The most valuable lesson I have learned is that the most meaningful journey is the inner journey.

Pack Smart, Travel Happy

The secret to a stress-free vacation

Jean Edelman: Wonderful to be with you this week. This week I want to talk about packing for travel. I don’t know about you, but you’ve probably gotten back into your life a little more quickly than I have. My health event in January gave me a slow start to getting back to “normal”. But here we are in the summer and planning our first trip in four years. It made me think about everyone traveling and what and how we decide what to bring with us.

Being in the airports, almost everyone has a backpack. Even the little ones. And it looks like carry-on is the way to go. We can also notice how casual the world is regarding our wardrobe. So I guess that that makes packing for travel a little easier.

I remember a great comedy bit by George Carlin about travel and how we take the microcosm of our home with us when we leave, and we need all of our stuff. And George Carlin is very funny. So if you need a laugh, check it out on YouTube. I’m sure you can find it.

Anyway, it really made me think about packing for our trip. Less is more. One pair of slacks, multiple tops. I think the biggest shift in thinking for me is I don’t need to impress anybody with my outfits. The goal is to be comfortable, and the goal is to be happy to be with the family and friends that we are with and to be happy and excited about discovering some new part of the world.

So the action item for this week is when we travel, what is our goal? Can we do with less? And can we manage just carry-on? Are there facilities where we can wash our clothes when we get there so maybe we don’t have to pack as much? All these little pieces going into making ourselves comfortable when we leave our very comfortable homes. All these thoughts and all this preparation goes into how to prepare to leave home and start some new travel.

My word of the week is very simple. It’s Pack.

The P is to Prioritize what is important. Some of us overpack. Our good friend who has since left this earthly plane, she always overpacked. She basically took her closet, put it in many, many suitcases and brought it with her. I don’t think we can do that anymore. I think they have weight limits. But let’s look at the trip and let’s decide what is really important and what is needed.

The A is for Adventure because it feels good to be back out in the world and exploring. That is what life is about. And I hope we can savor the moments and the people we’re with because there were so many years that we couldn’t be with them. And I hope that we can take a break from our worries and be present and really, really enjoy being away.

And C is for Carry on; less is more.

And the K is for Kindness. Because you know what? When we are traveling, we need patience and kindness. When we are away, so much is out of our control and so we can only control ourselves and we can only control how we respond versus react to what is happening around us. In airports and being in new cities. We’re all fellow human beings and we all need a break and empathy as we find this new normal.

And being back to travel, it might be a bit scary to be back into the world, but it can be fun and it should be a wonderful adventure because it’s time to get back to making memories.

Have a wonderful week.

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