The New Luxury is Living Light

When is weight good… and when is it bad?

Download PDF: Luxury living light

Weighing the golden scales

Weight is good for gold, weight of good, or a “weighty” opinion. Even in algorithms and computer science, to add “weight” to an operation is to give it power and influence.

Often we measure weight with “quality” or value. For example, a heavier camera (study Leica) feels more “quality” than a lighter plastic camera.

This is strange — ideally, the lighter plastic camera should be superior to the heavier brass camera. Why? The lighter the camera, the better — we carry it with us more with us, we shoot more photos, and we feel less fatigue when shooting pictures.

When is weight bad?

Weight is bad when we want to fly, go fast, or explore.

For example if you’re shooting for Mars, you want your spaceship as light as possible. If you’re building a race-car, it’s more effective to reduce weight (carbon fiber parts) than just adding horsepower.

When you’re traveling, it’s always best to travel light. Every ounce you can shed will allow you to travel further, with less fatigue.

Thus for movement, weight is bad. But with “quality” or for physical property — heavier weight is good.

Weight and physiology

Weight is strange when it comes to human physiology. Men desire to weigh more, lift heavier weights. Women desire to weigh less.

Yet both men and women don’t want to add adipose tissue (body fat). More muscle weight is good, more fat weight is bad.

Men feel more dominant and powerful if they weigh more. Women feel more dominant and powerful if they weigh less. Yet both men and women look aesthetically superior with more muscle mass, and less adipose tissue (fat).

I say that both men and women should seek to lift heavier weights at the gym, and disregard their muscle weight (as you lift heavier weights, your muscles will naturally gain weight). However, our focus should be subtracting body fat (intermittent fasting, abstaining from sugars and carbs).

Luxury is light

In today’s modern society, it takes more skill to NOT accumulate stuff, than to accumulate stuff. I had an interesting conversation with a taxi driver in Vietnam, when Cindy and I showed up with few bags:

Taxi driver: You must be very rich.
Cindy and I: No we are not.
Taxi driver: You’re lying. I know you’re rich, because you travel with so little stuff.

What the taxi driver meant to say is,

You’re rich enough to not need to overpack, because if you forgot anything — you can just buy it abroad.

And the taxi driver was right. Nowadays to own few things, and to travel lightly is a privilege of the rich, privileged, and luxurious.

The new luxury is traveling light.


  1. Pride yourself in owning less stuff, and traveling and living lighter. When packing, remember the motto: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  2. Recognize it takes great skill and self-discipline to NOT accumulate more stuff. When you’re in doubt about buying something new or accumulating something new— say “no”.
  3. Put less weight in physical possessions and stuff, and put more weight into your own mind, soul, body, and self.