30 Days of Indie Travel Project Day 16: “ BAGGAGE – How do you travel lightly – either emotionally or physically?“ : To Read the blog in Italian click here
I am happy to report that during my travels, I have never had a major baggage disaster. (Knock on wood.) My bags always seem to get there and back just fine. I do however have a funny little story about luggage to share. It happened during one of my first trips back to Italy with my husband. As we were driving from Florence to Lucca it began to rain. But, this was no ordinary Tuscan rain storm. This was a deluge, almost “an end of the world” kind of storm. We could barely see two feet in front of the car and yet oddly enough our car was overtaken time and time again by faster zippier Italian drivers…go figure! When we got to Lucca, the city streets were full of water. Slowly we crept along making our way to the Villa Romantica, an
over the top Victorian style B&B decorated by someone obviously enamored with the Art Nouveau. The rising water threatened to stall the engine, but fortunately we made it safe and sound to the hotel, tired and a bit discombobulated. After checking in with the night manager, I turned to my husband and said: “Ok! all set. We can go out and get the bags now.” But, he just looked at me and stared without moving an inch. His unresponsiveness was really starting to tick me off, so I repeated more loudly. “Ok! Go get the bags our room is ready!” Again he just looked at me like I was crazy or something. “What are you waiting for, GET THE BAGS!!!!” I yelled. Rolling his eyes he said: “Well, if you would just speak to me in English I might be able to understand you.” Poor guy, tired after a harrowing drive and here his loving wife was screaming at him in Italian. But, yay for my Italian! I was so tired, I forgot to switch languages, so I didn’t realize I was continuing to speak in Italian with him! Eventually the rain stopped and together we carried the luggage to the room.
When I travel I endeavor to go lightly and I have the art of packing down to a science. I can be quite the minimalist when need be. I try to fit everything into one bag, that ideally I carry onto the plane, along with the laptop, book and ipod. When I set off for Europe the first time I took with me a new pair of jeans, a bright orange back pack and a medium size suitcase that I could carry all by myself. More recently packing has gotten a little more complicated, as it involves many decisions and the sorting through of clothes to decide what to bring along. After all, I do like to look cute and stylish when I travel abroad, while still I adhering to the rule “when going, less is more”.
While I may travel light when I depart, I am totally okay with traveling heavy coming home. And no, I am not talking about the extra weight I gain eating pasta at every meal when I am Italy. Wisely, I pack one or two additional fold up bags that expand to hold the universe to accommodate all the stuff I can’t live without and want to bring home with me. After all who can refuse a jar of home grown honey from a friend’s garden or packages of cheese from the Grana Padano factory in Mantova or a lovely ceramic plate from Deruta. I can’t travel to Italy without bringing back at least six books from the bookstore la Feltrinelli or a pile of Italian DVDs discovered in a Roman flea market… and those bottles of wine, bought in Umbria during our vineyard tastings, somehow have to make it back home! So, I may depart sensibly light, but I return fully loaded.