The Marie Kondo of Travelling

What’s your bet? Everyone’s talking about it. Some are doing it. The younger generation seem to be embracing it. Decluttering. Fad or long term trend?

Plus the micro houses as permanent homes, no bigger than a caravan, have a growing following. People like Marie Kondo have certainly sparked our interest in reassessing how much stuff we need.

The contrast was no more evident in a comparison of two places where we recently stayed. One was an Airbnb in Staten Island, New York City. It had what I’d describe as an overdosed homely feel about it. There was not one spare square inch of space in the whole apartment that was not taken up by some trinkety thingamy jig. It felt overwhelming and gave you a feeling there was no room for you.

By contrast, one of our favourites in Merano, northern Italy, was the Barcode House. It was basically a box stuck out in the middle of the river front path. The owner told us it used to be a victim of graffiti attacks. Until he had the great idea in conjunction with the local art school, to paint stripes up and down it to resemble bar codes.  Solution, no more graffiti…. providing you don’t mind living in a bar code box. Despite the attraction for being novel, the interior, though small was sparsely but tastefully decorated. With the added huge feature of the window opening up to embrace the magnificent outdoor natural beauty. So much did we love it we baked a bar code cake to share with passers-bye! It’s quite a fascinating experience hanging out the window of a house painted like a bar code, trying to give away free bar code decorated cake to passing strangers with the added challenge of not being able to speak their language!

But why limit this decluttering trend to our homes. What about our travel bags? You know what the liberating experience is like when you’ve just cleaned out a cupboard and let go of three quarters of the surplus items.

Well, if you haven’t already, you should try the same thing with your travel bag. Better still a backpack. Having just a backpack no bigger than carry on luggage size is, as well, a very liberating experience.

If you think it’s too much for your back, watch people try lugging a suitcase up some of the train station steps in Europe. Now whoever came up with the no brainer why didn’t I think of that idea of wheels on suitcases, is a hero. But, what he or she didn’t consider was when you leave the airport or your lounge room. Try dragging your once glide on air accessory across a few cobblestone footpaths or roads to get to your hotel, and discover how smoothly it still follows you… not.

Hence the go anywhere advantage of a backpack. Sure, you don’t have a wardrobe range of options to parade each day. But the simplicity of just two of everything from sox and undies to tops and pants is as rewarding as a decluttered room. And a very liberating feeling to go with it. Really, we just don’t need all that extra stuff. The secret is to buy good quality, quick dry items you can rinse out each night so they’re ready to go again the next day. If you’d like more details of what to pack… males and females, please let me know and I’d be pleased to give you my more specific tips and recommendations.

The pictures above are just a glimpse of some of the spectacular scenery taken from the Benina Rail Express in Switzerland; northern Italy’s version of Switzerland but at half the price; delightful and switched on Slovenia to where the feature picture was taken enjoying a glass of wine at sunset overlooking the Danube in Tulln, near Vienna, Austria. Check out the short videos below for more of an insight….

The sun may be setting on our little northern hemisphere travel adventure over the past few months, but to all the wonderful friends …and family, we had the absolute pleasure of enjoying along the way…. may we raise  our glass once more to say, until next time…  Cheers, Prost, Saluti, Na zdravje….


The Benina Express. It’s a world heritage listed experience. A popular four hour photo clicking awe inspiring journey that takes you from Chur through the Swiss mountains down to Terino in Italy.


Move over Switzerland. Italy has some stunning scenery to match. Like here in Northern Italy, near the border of Austria. Join me and come along for the ride on this 60km down hill ride from Mals down to Merano….


Merano, Northern Italy. It’s got mountains, a delightful village atmosphere…. and one other feature: The Barcode House…!!


The Barcode House – UNCUT Version. Sometimes you just have to go to extra leeeeengths….


Slovenia…. It maybe the road less traveled for the general tourists, but for those who do go there it’s a picture postcard waiting to be experienced. And meet my friend Jo to find out what adventurous activity he took up at age 63. You’re never too old….


Cruising up and down the Danube in Austria….not necessarily by boat…


The Schnitty. Important information to know when you next order your Schnitty at the local pub…. where does the Weiner Schnitzel originate from? It’s not where you think…


The Youthful Art of Midlife Travel. (A new titled version of My Senior Gap Year) A story described by readers as entertaining and inspiring. Find out more at The book and kindle version is available from Amazon: Click here: (Australia:
 and like My Senior Gap Year page at

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