Not too long ago I had an online dialogue with a friend about the benefits of traveling light. That is, going through life without luggage–both figuratively and literally. He–Carey Giudici– had such a great take on it that I asked if he’d write a guest post. Carey’s an unusual guy–I met him on Facebook and he’s become one of my most favorite people. Since I’m in India, I thought this would be a good time for his inspirational guest post. And here it is:
It’s been great living as a “road bum” in twenty four countries for a total of fourteen years. So I know something about luggage.
During too many glorious journeys, bags hung heavily in my hand, or their straps twisted my shoulder. But as the years and adventures increased, I learned how to live without so much stuff.
Luggage became as wearisome as that non-stop talker in the next tiny airplane seat. And lots of what I carried around never even got worn! So traveling with a smaller bag became as important as getting an aisle seat for a transcontinental flight.
Who knows how many wonderful sights and extraordinary people I missed while wrestling all those pants and shoes down Bangkok’s Rama IV Road, Kenyatta Avenue or Bangalore’s Tamil Cantonment? My new rule became: plan on wearing something until I was sure to get sick of it, or leave it in my drawer.
I’ve also learned over the years that mental luggage is much more distracting and wearisome than physical stuff. And a lot harder to unpack. So I started to travel light early.
First I ditched the silly preconceptions and stereotypes. Before being old enough to drink in many states, I learned that anything I thought I knew about a country, people or culture would turn out to be wrong. Discarding my long-held assumptions and false truisms became an invigorating habit.
Being judgmental is a harder habit to break, but I’m working hard at it still.
Attitude, like a favorite checked shirt, just gets in the way. “When in doubt, throw it out.”
A few Zip-Loc bags were more practical and much easier to carry than an umbrella or extra shoes; and a healthy perspective and humane openness to the unexpected are even more practical.
So now I only take a laugh and a heart full of love on my life journey.
(And a love song doesn’t weigh anything, either)
Carey Giudici has spent his life stumbling around the world like a child. He does whatever strikes his fancy, tries to make everyone feel special, and–inspired by three incredible daughters–finds love in everything around him. He lives in Taipei now, and hangs out on Facebook.
From Carol: “A laugh and a heart full of love…” —what a great way to live! I look forward to your comments on Carey’s guest post!