|My travel-ready stuff|
The late comedian George Carlin is famous for his riff on "stuff," the items we tote around, hoard, or covet. I once spotted Carlin in an airport waiting area, and he was NOT guarding baggage. No, he was people-watching and seemed to be getting a kick out of it.
Because I resent fees for checked bags, I pack an eighteen-inch carry-on for trips of one week or less. This means I travel without my stuff. Cute clothes? I don't pack 'em. I wear black yoga pants and a black top on the plane and pack another pair of black slacks and two more dark tops. Sometimes I get wild and crazy and pack a black skirt and black tights. Did I tell you black makes me look like a member of the Addams Family? Luckily, a colorful scarf solves that problem, and if it's big enough, it doubles as an evening wrap and triples as a bed jacket.
Once upon a time, I'd gather up the mini-size toiletries supplied by hotels and toss 'em in my bag. No more. I leave them behind, even when they're Neutrogena or Crabtree & Evelyn, because my one-quart plastic bag already bulges with regular, everyday essentials--in containers of three ounces or less.
The less-is-better lesson of travel extends to home. I no longer store make-up and moisturizer in a pretty giveaway case from Clinique. Nope, everything remains in the quart bag except the toothpaste. My bathroom counter isn't pretty, but I'm TSA-ready at a moment's notice.
Speaking of TSA, I now travel lighter in another way. Two years ago, a pat-down turned humiliating when the female agent mistook my muffin top for contraband. "It's a roll of fat," I told her. "I keep meaning to lose weight." The agent happened to be narrower than a dragonfly and wasn't moved. She patted me down again. Since that incident I've lost twenty pounds-- one small victory in the war on drugs.
Instead of toting books with me on trip, I take my Kindle. Instead of a laptop, I carry a netbook that fits in my purse. Admittedly, the purse isn't teeny, but it fits under the seat. What's more, I've learned to tug the combined carry-on and purse behind me as I move down a plane's aisle. So far, none of my fellow passengers has been banged up in the process.
It turns out I like a pared-down life. More to the point, I enjoy the fantasy that my next adventure is around the corner--and I'm ready for it.
Where are you headed on your next real or fantasy trip?