I love the idea of living out of a backpack, it is amazing! Carrying everything I own on my back is empowering. Getting to that point was stressful and it took months, and here I am today with a 40 liter R.E.I. backpack and some space to spare. This article though is about when the clothes you wear day after day, week after week, month after month, get old. They get torn, worn looking, or I just get tired of wearing them. I consider myself a long time traveler. For the past five months I have been living in the Kingdom of Hawai’i, ahem… the State of Hawaii. We may get to that at some point.
After macheting down invasive plants in the jungles of Puna, hiking in South Kona over a’a lava, and playing with the kids of my Work Away Hosts my clothes have been worn to the point that they are rags. The sun here is not forgiving to us Haoles, even less so to our clothes. When reading articles about replacing clothes while traveling writers either spend a ridiculous amount of money, by my standards, on clothes, or they spend still a good chunk of money at thrift stores. While I am not against thrift stores, sometimes they are just expensive.
When I told people I was moving to Hawai’i they told me it was expensive, I realized that, but damn is it expensive. My goal when moving here was to pay my phone bill and to limit my expenditures on everything else to nil. For the most part that has worked amazingly! Then came a point when mold was growing on my swim suit, Puna humidity is real! The rainy season here is serious, the month of December is a grey blur to me. Well I had to get a new swimsuit but the only thing more expensive on Hawai’i than swimsuits is gold bricks. So I searched for free stuff on Craigslist, I told people I was looking for work clothes, and generally put it out into the universe what I was looking for.
What came back to me was FREE clothes! Here on Hawai’i, the Big Island, and in the rural areas, the people have to take their trash, recycle and such to transport stations. Most days you can buy clothes, shoes, bags, and stuff people drop off for super cheap. On a few magical days of the week, Monday’s and Thursdays before 2 PM at the Kea’au Transport station!!! you can dig through cribs, yes they use old baby cribs, of clothes. Whatever you find you can take home for FREE! You won’t always find amazing clothes, but sometimes you do and it’s totally worth the sweaty hour you spent digging through other peoples clothes. Also you usually meet some great Aunties and they’ll talk story with you which is just another great experience in itself.
Moral of the story is if you’re on the Big Island of Hawai’i, you’re on a budget, or you just want free clothes, head to a transport station near you!