The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Recently, I moved out of my childhood home, and as my mom and I were cleaning out my room, we came upon my sticker stash... Essentially, two drawers filled to the brim with stickers of all types. Surf shop di-cuts, scratch n sniff, baby animal stickers, you name it. I honestly could have started a sticker store with all these bad boys. This collection had been building for about 18 years, and for some odd reason, I chose never to stick them anywhere. Yeah, I was a weird kid. But that’s not the point of this anecdote... the moral of the story is: I was a total hoarder.

This hoarding issue does not just apply to stickers (side note: I picked out a few favorites and threw the rest in the recycling bin. Five-year-old me was very disappointed). I have always liked ‘collecting’ things, which is a gentler way of saying I never got rid of anything, ever. You never know when you might need that piece of ribbon from a present you got on your 8th birthday, right?

As I’ve gotten older, my collector tendencies have been pretty much entirely transferred to clothing and swimwear. I am a major thrift store junkie (ha. junk. thrift stores. get it?) and I am always on the lookout for awesome and cheap vintage denim. I also have been super fortunate that through surfing, I have been able to test out swimsuits from several brands over the years, which has led me to gather a pretty hefty treasure trove (plastic bin) of bikinis. Unfortunately, as I prepare for my big trip, it is dawning upon me that my 13 pairs of thrift store jeans and zillion bathing suits will not be fitting in my 80-liter backpack.

So here I am, faced with the inevitable task of sifting through the piles and finding the select few pieces that make the cut. Of course, as much as I love to gather these items, I know that material possessions are not important, and that I will be a heck of a lot happier with a light load on my back as I travel through the tropics... especially since I’ll be towing a 70 pound longboard bag behind me.

My goal is to pack a bunch of super versatile, easy to wash clothes, such as one-piece bathing suits, which are great for surfing and can be easily worn with jean shorts as a bodysuit for a casual night out! At least I’ll be in places where bathing suits are pretty acceptable attire for any occasion. No need for heavy jackets in Bali! The more that I think about it, a wardrobe of just some bikinis, jean shorts, and no struggle to pick out any complicated outfits doesn’t sound too terrible. Something tells me I will learn to like this whole minimalism thing.