Tentatively, I unzipped my backpack and waited patiently for an army of crabs to come walking out
Three weeks ago I would have had a minor panic attack at the thought of sharing a room with numerous crabs, invisible and very visible bugs and random cats that wake you up by biting your toes.
Today I can say that I shared a room with bats and it turned out to be one of my absolute favorite places in Central America.
I was certain this adventure would teach me epic life lessons and turn my life upside down but I never imagined that some of my biggest lessons would have came from my backpack.
Carrying around a 40 pound backpack for those thirty days gave my life an entirely new perspective, granting me these lessons that I’ll take with me when my life on the road ends:
We don’t need all of the material possessions that we think we need. When you’re carrying your life’s possessions around on your back you realize that chances are you have too much stuff. It turns out that you don’t need a third to a half of the products, clothes and appliances that you think you can’t live without. I also found that living without them is absolutely liberating.
Organization is your best friend. Do you know how efficient you can be when all of your things are stowed away where they should be? The same is applied to our work lives and homes. When our living spaces are organized our minds can follow suit. It’s a match made in heaven.
The simple life is the easy life. When you are living out of a backpack, things are simplified. Your options are slim and you awaken to the fact that we are the ones overcomplicating the decisions of our lives by constantly adding in new factors that create indecision. Simplicity is key.
Let it go. At one point, there was a 99% chance that I was going to stumble upon an unwanted critter residing inside of my backpack. In the same moment that I despised my current situation I realized that I had no other option but to let it go. Whether I wanted it or not, I didn’t have control and so that is life.
Living out of a backpack will teach you more than just how to live with limited clothing options and a lack of hair appliances. It’ll show you that the things you thought you couldn’t live without are actually the first to get kicked to the curb (for example, conditioner).
I never ended up finding any strange creatures inside of my backpack (that I know of) but I certainly found something much more intense. I found a new way of living, a different lifestyle that enlightened me to the values that I needed to prioritize in my life.
Now when life hands me lemons that involve bats and other weird things, I’m up for the challenge and because of that I know that I am experiencing my life to its absolute full potential.