Stuff. If you could hear the way I say it in my head, you’d know it’s meant to be a derogatory term.

Don’t get me wrong. I love stuff: great shoes, beautiful home decorations, thoughtful presents, those every day items that make modern life just a little bit easier.

It’s only when I have to move that stuff that I realize the honeymoon is over. Which of course is what happened when we packed up and moved out of our one bedroom NYC apartment so we could travel the world.

I know many of you are thinking how much stuff could you possibly fit in a one bedroom apartment. It’s definitely more than you think. All the items we had so artfully stored away in high closet shelves and under-the-bed organizers really came back to bite us. We even gave away a ton of stuff: clothes, kitchen items, random knick knacks, our couch and bed frame all went to Salvation Army.

The rest of our stuff is either in my parent’s basement or on our backs.

Most of our earthly possessions stored in my parents basement

And neither appears to be pared down at all.

We had always initially thought when packing for this trip, we would each bring a solid backpacker’s backpack and a front pack.

After determining that hardcore backpacker backpacks would a) cost more than our budget allowed and b) be way to small, we decided to go a different route. (I was an extra small in backpack sizes. Do you think I could have packed an extra small amount of stuff!?)

So we headed over to Kaufman’s Army and Navy on 42nd Street and bought standard army issue duffles for less than $40 each.

I did have to make some tough decisions on what clothes to leave behind but we managed to each pack just under 50 lbs worth of stuff (the weight our duffles need to stay under in order to avoid overweight baggage fees.)

Seemed like a good idea at the time. And most of the time it still is. Like right now when the bag is sitting on the floor in our room in Rio and my clothes are nicely stored away on shelves.

Again, like most stuff, it’s only when you have to move it that it becomes a problem.

For example, when we decided that we were tough enough to walk from our pousada in Paraty all the way to the bus station with all our gear on, I hated our stuff. Google Maps puts the distance at 2.5 km or about 1.5 miles.

Our walk to the bus station in Paraty, Brazil

I now fully understand why our hostess said we were breaking her heart when we told her we didn’t need a taxi because we ‘re walking.

Here’s a little video to commemorate the event:

See, even now, since I’m not moving my stuff, I love it again.  

~ Molly

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