Challenge: Letting Go and Living Without

Our upcoming adventure is Europe.

On reading up on how to do this on more of a shoestring budget and in a more “recycling” sort of way, it was recommended to travel light. Having one carry on baggage sounds like it will be the way to go. In all my research, I’m finding out that getting over to Europe can be costly, but popping over from city to city can be quite cheap–like 38 euro cheap. IF we have carry on bags only. If not, a checked bag can be nearly $100. Not only that, but looking cool and inconspicuous while pushing/dragging a four foot rolling luggage in the busy metro then cracked sidewalk to our downtown AirBnB in Madrid is not something I want to repeat!

So how does one travel light??

Among my research I have found a couple of backpack bags that help one to travel light. And true to most things, the best one so far has been the most expensive. But again-goal in mind of saving money-it should pay for itself quickly. We opted for Osprey 40 Fairpoint/Fairview bags that can be carried on your back or like a duffle bag. We did not choose bags with wheels as you lose room inside and it makes for a heavier bag when carrying on your back. We are sad about that.

Now what to put inside.

Our previous trip was sort of a trial run to our mission of traveling light, however with so many kinds of climates and events to pack for, it felt a bit unfair.  We needed light and breezy for Punta Cana, warmer and tougher for Alberta/BC, dressy for Denver/Wyoming. Flip flops for the beach, running shoes for the workouts we do, strap on sandals for exploring, dressy shoes and hiking shoes for the hikes we want to take everywhere. Times five. Plus toiletries. And our Herbalife food, which can be drop shipped easily anywhere, but still some we needed to pack.  This time, the dress challenge is striving to not stick out like a sore thumb, or worse, a tourist. On reading up on European culture and dress, this may be the most single hardest thing to accomplish. Turns out that most of what we like to wear here are things that Europeans don’t wear much at all. We do nearly everything in our active wear but in Europe, you wear active wear when you are being active.

One wears shorts when going to the beach and baseball caps are generally not worn. So our rule of thumb for this packing trip is: pack our nicest things, the things we like but never feel we have a “reason” to wear. This could work out very nice and increase our sophistication or it could really mean we are carrying around wardrobes for no reason at all….

My assessment after the first leg of our summer trip was that we did good, about 90% good.

But we had some work to do. Specifically on the carry ons. By the time we got to the hotel all of our shoulders were aching for a massage and bed. I don’t know for sure, but my carry on purse (the other one that didn’t have my clothes) felt like 40 pounds. How did that happen? It’s just a computer, some paperwork, glasses case, 12 passports, a huge tablet box, tea, chargers galore and a 400 page book. That’s not that much…..maybe the book should have been left behind….This trip I’m attempting to get everything we need all online or at least saved in picture form on my computer. Thank goodness for e-books and curriculum sent by downloads!

So all in all, it will be possible. But not until we learn the let go a bit of things and live without some others.


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