More is…. well, more.
Thank you Captain Obvious.
Perhaps it didn’t sink in when I chanted my travel mantra: less is more, less is more, less is more… because I somehow managed to pack my bags to the absolute brink of explosion. I should have known myself better, I guess, because when it came down to eliminating the 13 extra pounds I had packed, there were simply no compromises. The peanut butter had to come, the maple syrup had to come, the bottle of Cholula had to come, the shampoo and conditioner had to come; my hiking boots had to come… the list goes on. But let’s just say that it wasn’t clothes I over packed, it was the necessities of LIFE. The things I stuffed into my suitcases will absolutely help me keep my sanity come the end November when the holiday season roles around and I start to miss the comforts of home like a fat kid on a diet misses cake.
Here are the things I traded for my sanity:
- My wallet: HOLY MACKEREL did I pay some huge overweight charges!! $110 at Newark to check my 63lb suitcase and my obscenely oversized carry on. It hurt me even more when I realized that I had to recheck my bags with another airline upon arrival at London Heathrow, because I had booked separate flights. I don’t even want to know the conversion rate from Pounds to Dollars, because this £45 overweight fee is going to hit me right where it hurts. I was sneaky enough to conceal my backpack this time, and LUCKILY did not have to pay for that bag too. Learn from my mistakes, fellow globetrotters; the less the check in counter sees of your carry on(s), the better.
- My appearance: Everyone wants to look good when they travel, and lugging around suitcases doesn’t add to your international baller style. There are a couple reasons for this (in order of importance): 1) the more luggage you carry, the more sweaty you become. You probably could have rung out the tee shirt I was wearing underneath my bulky sweater because for some reason my logic was that the more clothes I wear, the less I have to carry in my bags….. I mean, it makes some sense, but what are a few more pounds, really? The trade off didn’t help my travel swagger. 2) Your chances of meeting cute, interesting strangers are high when traveling internationally! If only you could have seen me. I was wearing yoga pants tucked into my clunky boots, my hair looked like a greasy squirrel had perched itself on top of my head, and the bags under my eyes were so prominently dark and half-mooned that even my stupid transition lenses couldn’t hide them.
- My back: It pains me (literally) that my Sherpa couldn’t make this voyage. 1) Because he graciously carries my crap, and 2) Because he gives killer neck rubs. Having spent the entire summer working on getting my poor spine into alignment and loosening up my neck and back muscles, I could kick myself for lugging so much weight.
However, I will honestly use most of the things I packed, and because it is not easy to get care packages to Morocco, I only regret over packing for the sake of my back. Money and appearance are fleeting anyway, eh?
As an amusing side anecdote from the first leg of my voyage, I want you all to know that I spent the whole day sitting/sprawling in Heathrow, pretending that I was Nicolas Cage in the Terminal (…and by Nick Cage, I really mean Tom Hanks…whatever whatever) I made creepy eye contact with some guy sitting at a café across the terminal, as I unrolled my yoga mat on the floor and unpacked the pillow and blanket I had stolen from my trans-Atlantic flight. He made the universal sign for “taking a nap” at me, and I nodded back deliriously. We exchanged thumbs ups and then I passed out on the cold marble floor, barricaded in by my luggage for the next 6 hours. Upon waking up, I spent the remaining 2 hours being that weird girl doing yoga poses in the airport in an attempt to stretch out my aching body.
I am posting this from Rabat (now a week after having written this…no wifi at home yet!) and I’m very grateful that my trip, though long and heavy, delivered me safely. I am looking forward to exploring a new corner of the Arab-franco globe! Yes! So excited for this journey!
Stay tuned! Je vous embrasse forte!