The photo to the left is a picture of my luggage: 1 laptop bag and the equivalent of a school backpack. I have been using these two bags to house all of my belongings during the last two years of travel.
This is not everything I own. I still keep a fair amount of stuff in storage. But in terms of what I need, everything can fit into these two bags. I don’t carry a lot of clothes with me and I typically handwash a few things every other day. Beyond that, I have a couple of small cameras (one for video, one for photos), a field recorder for music, a laptop, and a few basic toiletries.
There are many reasons why I love traveling like this. For one, I’m not breaking my back every time I need to move to a new location. I’ve watched backpackers struggle onto buses with their rucksacks while I sit comfortably with my two bags at my feet. Moving around is easy.
There is also the added benefit of not buying worthless junk. I don’t have a lot of room so I can’t be spending my money on crap I don’t need.
But more than anything else, there is a psychological benefit to having all your belongings in two small bags. It weighs less on your back, but also on your head. It is one thing I can do to free up my mind for more important things: living my life. I never thought material possessions were that important, but now that lesson has been crystallized over the course of the past two years. It’s true: you really don’t need a lot of stuff, and if you have too many things it’s probably weighing you down in more ways than one.
Shaving my head has had a similarly mind-freeing effect. The first time I shaved my head, I experienced a general feeling of liberation. I considered that feeling a victory over anxiety and self-consciousness. All that negative emotion that fell to the floor along with my clipped off hair. That running self-conscious mental monologue finally silenced.
But since shaving my head, I’ve also noticed some other liberating aspects of the look that have gone beyond the original defeat of anxiety. To start with, I never think about my hair. Seriously. I never wonder what my hair looks like. I don’t have any. There is my head and that’s it. Furthermore, I don’t have to worry about special shampoos, combs and gels. I have a pair of electric clippers. That is my “hair” maintenance. I don’t need a barbershop.
None of these benefits would be enough to motivate me to shave my head on their own, but they are an incredibly welcome bonus. Don’t underestimate the glorious freedom that comes with never having to think about your hair (or lack of it). Your head will be less cluttered (literally and figuratively) and your life will be better for it.
For more on this, I suggest checking out this post from Zen Habits, which is run by a guy who shaves his head and lives simply.
Happy Easter, Passover or simply, happy long weekend, depending on where you are and what you celebrate. I am in a part of the world where none of these things are relevant, but because I am self-employed I am going to go ahead and give myself the day off tomorrow. More to come soon, on the site as well as the email list.
If you enjoyed this post, check out my How to Deal with Hair Loss ebook. It details my personal story of beating male pattern baldness, explains all the options for dealing with hair loss, and offers concrete tips and strategies for getting over it and building confidence.