This plain text document lying around on my laptop is what gives me energy everyday. It’s a undecorated and unformatted draft of things to come. It’s as unfinalized as they come, subjected to changes, since I still have about half a year until then.
It’s exciting pulling this document up and reviewing it in my spare time: i.e: usually on an evening or a Sunday afternoon such as this one.
What I realized for this trip is that I won’t be hopping from airport to airport and this time, despite it being winter, I won’t even take a huge suitcase with me.
Lesson learned from last year in Stockholm, dragging a large suitcase in -12 Celsius is NOT fun (yes, negative -12). I was just surprised that the wheels on my suitcase didn’t fall off as I dragged it across the city, going from the train station to the place I was staying.
Plus, I’d overpacked, even if I wanted to be ‘fashionable’ in the fashion capitals, I didn’t need three extra jackets and three pairs of boots. Really, did I think I was going to meet a Prince and be proposed to? Hah.
Jokes aside, I’ve decided, mobility and experience trumps shopping and comfort.
I also don’t need to bring back…let’s see, an overabundance of clothes from the countries I’m visiting. While yes, technically, I’d told my friends in Europe I’d gladly go on a shopping trip with them – since it’s widely accepted that I have great eyes for style and I do have a side gig to prove just that – but back to my point, it’d just be window shopping for me, and I’ll just let my friends dress me up for a change.
Another thing I’ve realized upon reflection is that, comfort is overrated, experience however isn’t.
Granted, last year, after partying hard during my last night in Amsterdam, I bumped myself up on the trip home in hopes of bigger seats equalled better sleep on a plane. What happened of course, was that between the mix of alcohol, red bull, Starbucks and sugary Stroopwafels, and way too interesting seat mate, despite my 36 hours being awake, I didn’t get a wink on the plane (that’s a post in itself, altogether, since I did get to sit next to someone extraordinary). Instead, when I got home, I crashed immediately on the bed and didn’t get up until next day in the evening.
So how did I justify for that frivolous extra for the ticket?
I got to sit next to someone extraordinary and see how he used his time in the 10+ hours we’re ‘stuck together’ in the front of the plane (definitely, another post in the making).
Any who, this trip however, I’m not above sleeping in the airport, trying out AirBnB, couch-surfing, crashing at my friend’s floor if I have to – because I also realized, during the winter season, hotels (in the cities I’m planning to visit) are the equivalent to robbers…yes, robbers. Even the hostels charge twice the normal rate and that’s more than just an inconvenience.
Take home point from this post, to make travel sensible (also valid in everyday life):
1. Take a smaller suitcase for ease of mobility (i.e: you don’t need a lot of things)
2. Be flexible in your plans (also why #1 is essential when traveling, or just living)
3. Focus on experiences not material possessions (#1 / #2 owning too many things = burden, being experienced makes you wise)
4. Comfort really IS overrated
5. Always strive to solve problems creatively
6. Experience, reflect and learn
7. Be an active participant of life