Arcido was formed with the goal of helping travelers to embrace one-bag travel, allowing them to move around the world indefinitely with everything they need upon their backs. This is an extension of the lifestyle embodied by co-founder, Will. A digital nomad himself, he has ditched his old warehouse full of stuff, and now runs his business with little more than a laptop. This has helped Will to focus on the things that really matter, offering a more meaningful and productive way of life.
There are many elements to running a successful company and designing products that can compete with the best. One that many don’t think about, however, is minimalism. Will considers living as a minimalist to be not just a tool for success, but his “secret weapon”. It’s the one thing that sets Arcido apart from the others, with a narrow product line, Will has helped to offer the ultimate products for travelers dreaming of one-bag adventures.
Minimalism can mean all sorts of things to different people, so I thought I’d begin by asking: What is your personal philosophy of minimalism?
For me, it’s about deriving greater happiness and freedom from having less in your life. Less clutter, less to drag around - concentrating on things that are useful and meaningful.
Arcido’s homepage sums up the company philosophy in just four words: “Pack Smarter. Travel Freely.” How do the products you help to design at Arcido encourage or enable a more minimalist way of traveling?
We try to design products that allow you to be totally self-contained with just a single backpack. That means we have to give space for everything and think about every aspect of a journey. Not just “Will this fit in the overhead locker”, but also “how easy is it to pack and unpack, and what about airport security?”. For us, a successful product lets you dispense with other bags and ultimately pack smaller and lighter.
You travel the world with just a carry-on. How has replacing things with experiences impacted on the success of your business?
I used to have a business where I imported and sold a lot of stuff, all kept in my own rented warehouse. Going there every day and managing everything took a lot of time and energy. Working remotely on a laptop and giving that work to a trusted third party freed up a lot of time.
Being able to travel as much as I do is also a great way to test products and think of new ideas - not stressing about
Have you always been a minimalist at heart or was there a trigger later in life that set you on this path?
I have always been very Japanese design and architecture which has a very minimal philosophy. I also had a friend at university who’d lived in Japan and had a tiny flat where everything had its own place (he even used to put away the kettle after he used it). Space was a big contrast from the cluttered house I grew up in. I think that may have had something to do with it.
Many people who haven’t attempted simple living don’t know how they’d do it. What advice can you offer to convince them that this way of living is not only possible but easy and fun?
Yeah, it’s funny how reluctant some people are to dispense with their stuff. I meet people on the road all the time who tell me that they couldn’t get by with less - even today I met a girl who had three backpacks with her because “this is a six-month trip”.
Is it easy and fun? To begin with, it’s probably daunting and uncomfortable. But once you travel with less, you realize how much more liberated you feel, it’s impossible not to carry on reducing your stuff.
No matter how light you pack, what are three items that you have to take with you wherever you go?
Apart from the obvious stuff like a Bluetooth speaker and my eye mask:
- A safety pin, which is useful for changing sim cards as well as holding things together
- My resistance bands, which are a way to work out even if there’s no gym
- Weird chewing gum from around the world; a very cheap and transient souvenir!
Will is proof that minimalist travel can be liberating, fun, and easy. In fact, you can still live comfortably and build your business without owning lots of stuff. By removing the unnecessary clutter, you will find yourself free from distractions and easy to focus on improving the important parts of your life. The hardest part is getting started, but once you start living from nothing more than a 35-liter backpack, you too will experience the life-changing benefits. Make minimalism your secret weapon and gain an edge over the competition.