Diligent hands will rule. Proverbs 12:24
After I graduated from college, I travelled for two months to Italy, Sicily and Malta. I travelled this far and this long, inexplicably, with one carry-one suitcase the size of a large dictionary. It didn’t even have wheels! It had a shoulder strap, so when I landed in Pisa I took a look at the leaning tower…ahh…. then strapped my suitcase to my back and trudged the streets, navigating my way with my airport guide map and looking for the nearest hostel.
Fast-forward twenty years. I cannot even fit my toiletries in a carry-on suitcase! How did I do it back then? Did I just pack one pair of jeans and a toothbrush? I know I had Unit clothing – remember those? Knit pieces which mixed and matched, and changed their function, so that a scarf could become a bandeaux shirt or a mini-skirt. But beyond that, what did I have in there? I believe my post-college European packing list looked something like this:
– 3 pieces knit clothing (making 15 original outfits!!)
– Umm.. undergarments (considered writing “foundational pieces”)
– Travel Alarm
My packing list for a recent overnight trip to my mother-in-law’s house three hours away by car looked something like this:
– Two complete outfits (plus one additional outfit, just in case)
– Undergarments (three pairs, just in case. In case of what? I don’t know!)
– Exercise clothes – (That’s right, I thought I might be able to get up early and go for a jog, which involved bringing shorts, a jogging top, socks, running sneakers, an iPod and headphones. Did I exercise? No!)
– Pajamas (what did I use in Italy? I don’t even remember! For Grandma’s house I needed sweatpants and a long-sleeved sweatshirt, so those two items themselves took up a carry-on suitcase)
– Jeans and a sweatshirt (yes, this is in addition to the other three complete outfits. Plus, we’re in Florida. Doesn’t matter – I always need jeans and a sweatshirt)
And, thanks in large part to Steve Jobs:
– The cell phone and charger
– The iPod and charger
– The iPad and charger
– The laptop and charger
– The Kindle and charger
– The portable DVD player and charger
I didn’t need to work or keep up with anyone during my 24-hour trip. I needed to bring everything just in case I needed it. Granted, I did have three children this time around, but this list didn’t even include their needs, unless they wanted to battle me over the DVD player! The two older ones were packing their own items, which probably totaled even more electronics than mine.
My poor husband asked for a corner of my suitcase for his pair of shorts and shirt, and I couldn’t even give it to him because I was also carrying birthday gifts for him, which was the main reason for our overnight trip.
One large suitcase, one laptop briefcase, one travel bag for the car and one Barbie suitcase later (I filled that one with my hair dryer, in addition to my daughter’s toddler clothes), and I was ready to go!!
From the Heart
Lord, thank you for the gift of travel. Help me to prepare my children for the joy of exploration, whether it is near or far.
Make a Start
Grab some old photo albums or scrapbooks and page through them with your child(ren), re-discovering some of the places you’ve been to together.