Get Gone and Carry Less Crap

gone going
Photo: “gone going” by Jose Manuel Escarcega (Creative Commons)

In my fourth year of university, I journeyed into Mexico for a ten-week language study course. Not only was this my first trip out of the U.S., but it was also my first trip without any family (I can’t say alone, since I was traveling with a troupe of 24 fellow students).

Ten weeks – it seemed like forever to me. So, of course, I thought I would need a giant bag to haul the clothing and supplies needed for that great length of time. So, my parents bought me a suitcase 2.5 feet wide by 3.5 feet tall and about 1 foot thick. It was giant. It was monstrous. I didn’t even manage to fill the fu–, er, sucker; it was that big. Arriving at the airport and seeing my fellow classmates’ baggage, began to hint at the possibility of my mistake.

One classmate brought nothing more than a small, brown, standard-sized knapsack. That was it. For ten weeks. (I am still impressed with that feat.)

When you have to drag your over-sized bag down several blogs of cobble stones or haul that fu–, er, sucker up a flight or two of stairs, you learn real quick just how much it sucks to pack heavy.

Like Scarlet O’Hara, I pulled myself up and made a solemn oath — I would never over pack again.

Less is Less (and that’s a good thing)

I’ve done a lot of traveling since that first big trip to Mexico, for play, for work, and sometimes both at the same time.

These days, I can pack like a lightweight queen and can fit a week’s worth of professional work clothes and office supplies for conferences, along with a week’s worth of play clothes and accessories into a single bag (the play clothes and work clothes are not always compatible).

Here’s a few things I do to make it work: Continue reading “Get Gone and Carry Less Crap”