Today, waking up brings a sense of joy and excitement as I will be traveling from London to Athens for an extended stay. I went for a weekend in July, which gave me a glimpse of what it would be like on my next trip. After that weekend, I returned to the concrete city feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, having had time in the open air, in the sun, and driving a car. I had forgotten how much I loved to drive a car, listening to music loud, and having an intimate conversation with a close friend as we drive along the coast. On this next trip, I hope to extend that feeling and experience to more people and places.
Over the years, I have packed so many times that now I can pack at the last minute and still be able to arrive early for my flight without a worry. However, this morning I am feeling a little lag in my process. Weeks ago, my plans for my time in Greece were different. I had initially set my mind to pack for a specific set of scenarios and events, but life throws you new obstacles and decisions your way, so you have to adjust. It was like my mind and heart were trying to reconcile the discrepancies between what each wanted me to do on my trip. At this moment in the process, I have packed way too much and gave into the mindset that I don’t know what to expect, so I am bringing everything!
When I was younger, it wasn’t easy to tell if my luggage was too heavy for the airlines because I was relatively strong, having played lots of sports and carrying cases of drinks at the clubs every weekend. As I get older, it gets easier to tell. My strength isn’t what it used to be. Unless I grab some weights, I don’t have many scenarios at my desk where I need to lift anything physically. I will need to work on that moving forward.
In previous years, I would pack the basics and rely on my cavalier attitude to make anything work and figure it out as I go. There would always be a store I could buy from or someone I would find to help me out. This year, I can see how that has changed as I look through the items I now deem as “the basics.”
The Basics previously included tanning lotions, bikinis, tank tops, extra flip flops, a towel, and the usual hair and makeup products. With all the years of wisdom I have achieved, The Basics have been modified to include muscle and joint creams, bandages, an eReader, work papers, and some exercise gear. Clearly, my priorities have changed slightly, and with that, the size and number of my luggage.
The number of things we accumulate and deem as necessary for our happiness in any scenario is astounding. There are always cases where we feel we need little to be happy, but if we look across a more extended period, I think we all rely on external, tangible items in some ways that are healthy and then others that are not. I am beginning to accept that I have too much stuff, I rely on too many things I don’t need, and I need to condense what I have acquired.
Having this type of luggage in life has a similar effect as traveling with too much stuff; It costs you more money, slows you down, and requires extra effort to bring them along. Clean out those caverns of days gone by and define what is manageable for you, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. They all weigh on us from time to time, and we need to plan for how to balance them in a way that keeps us moving towards a better future.