Smelly Hippie?

Before I hit the open road in May,  I had a vision of myself as a hip backpacker, traveling throughout Mexico with all of my worldly possessions attached to my body. Up until now, this hasn’t happened because we brought way too much stuff with us for me to backpack with. But now, after 12 weeks on the road, I’m finally living the hippie lifestyle sans the smelly clothes, dirty feet and lack of money.

When we visited Zihuatanejo in March to see if wanted to live there,  we lucked out and found a three-bedroom house to rent starting in October.  After putting down the deposit, we asked the owners if we could store stuff there instead of bringing it back to the U.S. and they kindly agreed. We returned to California with much less than we came with.

When we arrived in Mexico in May, we each came with the following items:

  1. Two medium-sized backpacks. We both have backpacks that are wearable and frameless, but they also can be rolled.
  2. Two day packs.
  3.  A HUGE black rolling bag filled with extension cords, house decorations, shoes and spare clothes.
  4. Another box containing two folding chairs, spare towels and Kemo (our stuffed traveling dog).

Because we have access to a rental car, we jam-packed our 2010 Nissan Rogue SUV with our worldly possessions and took it on the road with us.  Everyplace we went, we’d make two or three trips hauling it inside.

Then, two weeks ago, my mom, sister and brother-in-law came to visit us and we met them back in Zihuatanejo. After Zihuatanejo, four of us were planning on going on the road for a week to Patzcuaro, Morelia, San Miguel De Allende, and Guanjuanto. Fitting their stuff and our stuff in the car wasn’t gonna happen.  Andy told me it was time to seriously downsize and so we once again called the people who own the house we will be renting in October and asked if we could store more of our things. They kindly said OK. Score!

But I was worried. Could I do more with less?   I need my stuff!!!

But upon further examination,  I was getting weary of lugging so much stuff around. My backpack was overflowing and was hard to zip  up, even when I rolled (never folded) my clothes.  Additionally,  I really had no idea what was living in my day pack.  And our black spare duffel was filled to the brim. Plus we had an extra bag for shoes, a food bag and a small cooler to pack drinks and snacks for the road.  Oy.

It was time to live my hippie backpack fantasy and repack!!!

Here’s a quick accounting of what I brought with me for the next two months.

two skirts  (one nice jean skirt, and one casual flowery skirt)
three tank tops
four dresses
two pairs of leggings (one jean and one black)
A pair of black yoga pants
four or five shirts
three pairs of shorts (two jean shorts and one black pair) and one pair of workout shorts
one bathing suit
three pairs of socks
7 pairs of underwear
3 bras
five pairs of shoes (too many shoes if you ask me)

Now I feel liberated having so few possessions. All of this easily fit into my large backpack and it’s way easier to keep track of everything.

And we’re starting to realize that with less stuff, there is less stuff to tempt cleaning staff and other assorted workers. This is a good thing.

I’m not sure how I’m going to feel wearing the same outfits day in and day out. I should have just enough variety.  We’ve had very easy access to laundry machines or paid laundry services, so I don’t anticipate this will be a problem. The apartment where we are staying for the next six weeks has a laundry machine.

Take a minute to watch this fantastic video about the city of Guanjuanto, where we’re living for the next five or six weeks.

Here’s a few photo of my luggage.  Not bad for an old lady!


The red backpack rolls and can be worn. The other black bag is a regular backpack.


I may not be a true hippie, but this sure is close to the hippie lifestyle!




3 thoughts on “Smelly Hippie?

  1. Good going, and you can definitely get used to this! We spent six months in Playa del Carmen, traveling with only a medium sized backpack apiece, plus our small dog in her airline carrier, and a small day bag for each of us. We did just fine, and you will too. You can actually purchase a lot of the things you may find you need or want in Mexico! 🙂 Have fun!


  2. You two have always been creative and resourceful so it’s no wonder how well this is all working out! Love keeping up with your adventures, please keep on keeping on!


  3. The one thing I continually learn is I pack more clothes than I need. And we are down to 2 smallish back packs and a small carry on bag when we leave the boat. And I still take too much!


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