Man Lives Great Life with Only 39 Possessions: What Are They?

Sarah B. Weir, Shine Senior Writer
Andrew Hyde and his stuff
Andrew Hyde and his stuff

People have dubbed Andrew Hyde an "extreme minimalist" but he prefers to call himself a "vagabond." In August 2010, he sold his apartment and most of his belongings and hit the road, blogging about his adventures along the way. Since then, he's travelled to 32 countries, worked at a friend's dude ranch, and spent the warmer months living in a tent. He's also survived comfortably owning only what he considers essential items ranging from 15-39 possessions at a time.

Related link: German Grandmother Lives Money-Free: And Has Never Been Happier

"I had pretty typical goals out of college," Hyde tells Yahoo! Shine. "I wanted to pay off my debts and get a good job." Hyde worked as a web designer and programmer also sold a startup company. He had achieved what most people would call success when he began feeling bored and restless. Always frugal (one of his posts is about how to live on $36 a month for food), he realized he was unsatisfied striving toward a consumer-based model of happiness.

"I try to disassociate money with happiness," explains Hyde. Instead, he aims to seek joy and satisfaction from experience instead of belongings. "I love to walk. So, when I get to a new place, I might walk 10 or 20 miles a day exploring."

Hyde's current possessions include:

1. Backpack

2. One pair of running shorts

3. Wallet

4. Laptop computer

5. Dress shirt (with holes in elbows after 200 wears)

6. Jeans

7. Tennis shoes

8. Red Sox baseball hat (which was a gift at a game)

9. Parka

10. Laptop bag

11. Electric toothbrush

12. Electric razor

13. Noise canceling headphones

14. IPhone

15. Three Western style shirts

16. Cowboy hat

17. Suit

18. Tie

19. Dress shoes

20. Cotton socks

21. Bike shorts

22. Bike Jersey

23. Bike Shoes

24. Two T-shirts

25. Tent

26. Sleeping bag

27. Sleeping pad

28. Camp stove

29. Water purifier

30. Cooking pot

31. Four pairs of underwear

32. One pair of wool socks

33. 2003 VW Golf

He laughs about the car, "I didn't want it, but it came back to me. I sold it to a friend who couldn't afford to get it insured and then somebody hit it when it was parked. I took it back as a favor."

Hyde says he's "not exactly happier" without all the stuff, "I've always been a pretty happy person." But he is more intensely interested by life and the world he sees around him.

He admits that, paradoxically, he "really, really" likes the few possessions he does own. "I love my jacket so much," he laughs. Hyde says he probably should have given away the cowboy hat that he used when he was working on the ranch but it holds great memories. "And I wrote a love letter to the designer of my backpack."

How many possessions do you need to survive? Please tell us in the comments below.

Related links:

How Much Do You Really Spend?

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How to Live Well On Less Income