“‘Just in case’ are the three most dangerous words in the English language,” says Joshua Fields Millburn, who, along with Ryan Nicodemus, spent the last 10 months on an 82-city road trip across North America to promote the duo’s newest book, Everything That Remains, a memoir of life as the self-proclaimed “Minimalists.”
So how do you fit a whole life into a car for a year? Well, these two don’t. “We use the 20/20 rule: We don’t bring anything we think we might need that can be replaced for $20 in less than 20 minutes,” says Nicodemus, noting that he no longer packs, say, an extra pair of shoelaces. As a result, the duo each lived out of an approximately 40-litre bag for the whole journey.
Their one indulgence? Great coffee. “We joke that ‘yeah, we’re on a book tour, but we’re also on a coffee tour.’” In their car’s trunk, you’ll find a kettle, a pour-over, filters and coffee, as well as an iron — purchased, of course, en route using their 20/20 rule.
BLACK BOOK: TOP COFFEE HOUSES & FAVOURITE CITIES
IN NORTH AMERICA
BEST ROASTER Joshua and Ryan: Dogwood Coffee Co. in Minneapolis, Minn.: “When we are home in Missoula, Mont., we mail-order our coffee from here — they have the best roast around.”
BEST CUP OF COFFEE CartelCoffee Lab in Tucson, Ariz.: “The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe pour-over is fruity, crisp, perfect.”
BEST SHOT OF ESPRESSO Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, Oakland and New York City: “They have consistently great high- quality espresso that’s masterfully pulled.”
OVERALL BEST Press Coffee Bar in Dayton, Ohio: “We love the neighbourhood and that the staff are so passionate.”
BEST AMBIANCE Matchstick Coffee Roasters in Vancouver: “The space has an elegant, minimalist style and outstanding coffee.”
MOST MEMORABLE CITIES Ryan: “The sky in Tucson is like HD — that’s the only way I can describe it. And Halifax has this great vegan restaurant called Wild Leek.” Joshua: “The people in Salt Lake City are serious about being nice — it’s not this faux thing. And Des Moines, Iowa, has some of the best architecture I’ve ever seen.”
ON THE ROAD
CAR ESSENTIALS Joshua: “A Belkin multi-charging unit and a GPS app.” Ryan: “Fruit and healthy snacks from Whole Foods.”
PIT STOP Joshua: “The Headspace meditation app, a six-minute exercise routine and an Airbnb reservation.”Ryan: “Skype, to keep in touch with my girlfiend back in Montana. I also mail her a postcard from every city.”
TRAVEL STYLE Ryan: “Jeans and a black T-shirt. I’ve gone to a wedding wearing this outfit.” Joshua: “My uniform is a denim button-up, blue jeans and boots. And I will say that Ryan does have one blue shirt.”
WHAT TO PACK: THINK DURABLE AND VERSATILE BASICS
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