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When I travel, I pack well but I don’t pack light. Every nook and cranny is stuffed with rolled up socks, underwear, non-wrinkle tops, bathing suits.  For the recent trip to Australia, I was determined to tone things down and not take much luggage…and besides, when I broached the subject of bringing a larger case, The Man in My Life gave me ‘The Look’– the look that said, ‘do what you want but I’m not carrying it!’  So small it was…one wheely case plus one carry-on plus one ‘personal item’ or purse.

I was proud that I managed to stuff three weeks’ worth of clothing (for different climes, different events from hiking to  exploring sophisticated cities, to dining out, to seeing animal sanctuaries, meeting camels and ‘roos’, twitching…oops, bird watching) into my luggage. When I started out, the bags were heavy but manageable. As the trip went on, despite the fact that I didn’t buy much–honestly, I didn’t– the bags got heavier and heavier. I don’t know what happened every night, but I swear the content of those bags grew exponentially. Things were propagating before my very eyes!If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the bags were ‘doing the nasty’ each night and the result was the birth of unwanted stuff.

By the time the return trip came, I could barely lift the carry-on bag. And the less said about my ‘purse’, the better. It started out being my ‘beach bag’ and became an albatross around my neck. In my defense, however, it did hold some weighty items of necessity: the iPad borrowed from Crazy D (complete with the third season of House of Cards–I hope Kevin Spacey knows he saved my sanity and got me through 25 hours of flying and waiting in airport lounges),  the camera also borrowed from Crazy D, an actual book to read, plus make-up bag, heavy bags of nuts, chocolate, apples, bottle of water and wallet. From this, dear readers, you may deduce that my policy of ‘no high tech devices shall darken my life’ has crashed and burned and that I don’t trust the airlines to provide suitable nourishment to sustain life for that period of time. You’d be correct on both fronts.

And, of course, a few more items were added as the trip progressed. Just try to create the impression that a bag is light as a feather when you can barely lift in onto your shoulder, let alone carry it through an airport to the farthest gate available. It ain’t easy. But carry it I must. I have to say, The Man in My Life was extremely accommodating since he ended up carrying his two carry-ons plus my carry-on. And for the last flight, after 15 hours in the air, he gallantly stepped up and dragged both wheely suitcases as well. I could tell he wasn’t happy about it, but the point is he did it. Perhaps he sensed I was close to collapsing on the airport floor and giving up the ghost then and there. In truth, I almost did! But the airport didn’t need more screaming babies throwing tantrums. There were already plenty to go around.

When I told Gill about the state of my bags, she laughed and said something like: “Oh, you don’t have to explain to me, Ma! I’ve seen you in action. Don’t you remember our trip to California? I know how you travel and it ain’t pretty!”

 

 

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