Monday, July 06, 2009

Traveling Light

I was able to get up hiking this past weekend for the first time in a long while. I enjoy hiking. The physical exercise, being out in nature, a chance to disconnect from my normal world - all of that appeals to me.

I tend to always want to 'be prepared.' I take a backpack with me and have it 'stocked' with items that one might need if they had a mishap in the forest.

One of the trails I hike most often, however, is super heavily traveled. If I had any sort of mishap, literally dozens of people would happen by within a couple hours.

I started asking myself why I always feel the need to carry so much stuff on my back while I'm hiking that trail? It isn't really necessary and on a warm day, it's pretty uncomfortable to have my backpack pressing against my back.

This last hike I decided to go with just a jacket (tied around my waste) to carry id and a few of the items I must have, and carry my water bottle in my hand.

What a liberating feeling to go up the hill will nothing weighing me down!

It is an interesting consideration. Where is the line between always being prepared and traveling with too much on one's back?

I have the same issue when I travel. I always have a big suitcase, stuffed completely full. I like to have what I might need with me... at all times.

Yet, schlepping all that stuff with me is not easy! I pay a cost for being 'super prepared.'

I want to come to a place in my life where I take what's needed and I prepare in a reasonable way for what 'might be.' Striking that balance will ease my 'load' in many circumstances and yet preserve my preparedness in a realistic way.

Is there any way you can lighten your load today? Lay down something you've been carrying that you might not really, truly need?

Look for something you can take off your back... and lay it down!