Note: This post was originally written in 2017, when I ended my Remote Year journey.
“Bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back, draggin’ all them bags like that. I guess nobody ever told you all must hold on to is you.”
Remote Year ended for me in mid-March. Though the program was officially over in January, I continued to travel with my fellow Battutas, keeping the dream alive (and the cult together) for as long as we could. As I packed my bags to depart from Bali, it was apparent that I couldn’t continue to tote this much weight. My last two trips required me to remove items from my checked baggage to avoid fees. In assessing what should remain, I realized the excess baggage was as much mental as it was physical.
So after 14 months, what did I end up putting down?
- Two cars, a house full of possessions, and the very idea of “home”
- A ridiculous Russian nesting doll of bags starting with a 120L duffel used to carry a 90L duffel, 35L duffel, a wet bag and a tote bag.
- Ideas about who I was and my place in the world. Some were inherited, others were freely accepted over time but all were occupying the space needed to forge a new direction.
- Past hopes, mistakes, disappointments and missed opportunities. Continually beating myself up over these things was a waste of mental energy.
- Relationships that didn’t work or weren’t healthy. Some of these were hard to let go of but essential to moving forward.
- Fears about changing at this point in life.
It’s important to periodically take stock and make sure that what you’re carrying is essential for your journey.
Excess baggage is costly.
So pack light (oooh, oooh)