Especially since my work is in Wellness Travel, it’s embarrassing…why must so much stuff come with me on almost every trip? Is there a broader implication around this material attachment? Husband Jay can attest: my packing skills need improvement. Suitcases bulge!
Big bags partly reflect the last minute nature of organizing myself. A little impatience plays a role too: “let’s take this and this along, whatever is pulled from the closet and be set to go! I’m done!” And, guess what! Often what’s actually needed doesn’t make the trip! Can you relate?
On departure and arrival, the oversized bag means travel is encumbered. Perils include: having to check bags (and possibly waiting in a separate line, not to mention delay getting through security), waiting at luggage carousals and the physical strain while carrying the load! Then when finally arriving at your destination, exhausted, you’re immediately distracted by the need to unpack. Or you decide not to unpack and let the clothing get all mixed up in a Suitcase Soup. Sound familiar?
Although there are times when certain outfits must be packed, such as for a wedding, this doesn’t mean the whole kitchen sink needs to be packed! We carry around our things almost like we incessantly hold onto negative self-talk or emotions. We cling and burden ourselves without even realizing that the thoughts or things have become us.
Thankfully it’s possible to shed the negative packing processes and journey on a focused path living in your goodness, landing in what gives you meaning. Bulging bag be gone! Imagine the most delicious cake in the world. The perfect mix and amount of ingredients for a cake mean the taste will be exquisite. The same is true when deciding what to bring on a trip and what to discard (and that goes for our thoughts, too). When something truly won’t serve a function, leave it behind. Consider a difficult emotion, glean what you must from it and then move on.
When a bag’s contents are more streamlined you’re able to focus on where you are and what you’re doing (versus fumbling about wardrobe decisions or letting emotions whisk you away). Unencumbered by things you can focus on your intention, the “Why You’re There”, the “Why of Your Day”.
Travel offers us a chance to step away from the daily distractions and re-orient ourselves. Let’s not miss this chance!
Here are a few ways to limber up and ease away from The Bulging Bag
- Start by asking:
What’s the purpose of this trip?
How will I spend my days?
What’s the climate at the destination?
- List the days you’ll be gone and decide what’s needed for each day’s activities (write it out on your list). Once you lay out the items explore what clothing and shoes might work in multiple ways. Also take stuff away, especially for a quick jaunt. You can “do without” for a short time period.
- “Cubes” On my trip to a Travel Entrepreneur conference followed by a couple days at Miraval (Wellness Retreat: Life in Balance), my bag was still too full. Using “packing squares” eased the burden. Clothing was grouped by destination: in Charlotte my wardrobe would be Business Casual; at Miraval, relaxed and Active Sport. Easy and organized!
- Progress counts. Even if you do pack the wrong ventiments, it’s ok. The annoyance of extra stuff will act as a reminder not to become frustrated when faced with digging in the bag. Instead, return to your intention for being where you are!
- Packing gurus are ubiquitous. The next time you travel confer with someone who knows how to simplify. Also give yourself a little bit more time for decisions. Most of all, be kind to yourself.
Shedding stuff is a good practice! And, it’s A Practice. Shedding thoughts that don’t serve, observing versus becoming the emotion, is also a practice. You’ve got this!
When traveling enjoy the opportunity to feel unencumbered, free from too many things and thoughts that keep you from being present. Relish the simplicity. Let your mind, body and soul enjoy the change of pace. No back flip required.
*At A Traveling Time we support your Well Being by creating unencumbered travel experiences. You’ll find joy and meaning on your next adventure when you book with us. Connect with us today! Also find some unique journeys with our outstanding travel partners and thought leaders below.
** The blog post photo are my traveling companions heading back up to the trailhead while trekking Mont Blanc. Everything we needed for ten days we carried. Truly it wasn’t hard to have little!