We’ve been home from Israel for a week now. I think I’m pretty much over the jet lag, and all the laundry is washed and put away. I added up all my Fitbit miles and realized I logged over 55 miles in 12 days. (I think at least 5 of those miles were logged walking through Frankfurt airport!)
My suitcase looks lonely though. I hate the thought of storing it away because it will probably be years before my next international adventure. Then again, I’d rather leave it behind and shed the impulse to bring every possible creature comfort from home.
I had a detailed packing list for our trip, but it grew considerably until I filled every last inch of my suitcase. Somehow I managed to stay under the checked baggage weight limit, even though I kept adding things up until the last moment. And it never occurred to me that I might want to leave space for gifts or souvenirs we might accumulate during our time in Israel.
Fast forward to Tiberias. After living out of my suitcase (and carry-on bag) for the first three days, I realized I probably didn’t need to pack that second bathing suit and extra sun dress. And I definitely didn’t need the fleece jacket or the Costco sized SPF 50 sunblock. Sure, I loved having clean clothing each morning, but I could have easily washed some things in the sink. By the end of our trip, I was envying those who packed a single carry-on bag or a trekking backpack. They looked so carefree as they navigated the busy hotel lobbies and crowded airport terminals. Why couldn’t I travel light? Why do I feel the impulse to pack so many things I might want, rather than only those things I will truly need?
Perhaps the way we travel is a metaphor for life. Personally speaking, I do tend to carry a lot of excess baggage around with me. The stresses of daily life can sometimes feel like we’re dragging a heavy suitcase up a flight of stairs. It weighs us down and slows our pace. Why is it so difficult to let go of the things we are convinced we need, even when they have little real value in life?
But, oh, there is hope . . .
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”
Amen! I say it’s time to lay those excess burdens down!
Going forward, I think a better approach to life — and travel — is to carry only what we need for the journey. 🙂