We’ve All Got Our Baggage

Haulin’ It To The Beach

Kathy & I have tried to be very careful in our travels to not carry around too much – as we like to say it – ‘shit.’  To be polite I’ll call it ‘gear’ but the idea is the same.  Whatever our “thing,” there is a certain amount of gear that we all have to have with us.

If you are a photographer, your travel packing list has to include a certain amount of camera equipment.  If you are a cyclist, you need to have a bike or bikes, plus all the requisite tools, spare parts and clothes to suit your needs.  If you are a kayaker, the same applies.  Fishermen, metal detector-ers, sunbathers, surfers, the list goes on.  RV-ers and boaters – my heart goes out to you.  It ain’t for me, thanks.  Nothing like loading our Subie up with two bins for clothes and food, a cooler and a camera bag and heading off for parts known or unknown.

What triggered this conversation was watching endless people either carrying or pushing carts loaded with chairs, umbrellas, coolers, boogie boards, toys and other gear to the beach.  And it is even worse for those who come to the beach with kids!  It’s no wonder people have huge cars with car top carriers and luggage racks hanging off the back.  Too much gear!

Searching for that perfect spot

When we packed to come to the beach, we were feeling like we had over packed, but quickly realized that the majority of the extra stuff we brought with us wouldn’t be going home with us.  It was mostly water, food and adult beverages, to minimize trips to the grocery store.  When we go to the beach in the morning we take a small cooler with breakfast, water, iced coffee & tea and a beach bag with towels and reading materials.  And usually my camera.  That’s it!  We rent chairs from the life guard service, but it is our choice to pay a few dollars instead of carting chairs and umbrellas (not to mention buying them in the first place) from home and then to the beach and back every day.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  It’s just our choice to pay for the convenience.

Years ago we started to have a bug about living on a sail boat, but eventually realized that it wasn’t the sail boat the appealed to us but the idea of a life without all the extra gear.  We’re not completely down to the bare bones level, but we do tend to travel that way.  And we like that!

Everything But The Potty

4 thoughts on “We’ve All Got Our Baggage”

  1. I am with you on that one. There’s a type of ease that comes with travelling light. Unfortunately, my wife gets more a sense of anxiety 🙂
    I met a guy once who travelled the world with a small carry-on pack and the clothes on his back. When he arrived in a country, he would head for a local clothes store and get a couple of things, just enough to see him through his stay and often picking the clothes that locals wore. He was the ultimate minimalist traveller. After meeting him, I aspired to be like him but of course, it goes without saying that you cannot live that kind of extreme minimalist lifestyle without having a lot of money, which he had and I never got 🙂

    1. Several years ago Kathy & I were waiting to board a shuttle to a cruise ship, and the guy in front of us – shepherding a cart with suitcases, strollers and car seats for his family of four – looking longingly at us, each with a carryon-sized rolling bag and a backpack and sighed. Our son manages to travel with a duffel and a messenger bag. He has had a few instances where a customs officer or attendant looks at him questioningly and asked if he had everything.

      Not everyone is comfortable without a lot of “stuff,” but when we leave home with just the basics we always remind each other that what we have with us is all that matters.

  2. I see the same thing. Even notice it with homeless people. One who only has a backpack and their bicycle. Another with a bicycle pulling a stuffed trailer. And, another with two shopping carts, also stuffed. I’ve done some simplifying over the past few years and live a much happier life.

    1. The ones that get me are the ones with the huge SUVs with a car-top carrier and one of those platforms on the back. Often with a bike rack! Way too much stuff to suit me, and I was obsessing over taking three lenses instead of two!

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