Packing Lightly

Luggage Tag

Over the past few years, with my nomadic existence I've been trying to pack lightly...

As I wrote in my June Newsletter, I want to to take a look at the "Practices of Pilgrimage," as outlined in Christine Valter Painter's, The Soul of a Pilgrim. These include:

1. The Practice of Hearing the Call and Responding.
2. The Practice of Packing Lightly.
3. The Practice of Crossing the Threshold.
4. The Practice of Making the Way by Walking.
5. The Practice of Being Uncomfortable.
6. The Practice of Beginning Again.
7. The Practice of Embracing the Unknown.
8. The Practice of Coming Home.

After years of traveling, I've gotten way better at packing. When I would travel to Iona, it helped to be able to carry all my bags by myself, so I adopted a fondness for large backpacks instead of traditional suitcases. I would also usually have a small rolling bag to hold my laptop and camera, as well as my carry on. I pretty much had it down.

On this last trip, I freed myself from extras by only bringing my iPad and iPhone...deciding to upgrade my phone so I could use it as my only camera. This was a huge letting go for a Scotland trip where I usually have my big camera hanging around my neck. I felt a lot lighter not lugging around all my usual equipment (I never really even used my iPad). Having access to wifi on my own phone was a bit odd, to tell the truth. I usually feel cut off from my other life when traveling abroad...shutting off my US phone as soon as I get on the plane and only jumping online occasionally. In a way, I feel like I was carrying extra baggage of the social media kind. It definitely changed the feel of the trip because things felt a little less foreign and I had easy access to stuff.

When we started this journey, we made an intention for the time, and as I have learned recently, sometimes intentions bring up painful stuff that needs tending to. This is a whole other kind of baggage! Not every walk is a walk in the park, so to speak, and there is a lot of time spent inside your own head. A lot of shifts can begin there, and every day is a chance to shed some layers of stuff and begin again.