Lets unpack this.

Moving from country to country to couches in the past months has been fun, but after a couple weeks I started to realise how much stuff I use on a day to day basis. So I started to pack- unpack – pack again and eventually everything boiled down to the essentials.



It was to much stuff from the beginning to let go. From the bike shop/two houses/galleries, but I managed to dwindle down the 6 years of memories from Bike/art/NGO life into two suitcases and one brown leather bag. Before I left Cambodia – I donated roughly half my stuff to friends/NGO’s so I can’t wait to visit again and hear about there new adventures in there new homes.


Comfortable living amongst soul mates and the longest I stayed in one spot for my entire time in the North America. Living out of two suitcases was just messy. Unfortunately due to luggage weight and a hetic travel schedule to Canada I could only take one suitcase/bag with me, and after some hetic packing I dwindled it down to just one bag (13 years and still going strong – thanks MEC). It’s crazy to think that I have a bag of old school journals, art and clothes in L.A, but its more of an excuse to visit my friends again.


Home is where your friends dwell over good beer, ax throwing and long walks in the park. After several more random trips to the US crashing in hotels, cottages, couch surfing etc this MEC bag (that I traded with Andrea in Nepal 6 years ago) still lives up to the test.

Before leaving Toronto I wandered over to MEC twice and after 5 hrs+ picked out a new bag and some equipment, Rachel use to work here and her advice was crucial.

After carefully planning, I dwindled down all my possession to just half a tupperware container, one book shelf and then a small suit case. I am sure if I had time I could have packed all of it down to two bags, but meh. All of this made it easy to pack for Afghan and I packed the essentials to prepare for life in a small town.


I really didn’t need all that stuff that I bought with me for the training sessions in Paris (since half of it was field stuff), but I had to travel with everything I needed for the next 6 months+. I nicknamed that new MEC bag Feisty (no relation to Feist or Paris…none what-so-ever)- she’s my new gf and my mature travel companion to work, conferences, meetings etc.


I left one suitcase here (again) at headquarters, put everything into my duffel + little MEC bag and hopped aboard a small plane to my new transitional home in the mountains.


While I await security clearance and for the taliban to take a nap (so that I can travel up to my new home), I am currently based in town that’s a hop, skip and a UN flight away. Pretty much 90% of what I packed here are items that I can live without on a day to day basis.

I am quite happy with less. I can feel it. Walking into a store or shopping mall when I was back in North America was liberating because while I was cultured shocked by the glitz and flashing lights – I rarely felt like I needed to buy anything (even books!). And while I miss my furniture, my art and especially my bike. I know that all those physically objects where being removed from my life for a reason, sometimes involuntarily, sometimes through luggage allowance and yet I feel completely a peace with what little I own, in fact I still think its too much.


3 thoughts on “Lets unpack this.

  1. Leigh! – you must have had a hard time purging as well needs vs wants – its a long move. Much love back!
    AMJ – Not sure if this soul wants to strip it all down to the bucket – sounds scarry! But super happy about this journey so far. Rock on!

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