Where it all began...
So where did this travelling light come from, you ask?
Well, in 2013 we went on a family trip to the US for five weeks with a focus of visiting their amazing National Parks. As we watched the rock climbers in Yosemite National Park we got talking to a guy who had cycled across America seven times. He told us how he had reduced his gear to the size of a small mailbox. Admittedly, he was staying in hotels each night which negated the need to carry much toiletries, but even so, he had cut the handle off his toothbrush to reduce the weight, and washed his cycling gear each night.
I was fascinated with his determination to carry as little as possible, while we were trundling around with our 20kg bags. It had me thinking about how much we really needed.
Woah...back up a minute...the guy has cycled across America seven times and you`re fascinated with his light packing??? Well, yes. I mean I was amazed at his cycling conquest, but my imagination was more intrigued with this whole light travel idea!!
The awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park.
Pack light to travel light!
Then a friend went to Europe. She told me about their train trip from Avignon in
France to Vernazza in Italy in one day – 12 hours and 7 trains. Her husband was,
“lugging their 15kg bags up and down stairs in crowded railway stations, squeezing down aisles on packed trains, and hauling bags into and out of the luggage racks all day. When they finally made it to Vernazza they were met by the apartment owner who literally jogged up the stairs, while her husband, now in complete exhaustion, struggled one last time that day to heave the bags up 100’s of steps.“ (I must say even writing this it makes me feel exhausted!)
I thought, I don’t have my husband coming with me, I had a shoulder issue (actually I had a frozen shoulder with pretty limited movement), and there’s no way I can be carrying a 15kg bag around train stations and streets, like I did in my youth - boasting about carrying a third of my weight. Now I was to boast of carrying a 10th of my weight!
Vernazza - the steps are real.
The light travel obsession began...
To say I became ‘slightly obsessed’ over travelling light is quite possibly the understatement of the year. Finding ways to lighten my bag was fun. The internet is great for getting ideas, like reducing liquids, packing ideas and lists, and rules of thumb for what to take.
I didn't quite go as far as drying toothpaste to make solid drops that you popped in your mouth to turn into liquid and then proceed to brush your teeth. But I did go to great lengths in other areas... to the point where I actually asked for a set of kitchen scales for my next birthday!
And that, my friends, is how it all started! Crikey, six years later I`m living light travel, and doing my best to inspire others to lighten their load - even just a wee bit! Every kilo less is a success in my books!
Want to be inspired?
In September 2023 I released my travel memoir,
Dare to Travel Solo: Exploring Croatia and Italy with a light carry-on bag and a ton of determination.
It's about stepping outside of your comfort zone, believing in yourself, and making dreams happen.
It's way more than just a travel book. It's a self-discovery journey, a midlife peptalk, and you'll feel like you're on holiday with me!