I travel light for many reasons. One of the most important is so I can easily carry my gear with me, regardless of where I am.
When I'm on the road, for example, I take my bag to breakfast. I do not leave my camera, laptop, and iPad in the hotel room. On road trips, I bring the Fastpack 150 AW inside for coffee stops and lunches. It doesn't belong locked up in the trunk. Where I go, so goes my gear.
On the surface, this sound materialistic, doesn't it? Anything but. I make my living with cameras and computers. They contain ideas, manuscripts, random thoughts, images, invoices, records, and memories. And when you think about it, they're easy to protect.
Carry one reasonably-sized bag, light and compact enough to accompany me as I navigate the world, and I am free. I can work anywhere at any time.
When I was a teenager, I saved for months to buy a Yashica SLR with three lenses. I was a stringer for the local paper and the yearbook photographer. During a Saturday afternoon at the beach, someone broke in to my faded blue VW bug and took everything. It wasn't even visible from the outside. They just found it.
A few years later, in college, my rented house was burglarized, and once again my gear was gone. The tools that I used to earn income and fulfill my class assignments were in the hands of an uncaring stranger.
People who steal from others suck. To them, these are just items to be cashed in for a few dollars. For those those stolen from, however, these things are part of our life. You don't steal a man's horse.
Being nimble has many advantages. And one of them is not having things taken from behind your back. I carry only what I need and limit my spending to what I can use.
I'm sharing this with you from a bustling Denny's in Gilroy California. The waitress has just refreshed my coffee. The egg white omelet was excellent. And all is right with the world.