I watched an old movie the other day where a woman boarded a train for a long journey across the country, and all she carried was one small suitcase. Now, I didn’t watch too long—I was pulled away from the television by a boiling pot on the stove—but I couldn’t believe that was all she had for her voyage. Other characters were traveling just as far and stowed multiple steamer trunks on board the train. What was in that case?
When I travel for a vacation, even if it is a short one like this Thanksgiving weekend, I always overpack. I will likely have a suitcase full of clothes and shoes, a carry-on with my computer, camera, books, and expensive items, and sometimes my purse. Even when I camp, I pack a bevy of supplies. It all has to fit into my pack, but that is still much larger than this character’s suitcase.
If someone were to ask me why I pack so much for camping, I would tell them that I always like to be prepared. Mostly, as with traveling, it’s so I can be comfortable. I enjoy my creature comforts. Sure, I can pack like the minimalist through hiker, but I hate having to wash my clothes on the trail. It’s doable, but one of the reasons I’m camping is to get away from the household duties such as laundry.
I like to have an extra sweatshirt to keep me warm on chilly nights. Extra socks and underwear are essential. After that, my gear includes lots of accouterments or devices to keep me happy—portable battery charger, coffee press, camp light, etc.
It’s all the little things that make the journey more enjoyable. Do I require wet-wipes? No, but they are convenient after using a cat hole as opposed to just antibacterial gel. They are also great for a quick bath before crawling into my sleeping bag for the night. The problem arises when all the little things add too much weight. Then I have to pick and choose what I can live without while camping or traveling.
Even if one doesn’t travel much, we tend to collect little trifles in life. These keepsakes remind us of the moments we experienced. We usually place them on shelves or mantles and admire them when we need a pick-me-up. I know people that have so many “moments” that they have to keep them in boxes in their attics or basements and refuse to get rid of them.
If you are a scrapbooker, you do the same thing with photos and admission tickets. These items are small enough to keep in a thick book and not create too much clutter. Well, unless you really love to scrapbook and have multiple volumes. I know some people like that as well.
When I think back to that movie character with the tiny case, I wonder if maybe she has not experienced enough in life to fill her luggage with souvenirs. Perhaps she has everything she needs for the trip at hand because she only keeps the important moments with her. Or maybe, she is content with the simplicity of minimalism. Either way, she made me recognize that we can’t take everything with us. This is especially true when our final time comes, and we should cherish all of our moments when they occur.
I hope you all had some of those happy moments with family and friends this Thanksgiving. May the memories last you a lifetime.