I traveled home today. Including layovers, door to door, from Santiago to Sydney, 39 hrs.
I traveled with the smallest carry-on I’ve ever used. Before I left Santiago, I spent €5 and bought one of those tourist Camino nylon mini-packs.
So, for that length of travel, I used this small little nylon sack.
Inside was an iPad, an iPhone, charger, a small Fuji camera, and a book for when I couldn’t use an “electronic device” in case my reading Dan Brown’s Inferno on my iPad warped the jetliner’s navigational system and we hurtled out of control.
(Don’t get me started on the aviation industry’s rules and regulations designed to keep us, the ignorant public, moribund in fear, and thus completely pliable to their nonsensical dictates. Do you know that pilots use iPads inflight and while they’re landing?)
But, the point of this post is that traveling with such little carry-on was revelatory for me. Usually I have a Samsonite carry-on case containing my Nikon camera and lenses and battery charger, my laptop, laptop and phone chargers, books, spare clothes in case my checked in luggage goes astray, and sundry other bits and pieces that bring the total weight to something in excess of 12 kgs.
This is my CARRY-ON, usually. And my checked luggage normally comes in at 22-24kgs.
But post Camino, I’d be lucky if my carry-on sack weighed 1 kg.
Here’s how it affected my travel. I had an 8 hr layover in Paris. So I caught the RER into the city, walked along the banks of the Seine, went and visited the Notre Dame, had a nice leisurely lunch, and got the train back. All with my 1kg Camino sack slung over my shoulder.
I didn’t have to trundle a 12 kg piece of luggage on and off trains, up and down Paris streets, in and put of churches.
My Camino sack made the trip effortless.
Another benefit: when I travel with my 12 kg Samsonite, I always like to be amongst the first passengers on, so that I can ensure that I have my luggage in an overhead bin close to my seat. (Just in case anyone tries to steal something out of my bag while I’m asleep. There’s that fear again, based on possessions!)
That means there’s a real tension as I await the boarding call, then as I jockey to get on quickly.
This time, I sat back and let everyone else get on first. I knew my Camino sack would fit under my seat, no probs. I got onto the plane totally relaxed.
I will never again travel with such burdens. I’ve learnt that they just weigh you down, literally and figuratively. I don’t need all that stuff. On my 39 hrs of travel, I had everything I needed in my 1 kg Camino sack.
Just like for 5 weeks, I had everything I needed in my 8kg backpack, while walking the Camino.
Light ‘n Simple.
That’s one of the huge lessons I’ve learnt from my pilgrimage. Your life isn’t diminished by going light ‘n simple.
On the contrary, it’s enhanced.