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The suitcase

suitcase wanderlustOur battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

While on the road, you are supposed to make it with just what you’ve managed to stuff into your suitcase. I find it very liberating: I always end up realizing that I can survive with a very small part of that big amount of stuff I’m usually surrounded with.

The process of becoming lighter starts before the trip itself, that’s why I’ve always found the act of picking just a few things to be an important preliminary, which frees my mind and gets it ready for the upcoming trip.
As the days on the road go by, I can’t help noticing how the weight of my old routine is also a physical weight, which can be calculated by subtracting the maximum weight of the suitcase allowed on a low cost flight from the total weight of all the stuff filling up my life.
Freeing myself from that routine’s weight is so satisfactory that I’ve begun to confer a redeeming power to the act of packing my suitcase, which thus requires the right background music and a total focus while I choose to bring with me only an infinitesimal part of what usually seems so necessary in my life.
Travelling shifts priorities: the only imperative, in packing as in life, is ‘to simplify’. Packing light shows me how ‘material investment’ plays such a small role in my life, since that life, which is usually diminished to one purchase after another, gets a whole new meaning while on the road with just a very small percentage of my stuff with me.
But even the smallest bag allows me to carry the most important item of all: the time to enjoy the day exploring a new place, without the pressure of having to do something. Which is a thing I don’t often find among that big pile of items stuffing my life.


my optimistic suitcase for the Guca festival 2014

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