Traveling Light Is The Best Way To Travel

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They say you live and you learn. Although I’ve always been “street smart”, so to speak, whenever I pack for a trip, I have never felt the need to pack an over-abundance of things. However, in recent years I’ve learned to pack even less. I finally connected the dots and figured if you can carry your luggage on to the plane with you, you save an hour once you reach your destination. Instead of hanging out in baggage claim, you can simply exit the airport. Consequently, only on rare occasions do I opt to check luggage. The common denominator of those occasions has something to do with the General. If she’s with me, our bags are going to be checked. That’s not because she over-packs for trips, but simply that she goes nowhere without her make-up. I’ve never looked at her make-up to see what she packs, but it is obviously over the three-ounce per container limit.

Three or four years ago when we flew to Boston, we checked our luggage. Why not? Truthfully, if you’re going to check one bag, you might as well check all of them. That is particularly true if you have to change planes before you arrive at your destination. Somehow when we arrived in Boston, I inadvertently failed to retrieve the General’s make-up bag from the carousal in baggage claim. We were about fifty miles outside Boston when the error of my ways was discovered.

The only thing I knew for certain is that we were not going back to the airport! Did I mention that I don’t always get it right? I was wrong. We went back to the airport. Actually, we almost got into a tiff over the forgotten luggage. The General stated emphatically that we shouldn’t have taken the trip. We were too old to be driving. She’s not normally overly dramatic, but that cracked me up. I’m certainly not too old to drive and she doesn’t like to drive, so from my perspective she was over-reacting. I started laughing and said, “We’ve had a wonderful beginning on our adventure. Already, we’ve got a story I can tell. Lighten up! True to my word, the trip turned out to be wonderful.

Knowing that we’d be on a short time frame this morning when we landed in Houston, I naturally assumed that both my boss and I would carry our luggage on the flight from Dallas. In fact, on Saturday in anticipation of carrying my luggage on the plane, I went to the store to purchase more mini-containers of deodorant, hair gel, toothpaste, etc. In real life, all of the containers I regularly use are over three ounces.

My boss sent me a text message on Sunday night asking for the plan for Monday. I mentioned checking bags on the flight from Houston to Dallas. He said he didn’t think that was necessary. We should have enough time. Consequently, I checked my luggage at the same time he checked his bag.

I didn’t ask how many changes of clothes he packed, but I’m assuming he anticipated indecision in knowing what to select. His suitcase could have been mistaken for a steamer trunk. Okay, so I’m exaggerating slightly. He obviously has not developed the skill set of packing light. If you think I’m joking, I took a picture of his luggage to add to my blog. Honestly, you had to see it to believe it. I could have packed for a month in that suitcase and had room to spare.

At any rate, the sight of his luggage reminded me of Max Lucado’s book entitled “Traveling Light”. I like his description: “Weary travelers. You’ve seen them—everything they own crammed into their luggage. Staggering through terminals and hotel lobbies with overstuffed suitcases, trunks, duffels, and backpacks.

Of course, Lucado wasn’t talking about the size of a person’s luggage or how much they had packed. He was referring to their demeanor: “Backs ache. Feet burn. Eyelids droop…We all lug loads we were never intended to carry. Fear. Worry. Discontent. No wonder we get so weary. We’re worn out from carrying that excess baggage. Wouldn’t it be nice to lose some of those bags.

Okay, so my boss hasn’t figured out how to minimize the luggage he packs for a trip. On the other hand, he is one of the most delightful people with whom I’ve traveled. He is upbeat and positive. He has a great personality and an incredible sense of humor. I’m hoping that if we miss the morning board meeting while we’re waiting on luggage that he opts to think it’s funny. Hopefully, he is correct. We should have plenty of time.

All My Best,

Don

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