Bags and Baggage

Friday was crazy busy as I tried to wrap things up at work, while completing final preparations for ILTA 2010. In the midst of all of this, I found myself focused on bags and baggage:

  • For a variety of reasons, I have to take a ton of gear with me to ILTA — several mobile devices, a laptop, thumb drives, cables and all the other tech accoutrements.  This is on top of the clothes and paraphernalia of life that I’ll need to carry for a week away from home. Consequently, I’ve been trying to figure out how to pack all of this in an efficient way that is least likely to trigger those aggravating airline extra charges.  Sometimes it’s tempting to think that all one needs is the perfect bag.  In truth, what’s important is to figure out exactly what one truly needs to carry.  Unfortunately, that can often seem more daunting than the endless quest for the perfect bag.
  • Reading the headlines today, I came across the story of Rolf Potts who has begun a trip around the world without any luggage.  Since I have trouble going around the corner (much less to the ILTA Conference) without several bags, I must admit I find his approach mind-boggling.  Nonetheless, it’s worth considering how little one really needs to carry – provided, of course, you have enough pockets and cash.
  • In the midst of preparing for ILTA this week, we learned of the death of the father of a friend of our family.  So I found myself at a memorial service on Friday morning.  It was a timely reminder that we cannot take with us any of the stuff we accumulate in life.  In fact, we leave exactly as we arrived — empty-handed.  The man we were honoring seems to have understood this well.  The remembrances shared during the service were a testament to a person who had left an indelible, positive mark on the people fortunate to know him. He may not be carrying anything now, however, it was clear during the memorial service that he has left behind not heavy baggage, but rather an important legacy.

At a graduation I attended in June, one of the speakers asked us to never forget that as we travel through life there is an important difference between luggage … and baggage. My day of wrestling with bags and baggage was a timely reminder of that truth.

[Photo Credit: Tom Magliery]

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