We’ve spent the last 70 days on the move. To continue traveling light and stretch our savings for as long as possible, we abide by a strict no souvenir rule. There are two exceptions: if we would feel strong regret by not making a purchase (no object has yet had this powerful effect on us) or if the item will be beneficial during our travels (this we’ve experienced). Tara’s beneficial purchases include a hand fan and a shirt. Mike’s are shower shoes (after leaving his in Istanbul) and soccer jerseys. Mutual purchases include: a food container (which we accidentally left on a bus in Croatia), two towels for our cruise in Turkey and various amenities that have needed refilling.
Point being: What we buy, we use. What we brought with us, we use.
During a recent travel day from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, I got to thinking about the weight of my luggage. By taking out a couple outfits to keep with my carry-on bag, my large backpack felt remarkably lighter. What did I pack that’s been weighing me down?
Half of the long-term travelers out there would shake their finger at me since I brought two pairs of jeans. “They’re heavy and don’t dry quickly,” they’d say. The other half would say, “Who cares! Travel with the clothes you would wear at home.” And the latter is what I did. Another reason I brought jeans is because it’s difficult to find pairs that fit me well because of my height, build, whatever. But since we’re no longer in cold climates (like in Iceland and Finland), I don’t have an immediate need for jeans (and a shirt that I discovered I have only worn once). The next time I will probably use them is when we get to India in December. But that’s 4 months away.
My current struggle of whether to lighten my load is pretty similar to what I used to experience at home. It’s the: “I never wear this, but I’ll keep it because I think maybe one day I might.” Isn’t that one of the bad habits this trip is helping me nix? Certainly, I can only change the way I view things if I take action. I’ve been leaving clothes behind along the way — a skirt here, a jacket there — that I originally thought I might not want to keep for long. Perhaps I’ve run into the point in our trip where I need to reevaluate what else I’ve packed. We’ve been traveling long enough for me to know whether I’ll really need a certain item. There’s no point in carrying around excess weight.