I’ve been obsessed, as of late, with efficient packing. I even follow a blog or two dedicated to the subject here on Tumblr. Embarrassingly, I caught myself window shopping for an ultra-light, waterproof rucksack with a several hundred dollar price tag attached. What’s wrong with me?! Oh, yeah, here’s what: A lot of my travel is with my wife and son. Flying with a 13 month-old requires many accoutrements; bag of toys, travel crib, car seat, etc. Many airlines are now charging around $25 just to check your suitcase. Most airlines also charge $75-$100 if your bag is over 50 pounds. To keep costs down and save wear and tear on my (rapidly aging) back - I have to do a lot of editing as I pack. But that’s only for the outbound flight. I have to plan for the return flight, too, because once we get to grandma’s every cubic centimeter of empty suitcase space will be filled with new toys, books, and clothes. Grandmas love grandbabies. Outlet malls love grandmas.
I take great pride in the fact that solo business trips now require only a backpack and noise-cancelling headphones. Light, fast, and free.
It was difficult for me to learn that to move on to a new place in my life, I had to leave crap behind. Especially if I wanted to pick up souvenirs! For me to get to here from there required me to unpack my old self-image, prejudices, and long-held (and often just plain wrong) beliefs. Not everything stays behind. But it all gets taken out and examined. What will I really need? What will I hustle more easily without? Wherever you are headed, you’re going to need some room for all your awesome new experiences and ideas! So take only what you need. If you had to make an emotional bug out kit to start all over, unknown, in a new and exciting place – what would you bring? More importantly, what will you leave behind?