About Half the Clothes

budget travel can be transformational travel as explained by top travel blog half the clothes


Then Half the Clothes is the right place for you!

The site began as a travel blog, and — yes — I continue to step onto trains and planes, type up travel how-tos, and share stories with armchair travelers.

But I’m kind of obsessed with  people  who feel dissatisfied and stuck.

I meet them constantly.  At university, I wrote my senior thesis on exactly this phenomenon: the other equipment operators at the coal mine where I worked regularly admonished me not to end up like they did – working a job I don’t love for decades.

How I spent every waking hour of summer vacation and Christmas break for four years.  Were it not for all my co-workers begging me to resist the golden handcuffs, I might have plowed into a mortgage and car payment and a few maxed out credit cards before realizing I had built my own prison cell.

If you’re happy with your life, GREAT.  Hell yeah!  Go you!

But if you’re craving change, maybe it’s time to push back against your fears.

(Or read: Retirement Before 30
Or: Why a Hard-Working Perfectionist”¦ Doesn’t Want a Job.)

For now, if travel is the method you’re dreaming of using to break your own mold,  start here.  For those with the desire and the courage, vulnerable, engaged travel is an excellent path to transformation.   Why?  It isolates you from the years of learned cues and habits that constantly undermine our attempts to change.   Or as Priya Parker put it in her awesome book, “Friends and family know who you have been, and they often make it harder to try out who you might become.   Strangers, unconnected to our pasts, and in most cases, to our futures, are easier to experiment around.   They create a temporary freedom to pilot-test what we might become, however untethered that identity is to what we have been.

Can’t or don’t want to travel?   Rest easy knowing an at-home journey can produce the same awesomeness!

half the clothes budget travel blog encourages transformative travel like this fish traveling from its smaller bowl to a bigger bowl with a giant leap of courage


Why You Matter to Me

Your personal growth not only improves your life, but the lives of all those you touch.   That domino effect makes the world a better place.

Personal growth affects everyone around you so start the domino effect in your life with transformative travel using budget travel expert half the clothes travel tips

I’m confident that once you have the life you want — catalyzed by transformative travel or just resources like these  — you’ll discover real community.   With plenty of time and emotional energy left over to give to others, you’ll become part of a network of people who are also giving back to you.

You’ll become one of the richest people you know.

You’ll have the sense of security you got from your past paycheck-to-paycheck, 40+ hour a week life.   But you’ll also have the time freedom you always dreamed of.   Time to spend with family and friends.   Time to be outside.   Time to play.


How to Begin Now

If your dream is transformative travel, read 9 Good Reasons to Travel.   Or head over to  Travel Secrets  to get planning.

If your dream is just to stop the endless cycle of beating a path between your front door and your desk, paying off debt, paying bills, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, maybe caring for children, maintaining your home and belongings, maybe taking care of your health, and consuming media, restaurant food, booze, and material possession for fun… yes!   You can do it!

First you need inspiration, then you need an action plan.  

The courage to live outside our cultural default   – a permanent cycle of consumption and exhaustion in exchange for a sense of security –   is challenging to maintain in the face of the same patterns, people, and places that have always surrounded you.

Break the mold.  Check out Tools To Become Fearless & Unstoppable.

tranformative travel and personal growth blog half the clothes wants you to start road begin journey

What The Site Isn’t

Some folks dreaming of Italian villas or Thailand’s beaches have only  consumptive travel in mind.   There are PLENTY of other travel blogs about that out there.   If you’re just wanting to smash through your bucket list so you can have a trophy collection of experiences, I’m not your gal.

  • Half the Clothes is not a travel blog about me.  It’s a transformative travel and personal development site.  It’s a collection of stories to make you smile, laugh, and breathe  sighs of relief that it hasn’t happened to you!
  • Half the Clothes is also not anti-40-hour-work-weeks.  A solid group of folks in this world thoroughly enjoy their 40, 50, 60, 70 hour a week existence.  They would never call what they do “the daily grind.”  I used to trade my time for money at a rate of 50 to 80 hours per week.  I still spend 40 to 60 hours a week focused on responsibilities to others, but I stopped doing it for money.  The things I get instead are way more valuable.  I love my life.  Forty hours is only a problem when what you’re doing drains you of energy to do anything else.
  • Half the Clothes is not a website designed to make the author  money.  I see plenty of sites and blogs with paid content that many site owners see as a fact of life.  Here’s Why I (Mostly) Say No To Sponsored Posts.   I agree with Wandering Earl: “offering up B.S. doesn’t help anyone.  My goal is  to help you, not to get a company to see me as the perfect traveler to peddle their wares to the masses salivating with envy as the read about my global exploits.”    As of 2021, I’ve published nearly 700 articles, and less than half-of-a-percent of them are attached to money in any way.


Why “Half the Clothes?”

When I started the site, I read through travel quotes looking for domain-name ideas.   I loved Susan Heller’s advice:

transformative travel blog half the clothes wants you to budget minimalist travel to achieve change as show by quote susan heller when preparing to travel lay out all your clothes and all your money. then take half the clothes and twice the money quote

Long  before I watched Fight Club and heard Tyler Durden say “the things you own end up owning you,” I’d been wary of the amount of emotional and mental space we donate to stuff.

It was pretty easy for me to prioritize Ms. Heller’s packing advice when I hit the road.

Traveling with minimal possessions opens the traveler up to amazing experiences.  I knew it intuitively, have experienced it first-hand, and spent weeks in sweltering internet cafes writing an insanely detailed packing list to make sure other travelers have the same opportunities.

Having Less = Having More

The kind of travel where you pay for everything, where you always book hotel rooms, always buy transit, plan everything well in advance, eat meals from restaurants, stand in line at museums, board a tour bus, where the only “locals” you interact with are standing on the other end of a paycheck… is not the kind of travel that will touch you deeply.   That will change you profoundly.   Instead, it will probably leave you feeling empty, especially if done for longer than a week or two.

Why?   Because to depend on others and be depended upon is what it takes to feel fully alive.

When you take ”˜half the clothes’, you’re willing to risk not already having everything you to need, to risk depending on others – even if it’s just depending on the watermelon seller on the corner to understand your pantomime of “shoelaces.”   You put yourself in a place where you can see bumps in the road as opportunities, where it becomes a delight to flex your going-with-the-flow muscle.   The more risks you take to depend on others, the deeper and richer sense of aliveness and community you will experience.   Community — a sense of fellowship and connection — is why many people long to travel in the first place.

transformative travel always leads you to valuing community says transformative travel blog Half the Clothes

I know after years of continuous travel that the ”˜half the clothes’ mentality applies both at home and abroad.   The ”˜half the clothes’ lifestyle makes it possible for you to have the richest existence imaginable and to share your spoils with those around you — whether you’re on the road or deeply rooted in once place.  ♣

Like What You See?!

Whether you’re interested in transformative travel or personal growth at home, be sure to get onboard with my top life-hack: free flights!

Get inspired: Grabbing Life by the Handlebars: Retirement Before 30

If you’ve got questions, you can contact me.

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Happy Traveling!  ♣