​-​ ​we​ ​prefer​ ​the​ ​latter!​

​For photography​ ​and​ ​video​ ​gear,​ ​we​ ​have​ ​recently​ ​acquired​ ​a​ Vanguard​ ​Havana​ ​41,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​a​ ​super​ ​compact backpack​ ​but​ ​extremely​ ​functional.​ ​This​ ​bag​ ​also​ ​has​ ​a​ ​rain​ ​cover,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​important​ ​to​ ​protect​ ​expensive equipment.

One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​tips​ ​we​ ​can​ ​give​ ​adventure​ ​travelers​ ​and,​ ​overall,​ ​long​ ​term​ ​backpackers,​ ​is​ ​to​ ​pack​ ​only the​ ​essentials​ ​and​ ​get​ ​stuff​ ​as​ ​you​ ​need​ ​it,​ ​wherever​ ​you​ ​need​ ​it.​ ​Also,​ ​don’t​ ​be​ ​silly​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​strain​ ​your​ ​back if​ ​you’re​ ​planning​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​mostly​ ​urban​ ​locations.​ ​Simply​ ​get​ ​a​ ​backpack​ ​with​ ​wheels​ ​and​ ​roll​ ​it​ ​around​ ​with​ ​a smile​ ​on​ ​your​ ​face!

BackpackME Ashray and Zara
Our latest camera backpack Havana 41 by Vanguard

​How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​organize​ ​things​ ​in​ ​your​ ​bags?

We​ ​don’t​ ​pack​ ​that​ ​much​ ​stuff,​ ​so​ ​we​ ​never​ ​really​ ​felt​ ​the​ ​need​ ​to​ ​use​ ​packing​ ​cubes​ ​or​ ​any​ ​other​ ​accessories of​ ​the​ ​sort.​ ​We​ ​simply​ ​fold​ ​our​ ​clean​ ​clothes​ ​and​ ​stack​ ​them​ ​nicely​ ​so​ ​that​ ​they​ ​don’t​ ​get​ ​too​ ​crumpled.​ ​We place​ ​shoes​ ​inside​ ​plastic​ ​bags​ ​and​ ​carry​ ​a​ ​toiletry​ ​bag​ ​for​ ​our​ ​hygiene​ ​essentials.​ ​We​ ​really​ ​do​ ​like​ ​keeping​ ​it simple!​ ​We​ ​pack​ ​often​ ​and​ ​fast​ ​so,​ ​why​ ​complicate​ ​any​ ​further?!​ ​Ashray​ ​still​ ​holds​ ​the​ ​record​ ​for​ ​packing​ ​for​ ​our first​ ​RTW​ ​one​ ​year​ ​long​ ​trip​ ​in​ ​under​ ​10​ ​minutes!!

BackpackME Ashray and Zara
Our Osprey Meridian backpacks and everything we owned during the first year of our travels

​How​ ​do​ ​your​ ​bags​ ​and​ ​gear​ ​hold​ ​up?

We​ ​have​ ​been​ ​rocking​ ​our​ Osprey​ ​Meridian​ ​backpacks​ ​for​ ​a​ ​little​ ​over​ six​ ​years.​ ​That​ ​is​ ​six​ ​years​ ​of​ ​almost constant​ ​use.​ ​They​ ​do​ ​not​ ​look​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​at​ ​this​ ​point,​ ​but​ ​they’re​ ​still​ ​holding​ ​up​ ​pretty​ ​well.​ ​The​ ​wheels​ ​and rack​ ​have​ ​lost​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​of​ ​screws​ ​by​ ​now,​ ​but​ ​those​ ​are​ ​things​ ​that​ ​can​ ​be​ ​repaired​ ​fairly​ ​easy.​ ​When​ ​we​ ​got these​ ​backpacks​ ​though,​ ​we​ ​read​ ​about​ ​Osprey’s​ ​All​ ​Mighty​ ​Guarantee.​ ​We​ ​thought​ ​these​ ​minor​ ​repairs​ ​would be​ ​covered​ ​by​ ​the​ ​company,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​turns​ ​out​ ​we​ ​were​ ​wrong.​ ​When​ ​you​ ​buy​ ​expensive​ ​equipment,​ ​it’s​ ​important to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​look​ ​at​ ​these​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​details.​ ​So​ ​keep​ ​this​ ​in​ ​mind!

