unencumbered

Some girls are natural, low-maintenance travelers. They throw a few things in a bag and they’re good to go, ready for a weekend of adventure. They’re breezy and light, “no big deal” type of people. They are the epitome of traveling light, little to weigh them down.

I’m simply not that girl.

I’m the other girl, the one the first girl goes to when she spills a drink and needs an extra shirt. Or when she has a hangnail and she doesn’t have a pair of nail clippers in that tiny bag she packed.

I don’t particularly like having an overpacked bag, but I’m driven by the need to be at least a little prepared. Because heaven knows if I don’t bring a bandaid, I will most certainly get a monster of a paper cut. And if I only bring one pair of shoes, I will undoubtedly step in a puddle during a thunderstorm and end up with soaking wet shoes that refuse to dry.

And so I pack all the things, with their accompanying chargers, and extra clothes, and things I think might be useful to traveling companions. I find myself adding to a bagĀ at least two books (because what if one of them isn’t that good?) and a notebook (what if I want to write?) and a laptop (what if I want to write on my laptop?) and a puzzle book (for in the car/plane, if I don’t want to read) and a bottle of Airborne (because there’s a 99.99% chance I will get sick if I don’t take it).

I lug my big bag or suitcase around and gaze wistfully at the woman swishing by with a tiny bag. She looks so carefree, that woman. So unencumbered.

But then I think… I bet she’s got a hangnail that’s driving her crazy.

My worries are light when my bag is full, ready for whatever life may throw at me while traveling. I’ll take an unencumbered mind over a light bag any day.

If you need me, I’ll be lugging around an overstuffed bag as I steal my husband away for a few days to celebrate his birthday. Wonder how many books I should pack for him…