We just returned from our summer vacation. It used to be that each summer our vacation time was spent visiting my family in the Chicago area. Although we loved our visits there, we decided 3 years ago it was time to start exploring the fifty nifty United States with the kids. So, we started a new summer tradition of seeing the states.
Our first expedition was to Durango, CO via New Mexico. Our second trip was to Chicagoland, but we drove this time and made stops in St. Louis and Branson MO. While in Chicago visiting family we also took a day trip to Milwaukee. This summer we flew and headed to our Nation’s Capital, DC, with side trips to Baltimore and Philly.
My husband is the BEST travel guide as he spends months researching all of the great things to do, see and eat. This summer he told us we needed to pack light b/c we had a lot of traveling to do… sooo, look at our luggage!
It’s amazing what you can do without when you have limited space to pack in. Believe it or not, we all managed to take an extra pair of shoes, makeup, bathing suits, sunscreen, books, markers, magazines and more. At first we all thought “No way can we only take one back pack each!”, but as we started thinking about all the travels we would do, it made sense. By traveling light we could easily put our packs on and head out for an adventure. And an adventure we did have! We took planes, trains, trams, vans, buses, taxis, mini van…and the list goes on.
By traveling light, we didn’t have to worry about all the extra baggage we simply wouldn’t need on our trip. It got me thinking… today we DO carry around a lot of baggage. I’m not talking physically anymore. Why do we hold on to so many things we don’t need, haven’t needed in a long time, or quite possibly will never need? Why don’t we trust in God’s abundance and know that we always have enough? We always have just what it is we need.
I love vacation because it is a time to let go of most everything! You don’t have to worry about household chores, phone calls, emails, facebook (ha), etc. You simply are in the moment enjoying what it is that you are doing. You are miles away from the daily grind (even if you aren’t actually that far away). I love knowing that we get to do diffent things out of the ordinary. The kids seem to argue less, laugh more, and find joy all along the journey. Robert and I get to reconnect and enjoy the simplicity of our days while roaming around new ventures.
While on vacation, I like to help the family see. Really SEE what is all around us. The flowers, the water, the diversity in people, the dogs being walked, the architecture and more. Because we leave so much behind, our minds are free to take in the new scenery. Because we leave so much behind, our hearts are lighter, our minds are clearer and we are free to enjoy more.
Yes, packing light is the way to travel. I wonder if we couldn’t learn to leave some of our daily baggage at home as we return to our regular routines. What can we let go of? Unpack, get rid of, put away, throw away, be done with? How can we lighten our loads so that we are able to take in more and need less?
This is the magic question that pokes at me each time we return from vacation.