Wednesday 7 June 2023

Jettisoning my life cargo

I've been thinking about travel a lot lately. My social media channels have a habit of reminding me of the weird and wonderful places that I've been in the past, and now my feeds are filling up with friends travelling the world again. One of my colleagues is about to head off to Europe for a few weeks, and we are all understandably jealous.

The last time I travelled overseas was almost four years ago, which feels like an eternity, especially considering everything that's happened since then. I had made further plans for travel but... well, you know. And even though the world has opened up again, the cost of travel has skyrocketed alongside the prohibitive cost of living.

I've also been living in hope that international travel from Canberra airport would open up again. In the past, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have flown out of Canberra, which has thankfully saved me from the horror that is the Sydney International Airport terminal.

But recently, I made an impulse decision. Air Asia had a sale, and now I'm the proud holder of return flights from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur... cabin luggage only! I don't know if I'll regret it yet, but it'll be an adventure.

It's something that I've been wanting to try, ever since reading No Baggage by Clara Benson. In her case, the challenge was to travel overseas for six, with nothing but a handful of essential possession in a small shoulder-bag (i.e. passport, mobile device, wallet, toiletries), no pre-booked accommodation and no flights. But for me, it's baby steps... I'm only going away for ten days, and cabin luggage seems like a good compromise, especially if it means I have a couple of changes of clothes and don't need to hand-wash my undies in the sink every night.

I do often feel weighed down by my possessions. They're necessary to feel settled - to create a personal sanctuary of physical objects that surround me and provide a sense of comfortable belonging in a space. There are times, however, that I would happily give it all up if it meant having the freedom to pick up my life and explore the world once again.

So, another challenge to set for myself: do some spring cleaning! That means clothes, books, and all the random junk that clutters up my life. I already keep it moderately contained, but I think I can do better. That way, when that dream overseas opportunity comes my way again - and it will - then I'll be ready.

1 comment:

  1. I have occasionally considered cutting what I travel with, especially given how much luggage goes missing these days. However I suspect I will continue with my usual travelpack from Kathmandu...particularly as one of the key luxuries is my pillow. The older I get, the more challenged I am by bad pillows. Still, I think my pack usually weighs in around 12-14kg on departure, heavier on return.