I feel a bit of a fraud writing this. Like I’m unworthy somehow in ways I can’t really articulate. It is probably self imposed but I feel pressure to be the travel expert I claim to be yet I have never done one thing which all great world travellers have done. So I’ve decided to challenge myself, put on my big girl pants and become one of the greats. I’m going to go on an overseas adventure with just carry on luggage.
There. The secret is out of the bag. I like to think I am pretty good when it comes to packing and only taking the minimum but the weight scales at the airport always tell a different story. Once at my destination or a week or so into my trip I forget about the other 3 t-shirts I packed and rotate the same 2 instead. I find a dress or special outfit for ‘just in case’ at the bottom of my pack tucked under the sleeping bag I always travel with in case I get the opportunity to camp. Because, you know…. who doesn’t get presented with camping opportunities when they travel.
But this trip that will all change. I have my Osprey Talon 33L pack empty and ready to fill and what fits in there will be all I have for walking the Camino with my Mum. It’s scary times as I find myself throwing “just in case” items into the corner of my bedroom which is always the beginning of my packing. I’m trying to be disciplined and once everything gets spread out onto the bed in preparation for actual packing I am sure I will be able to cull but it looks like a pretty big pile waiting for me right now.
As I get older I am less hardcore than I used to be. For example once I hit 30 an inflatable pillow found its way onto my list of minimum gear required for a camping trip. With this relaxing of standards I can only imagine what will be on the list when I hit 40. I’ve set myself this carry on only challenge not only to reclaim my hardcore status but because I think I will be grateful once I actually start walking the Camino. It’s not my usual hiking adventure where I am carrying all my camping and cooking equipment and there will be plenty of opportunity to buy food so I should really only need a change of clothes right?
We shall see once I get to Spain and start walking. For now it all fits but only just. We shall see what the scales at the airport say when I check in and get weighed but I’m feeling good, lighter and freer somehow. I might even be a convert to this carry on only way of traveling. Have you ever traveled this light? Tell me about it in the comments below.
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