Posted by: marykfurness | August 16, 2011

Travel Light, Travel Small, See It All!

My name is Mary, and I am a travel-holic.

There, I’ve said it.  Admitted to it.  Put it out there for everyone to see and know.  Actually, I can’t really help it–it’s in the blood; my mother spent a great deal of her life wandering the globe, and in her younger years said she’d either marry a man who was from another country or had done the same traveling she had.  She married a man from another country, who himself had done a good bit of wandering before he ended up here.  But that is another story.  Point is, some of my most joyful times are when I am planning and packing for a trip.  Doesn’t matter where–the idea of adventure stirs my blood.  It’s a disease that can be controlled (i.e., finances!), but will never be cured.

One of the (many) things I learned growing up with parents who took our family places foreign and domestic was how to pack light.  Often we drove to destinations, and we were not allowed to take a lot of  “stuff”–there was only a certain amount of room in the car, and very rarely did Dad use the roof rack. We two kids could take some toys and books along, but we didn’t have a station wagon, the mini-van hadn’t been invented, so we had to be selective.  The same thing happened when we flew–as a family, our first big flying trip was to Europe in 1973 for 2 months, and we traveled with 1 (yes ONE) checked bag each, and 1 (yes ONE) carry-on!  I bless my mother for teaching me to pack light ‘way back then, every time I travel now.  At one point during that trip, we consolidated bags, and my brother and father shared a suitcase, and my mother and I shared a suitcase, with each of us taking our carry-ons.  We left some clothes and the other bags to be picked up later, allowing us to take advantage of a particular situation that arose. 

Fast-forward to Europe, 2009–the first trip to the Continent for my husband and son.  We packed all carry-on!!  Baggage restrictions and fees being what they are, we decided that we would accept the challenge–lo and behold, one adult male, one adult female, and one pre-teen boy were able to successfully pack carry-on only for 3 1/2 weeks! And yes, this included the 3-1-1 bags, the point-and-shoot camera and netbook, semi-dress clothes for a family reunion dinner in Switzerland, walking shoes, and so forth.  We traveled by plane, train, bus and on foot, in big cities like Munich, to the small Alpine town of Grindelwald, Switzerland, and places in between.

Traveling small and light frees you up to go anywhere and do anything– those of you familiar with Rick Steves and his “traveling light” mantra will think I sound like one of his followers; however, as I’ve said, I’m actually following in the footsteps of my parents, who were doing this long before Rick was Rick! 

Our next trip?  An historic site event in the Bootheel of our fair state–it involves the transport of 1800’s period clothing;

                                          a banjo;

 and other musical instruments;  my modern-day camera and netbook for the recording of said event; and modern clothing for before-and-after the event.  And a cooler. 

But it will all go into the cargo compartment of the 2000 Subaru Forester, with room left over….’cause that’s how we roll.

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