Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simplifying on the Road

I seem to be on this getting-rid-of-the-stress-and-embracing-simplicity kick as of late, but I feel it's important when everyone just seems to be running around non-stop. With the help of Twitter and StumbleUpon, I found a great article by Eric Weiner, a former foreign affairs correspondent for NPR.(He's also the author of a travel book called The Geography of Bliss, which I plan on promptly picking up as soon as possible.) The story, appropriately titled The Skrink-Wrapped Traveler, is about lightening your load when you travel; removing all the clutter--physically and mentally--and living more modestly. At least for the few days or weeks of your trip.

It all starts with what you bring, how much you pack. Weiner wisely says, "Travel, good travel, is about going without...because a pared-down life is a better one. That’s why packing light is smart." I fall victim to over packing, or at least I used to, but recently I've been able to successfully shove my life into a small carry-on bag. I need some more practice, but I'll get there. This whole concept of traveling light fits in perfectly with my last post about getting rid of our gadgets, removing that distraction from our lives. The two seem to go hand-in-hand, because doesn't the constant need to check our phones or emails add extra weight to our day? It's just another thing we have to do. I do, of course, realize that communication in our world today is important, so I understand it's difficult to leave it behind. But it's worth considering, maybe just for a long weekend.

Just a backpack with some clothes and toiletries, no phone or computer, and the world at your disposal.

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