Today is my last day at home for two months and I have just finished packing my small suitcase. Yes, you read that correctly. Here are the stats:
This trip involves covering 10 countries and thousands of miles at an “Amazing Race” pace, working with diverse cultures.
The itinerary looks like someone played drunk-darts on a map, sending me to the desert, European cities in winter, a tropical jungle, and beaches.
Because of the business I work in, I will stay in beautiful places and cannot look like a slob.
Due to a medical condition half of my suitcase is dedicated to a piece of equipment that I must bring everywhere.
So why only one small suitcase?
From experience I have learned that the more I bring, the more I can lose. More important, the more I bring the more I schlep – not a pleasant prospect when running through an airport with a 30 minute connection. As a public speaker I notice that when working in upscale cities (like Paris and Milan) people give me the “eye check” (a nano-second up and down look to see what I am wearing). They judge my credibility on how well put together I am before saying a word.
The hidden reasons why I like to travel light is summed up in one word: liberating. It is comforting to carry all my belongings with me for a couple of months. Traveling this way forces me to evaluate my views on materialism. Choosing clothes and accessories carefully means that a decision must be made on each item’s importance. Unpacking takes 10 minutes, re-packing takes 15 minutes, and there is that moment when I look around the hotel room and know that everything I need is in my hand. As I travel, toiletries are used up and worn out things are thrown away. I trust in my ability to take care of myself no matter where I am, secure in the fact that I will return with less material goods, but with rich memories to last a lifetime. What could be better?