I like the challenge of flying with only carry-on luggage because you really have to put some thought into what you “need”. You’ve got to settle on your few staple clothing items you rely on, the toiletries you need and the amounts you’ll actually use, and you have get creative with how multi-purposeful certain things you use regularly can actually be.
It’s hard and it’s risky because I’ve been the victim of being underprepared for certain weather conditions, running out of clean clothes, and needing certain lotions that I didn’t think I’d need. But, in most cases, I either survive somehow or I pay the price and buy something on the road to fill the void.
What is usually the case, though, is I will pack the least amount that I think I can get by with, and then get to end of the trip and realize that I still had clothes that I never wore and brought other items that I never touched once.
The thing I like the most about this little simplifying game I play with myself is this: packing less always seems to make my trip more enjoyable.
I walk around more easily because I’m not dragging a heavy suitcase around. I don’t have to worry about luggage fitting into rental cars or Ubers. I have less to unpack and organize when I get to my destination. I have less to re-pack at the end of my trip. I have less work to do when I return home. And, having all of this less work to do free’s me up with more time and energy to actually enjoy the trip overall.
Less stuff just equates with a more meaningful overall experience.
Which, not ironically, is also how I feel about most forms of communication. We talk all the time about that old saying, “I apologize for the long letter. I didn’t have time to write a shorter one.”
Less is more, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easier. Just as packing less requires more thought and planning, using fewer words forces you to think about the real message you want to resonate with your audience. In the same way that a vacation can feel like more work when you pack too much, the power of your words can get lost when you use too many of them. Use more thought, less distractions, and enjoy more.