Now that travel for work is back on the menu, I’ve been trying to upgrade my “pack light” game.
I’ve been inspired in part by Beau, who I first met during my trip to South Africa in 2019 during my Automattic onboarding. Beau travelled from the US for a two week jaunt with nothing but hand luggage, and it blew my mind.
For my trip to Vienna earlier this year for a divisional meetup, I got by with just a backpack and a laptop bag. Right now, I’m waiting to fly to Rome for a week, and I’ve ditched the laptop bag in favour of just a single carry-on backpack. About 7kg of luggage, and well within the overhead locker size limit.
I’m absolutely sold on this approach. I get to:
- walk past the queues for luggage drop (having checked-in online),
- keep the entirety of my luggage with me at all times (which ensures it goes where I do),
- breeze through security1, thanks to smart packing2
- walk right out of the airport at the other end without having to wait for the flingers to finish smashing everybody’s luggage into the carousels.
As somebody who’s travelled “heavy” for most of my life – and especially since the children came along – it’s liberating to migrate to a “pick up a bag and go” mindset. To begin with, the nagging thought that I must’ve forgotten something essential was challenging, but I think I’ve gotten past that stage now.
Travelling light feels like carefree: like being a kid again, when all you needed was the back on your back and you were ready for an adventure. Once again, I’ve got a bag on my back3 and I know that everything I need for an adventure is right here with me4.