Who Do You Think You're Packing For?

Summer is (almost) over, but my shoulder still hurts from lugging around my way too big suitcase on the many trips I took in July and August. 

Doing what I do, I have cleared a lot of clutter in my home.  There is always more and there will always be more as I grow and change, but there is something seriously funny going on when I pack for a trip. 

I rarely run at home, but when I'm on vacation, I bring along my running shoes.  That book I've been meaning to read for five years, it can come along as well.  I bring high heels to a house in the woods.  Makeup to the cottage.  You get the idea...

I'm not the only one.  A writer friend of mine admitted to carrying around five empty notebooks in her suitcase while she traveled for a year.  Five!  

This points to an optimism that comes with leaving home. 

Just think about those five notebooks.  You're a writer and you want to write.  What if you get struck with inspiration on a remote beach and you only have two notebooks with you, and one is half full?  You're going to wish you had five notebooks, because when the Muse visits she won't wait for you to run to the convenience store and buy a black and white composition book.

The thing is, when you're carting around five empty notebooks, the Muse is a little overwhelmed by the amount of blank space she's expected to fill and decides to go swimming instead.

You imagine that as soon as your foot boards that plane, train or automobile you become a different person.  Your best self.  The self who writes stuff, reads stuff, wears stuff, makes stuff and does stuff that she doesn't do at home.  All the things you've been meaning to get around to, but you haven't, whether because of lack of time or desire.

So what's the truth? 

The truth is, you don't magically change when you go on vacation, at least not in the way that you think.  Something does shift when you leave home and the best thing you can do is to leave all of those shoulds, mights, ifs or maybes at home, so that you can discover who you are when you get a little distance between you and your stuff. You may be surprised at what shows up when you do.

Like that time I went for a unexpected mountain hike in my sandals.  I suddenly felt like running, and what do you know, I didn't need my running shoes to do it, I just took off my sandals and ran barefoot down the trail. 

Are you an hopeful overpacker, or are you a t-shirt rolling minimalist queen?  Let me know below and if you like what I have to say, go ahead and share it with a friend.

Have a lovely, lovely week.

Take care,