By Saturday, August 23, 2014 2 No tags Permalink

I never check bags. That’s right. Never. Not on an overnight to BOS, and not on a 10 day trip to France. I guess at the root of it all, I want to hold on to my own baggage. And I don’t want to watch some carousel circulate everyone else’s baggage.

Some people won’t use public toilets; I won’t mix my baggage with your baggage. Not to mention the increased risk of the airline losing said baggage. (Hey! That’s my baggage! I’ll lose it when I want to!)

Hey, Zoe? You really talking about luggage or are you disclosing some deep dark secret from your past? Like that you bore a child out of wedlock who has recently sought you out and is demanding your beach house for recompense? Or that you never really went to Penn but just showed up and sat in large lecture halls where no one knew the difference? Or maybe you were involved in an NFL booking scheme that is now blackmailing you (one involving my pal DeSean?)

Truth be told, I have been wondering about baggage and whether I have any, so I’ve been polling people: “Say, do you think I have any baggage?” And no one can come up with anything. Nada. Apparently I’m one squeaky clean female corporate traveler.

At first that kinda bummed me out. Am I so boring that I have no regrets, no unfinished business, to tote along with me? I even offered some suggestions: “But my mom is pretty demanding; maybe she counts as baggage?” Nope, doesn’t count – apparently moms are exempt from baggage status (I guess if they counted, we’d all have baggage!)

But then, I remembered, baggage holds you back. It is a giant sad sack of trouble hanging over your shoulder, following you and slowing you down. It keeps you from being happy – or more accurately, free. It’s a self-imposed stop sign.

So, no baggage is fine with me. And I’m fairly sure the only way to truly get rid of baggage is to employ one simple step: forgive yourself.

Even though I have no out-of-wedlock kid (beach house safe for now), if I had, I’d have to find a way to forgive myself for giving it away. Take one good hard look in the mirror and know that I did the best I could do in that moment, at that crossroad.

This may all be a bit heavy for a summer weekend and I haven’t addressed my envious talent for packing lightly. But I guess packing lightly is important enough when traveling that it reminded me to pack lightly in life as well.

So, now my tips for never checking bags: the most important one is simply to pack one color. If most or all of your outfits are black, it is easy to mix and match and come up with multiple outfits that work with little effort. There are other little tips, like rolling your clothes instead of folding, packing washing machine pods that you can use to hand wash clothes during longer trips, and enforcing a strict three shoe policy.

But, all in all, the best way to pack lightly is to dump the extra weight.

  • Ginger
    August 23, 2014

    If you really travel to France for 10 days without checking a bag, you should give yourself a pat on the back. I could take a lesson from you, since I have been known to check a bag for a 3 day trip.

    If you’ve really made it well into adulthood with no life baggage, then you should give the Universe some thanks. Hoping your good fortune continues. But if bad fortune arrives (and for most of us it is just a matter of time), perhaps your superior organizational skills will help you weather the storms!

    • Zoe Vogel
      August 23, 2014

      Ginger – I will come over the next time you’re taking a trip and help you pack! I’ve done France for 10 days and Russia for 11. Let me clarify “no baggage” because it doesn’t mean I’ve been exempt from heartache and disappointment (you may recall you were there for me during some dark days!) And I certainly have my share of hang ups and limitations. But, I was thinking of baggage more as “guilt” or “regret” that stops you from moving ahead and keeps you riddled with doubt. Someone once told me I lacked “faith”. I think they had a point, and I’m working on that one every day. I will thank the universe and I will thank you for commenting!

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