Have you been seeing all the ads on Facebook and Instagram for luggage?
I actually find them fascinating. Not the ads — the products themselves. All the different kinds of suitcases, knapsacks and packing cubes designed to let you cram as much as you can into a bag small and compact and lightweight enough to take on board with you — thereby avoiding the need to check
your luggage and worry about whether or not you will be reunited with it once you arrive at your destination.
They’re brilliant. And if you’re smart and practical about what you take and avoid the “well-I’ll-take-it-just-in-case” trap, it is possible to go away for a month or two with just two pieces of carry-on luggage.
Bliss, right? So simple and easy. And it’s made me long for an equally unencumbered lifestyle here at home.
What I’m talking about goes much deeper than going through your closets and finally getting rid of that jacket you haven’t worn in a couple of years. I mean really taking stock of your life, figuring out what you really need and getting rid of everything else. Nothing extra. Just the essentials.
To me, it sounds like total freedom. Absolute joy. Literally being light as a feather. Weightless.
“Why not,” I keep asking myself.
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and I’m convinced I could live happily with a couple of pairs of jeans, a couple of pairs of “dressier” pants, enough of an assortment of short and long-sleeved T-shirts and sweaters to see me through every type of weather and mean I’d only have to do laundry once a week, a lightweight jacket, a raincoat, a winter coat, a pair of runners, a pair of sandals, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, a nice pair of flats and a pair of winter boots, a few scarves, a cap, a warm hat and a pair of gloves. And an equally spare amount of socks, lingerie and sleepwear.
Where my plan falls apart is my books. Books and old family photos. I gave up my attachment to “things” years ago, sending truckloads of antiques to auctions. I am rather fond of some of my furniture and art, but the more I daydream about this notion of living light, the more I come to realize I could walk away from it — if, for example, I was going to live abroad.
But giving up my books? Dumping the albums? That’s a struggle for me.
Interesting isn’t it? I’ve managed to separate my emotions from practicality when it comes to every possession I have or have ever had — except for books. That’s the final frontier to be conquered and who knows — maybe I will and maybe I won’t. Time will tell.
All I know is the thought of a life that can metaphorically be packed into two pieces of carry-on luggage is very appealing.