It is interesting to me, that through our traveling, and our life, we have pared down so much stuff. Once traveling with too many suitcases, over-packed with tons of things, to duffels, to backpacks.
This time on our trip to Costa Rica we decided we were going to go minimalist. Just backpacks, on our backs. The last time we were there, 2 years ago, I thought we were going that way. We packed hockey duffels. HAHA yes, those huge hockey bags that you could pretty much fit an entire bedroom and half a kitchen into. This was a great plan until we had to come home. Greg was there with us 8 days. My 3 kids and I stayed a month. When we left the country, not only were we running late on our drive over the mountains, from the coast, to the airport, we got pulled over for speeding, got a ticket, (which is a whole other story) missed our turn to the capital of San Jose, BUT the hardest thing…those bags. Heavy. Huge. Over-stuffed.
Our youngest daughter was crying, dragging hers on the ground, all the while, I am trying to pay our exit tax, and get through lines of tourists, guards, etc. Our oldest two kids were trying their hardest to help me out. We were late. Late enough to be close to missing our flight. Tired. Stressed. I felt like a Sherpa, hiking with an expedition up Everest. Minimalist last time…NO.
Funny thing is, that while traveling, I have learned a lot about myself. Something I have known for along time. I just don’t need all the “stuff”. Once we were in Costa Rica, we used about ¼ of the stuff we packed. Truly. If that even. This has happened every time we have traveled. Always, way too much stuff. So why bother?
I try to live this type of lifestyle. Get rid of the baggage. Let go, and let God. Get rid of the “stuff”. And I have. I no longer care what society says about what we need. What we look like. What we wear, etc. I think living a clean, healthy, happy, joyous life, makes me look gorgeous. Makes me feel beautiful. I don’t sweat the small stuff. I have learned the meaning of, “ to live a happy life, want what I have.” Realizing this about myself over the last few years, has allowed me to breath. To let go of any stress, made me a better wife, not so uptight, made me a better mother, laughing at things that I once would have been “prickly” about with my kids. It has also freed up time. I honestly, stop and smell the roses. Unrushed in my day. I allow myself time to run, train, do Yoga, pray and meditate daily. I just let it go.
While packing, I put a lot of thought into baggage. What is REALLY needed in life? Traveling, you see so many tired, weary, people, dragging their baggage behind them. What a metaphor of so many people’s lives. Let it go. Give it up. Is it worth it? Is it necessary? Does that hectic life, bring you joy? Trying to keep up with everyone, everyday, does it make you happy? Make you smile?
I packed this time, consciously thinking exactly what I would need. What purpose would each item serve? Being that on my entire trip, everything I take will be on my back, made me very picky about what went in.
And although the first ½ of our trip, we will be in our little beloved village of Esterillos Oeste, in a nice comfortable, humble, house on the beach, the second ½ of our trip is up in the air. Packs on, going wherever the wind blows us throughout the country. What do I REALLY need? What is imperative to my happiness? My comfort? What is TRULY important? As it turns out, not a whole lot. This made me feel great! Put a huge smile on my face. Made me laugh. Made me joyous knowing that everything I need, I have. My family, my health, my friends, my God!
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.