​Any​ ​gear​ ​you​ ​wish​ ​you​ ​had​ ​brought​ ​with​ ​you​ ​from​ ​the​ ​beginning?

We’ve​ ​been​ ​using​ ​the​ ​same​ ​set​ ​of​ ​backpacks​ ​since​ ​2011.​ ​And,​ ​knowing​ ​us,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​be​ ​using​ ​them​ ​until​ ​they have​ ​really​ ​done​ ​all​ ​the​ ​work​ ​that​ ​they​ ​can​ ​do!​ ​But​ ​when​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​day​ ​packs,​ ​we​ ​now​ ​know​ ​that​ ​we​ ​should have​ ​invested​ ​in​ ​something​ ​more​ ​robust​ ​a​ ​little​ ​earlier.​ ​We​ ​missed​ ​having​ ​a​ ​daily​ ​backpack​ ​with​ ​better​ ​shoulder padding,​ ​and​ ​easier​ ​access​ ​for​ ​essentials​ ​on​ ​the​ ​go.​ ​We’re​ ​pretty​ ​happy​ ​with​ ​our​ ​latest​ ​pick​ ​from​ ​Vanguard​ ​on this​ ​department​ ​though.

BackpackME Ashray and Zara
With the Osprey Meridian day pack in Costa Rica

​What​ ​has​ ​been​ ​your​ ​best​ ​travel-related​ ​purchase​ ​below​ ​$100?

The​ ​Vanguard​ ​Havana​ ​camera​ ​backpack​ ​we​ ​recently​ ​got​ ​goes​ ​for​ ​about​ ​USD80​ ​and​ ​we’re​ ​very​ ​happy​ ​with​ ​it so​ ​far!

​What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​best​ ​advice​ ​for​ ​other​ ​travelers?

Once​ ​again,​ ​don’t​ ​strain​ ​your​ ​back:​ ​buy​ ​a​ ​backpack​ ​with​ ​wheels!​ ​Unless​ ​you’re​ ​going​ ​out​ ​hiking​ ​in​ ​the wilderness​ ​or​ ​plan​ ​on​ ​taking​ ​long​ ​walks​ ​on​ ​very​ ​uneven​ ​paths,​ ​a​ ​backpack​ ​with​ ​wheels​ ​will​ ​do​ ​wonders!​ ​Even better:​ ​get​ ​a​ ​hybrid​ ​backpack.​ ​Like​ ​this,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​wear​ ​it​ ​on​ ​your​ ​shoulders​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​out​ ​in​ ​nature,​ ​and​ ​roll​ ​it around​ ​when​ ​you​ ​hit​ ​the​ ​city.​ ​It’s​ ​the​ ​best​ ​of​ ​both​ ​worlds!

BackpackME Ashray and Zara_
Roadtripping in Chile

​What​ ​will​ ​the​ ​future​ ​bring?

We’re​ ​currently​ ​in​ ​Lisbon​ ​decompressing​ ​from​ ​some​ ​pretty​ ​intense​ ​weeks​ ​in​ ​South​ ​Korea​ ​-​ ​which​ ​we​ ​loved! Next​ ​week,​ ​we’re​ ​also​ ​starting​ ​a​ ​gastronomic​ ​tour​ ​of​ ​Portugal. ​We’re​ ​planning​ ​to​ ​hit​ ​several​ ​cities​ ​beyond​ ​the more​ ​obvious​ ​Lisbon​ ​and​ ​Porto,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​rural​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​the​ ​centre​ ​and​ ​interior​ ​of​ ​the​ ​country.​ ​As​ ​always,​ ​we will​ ​be​ ​sharing​ ​everything​ ​we​ ​see​ ​and​ ​do​ ​live​ ​with​ ​our​ ​followers on our social media accounts.

Visit Ashray and Zara on their website and follow them on Instagram and Facebook


About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Tweet
Share
Pin