Buongiorno a tutti! (Hello everyone!)
Meeting people from around the world has to be one of the things I love the most about travel. While the pandemic put a halt on meeting people face-to-face, travellers have found alternative ways to meet.
My Instagram and Facebook communities have introduced me to a whole range of fellow travelling light enthusiasts!
This week I'd like to introduce you to Viviana. She's a 50-something Italian woman, living in the South of France. Viviana has soothed my travel soul this past year by sharing her day-to-day life in her surrounding countryside, villages, and coastal pictures.
I interviewed Viviana on her travelling light experience.
Viviana in local lavender fields. Photo credit: Viviana @esploratriceconlevampate
What started your travelling light journey?
This question reminded me of a comic image: about ten years ago I was packing my suitcase for a weekend - three days with four pairs of shoes and a suitcase full of things... "that perhaps they need me." Of course, they were never worn.
In the 80s, several Italian movies made fun of the huge luggage of the Italians leaving for the holidays. Still today there are memes with those images. Practically tourists put the whole house inside the suitcase, including the moka pot (mocha) to make coffee.
As the years went by I lightened the suitcase more and more, but it was especially in the last five years, when I started to travel with a backpack, that the weight was drastically reduced.
At first it was not easy, I had a backpack that weighed 10kg, but following your advise last year I bought a backpack of 30L and I travelled with 6kg of weight. But consider that only the camera weighs ½ kg!
Viviana exploring with her 30L, 6kg bag! Photo credit: Viviana @esploratriceconlevampate
How do others react to your small travel bag?
Travellers don't look at my backpack. I’m the one who looked at the other people's backpacks - wondering how they carry such heavy luggage.
Often in their backpacks there are also tents and sleeping bags. I prefer to sleep in small hotels, hostels or as home guests instead.
The reaction of my friends is different: amazement and a little worry. Maybe they think that I might miss something indispensable :-D
What do you wish you knew at the start of travelling light?
The advice is only one:
"The one that leaves for the holiday is us - not our closet!"
We must mercilessly eliminate even that pretty dress that we never get to wear.
Who amongst us has never packed - at least once in a lifetime - that dress that is tight but maybe on holiday we deflate and we can wear it?
For other tips I just read your blog.
Viviana exploring Scotland. Photo credit: Viviana @esploratriceconlevampate
What are your favourite things about travelling light?
Travelling light allows me to focus on travel and everything around me. I don’t have to worry about the effort of carrying heavy luggage while I travel and walk.
In my recent travels I have discovered that I like to walk some long stretches on foot. The backpack is always with me, so I can stop where I want. This is a great achievement, it makes me feel free and therefore happy.
A final word from Viviana.
After this long period of pandemic, we are finally returning to travel. But let us do it with caution and with attention to ourselves and to others.
It is not necessary to go far, we are surrounded by wonderful things even a few kilometres from home. A weekend not far from home could be an opportunity to experience travel with light luggage.
Try it and have fun.
I follow Viviana with delight. Since I can't get to Europe - I get to see it through her eyes, and for that I am extremely grateful. You can find Viviana on Instagram @esploratriceconlevampate and you can also read her blog esploratriceconlevampate.com
Thinking you might want to learn more about travelling light?? Check out my page on introducing packing light. It's a good place to start for your travelling light journey.
PS - I often travel with my mocha pot on car trips in NZ! It's my indulgence.