Books for Everyone!

Traveling Light

Back-to-School 2018

Sometime during 2014, I watched an American-based business show on the telly that I found comical. The intent of the segment, however, was serious, almost too serious. I laughed at the advice for Millennials-on-the-Move: Travel light.

Those words of wisdom would have been out of place in an America of 20-30 years ago. We didn’t own that much stuff, and if we did, the stuff was a sign that we’d settled down, perhaps too permanently! At least that situation was true for me. I traveled very light. My one large suitcase hauled around more Lipton tea bags than clothes. I brought the 100-count box with me on long-distance trips. I wasn’t taking any chances during the days of the Mr. Coffee-craze.

Traveling light has its advantages, for reasons beyond the ease of hoisting the satchel into the trunk of the car or, for the flyers among us, the Overhead Compartment that ordains the size restrictions of the satchel. The largest plus is the feeling of freedom. Unencumbered by too many choices of blouses and skirts, I felt the soaring sense of liberty to wear the tweed skirt with the rotation of 2 blouses and 2 turtlenecks. For fun, I could always don a pull-over v-necked sweater that gave the ensemble a totally different look.

This innovation has become a lost art of the pulled-together look. A big portion of the Younger Generation looks as if it’s coming apart. And so, with the tiniest of steps forward in the clothing world now being made, and with appliances and bath & bedding making an incrementally huge comeback, I offer some tips for traveling light, for anyone!

— If you haven’t worn the item in 3 years, and you don’t see yourself wearing it anytime soon, donate it. If you love the thing that much, give it to a relative, one you don’t love. Stretching the heart is part of traveling light.

— If you haven’t made use of the kitchen implement in 5 years, make it yard sale fodder. Kitchen-Aid isn’t meant to travel long distances, and you can always buy a new chopper, one with a sharper blade — and made in the USA!

— Try to consolidate the memories into a box or storage bin. There are many safe and decorative ways nowadays to pack mementoes. Wrapping clothes around the breakables is no longer the only option.

— Consider saying goodbye to furniture that’s served its time. Even the chair industry has to return one day. Lugging upholstery from the early 2000s is a weighty proposition.

Traveling light is a matter of faith: faith in the future, faith that better times will come, and, with them, belongings — belongings that belong to you. You won’t belong to them.