In a figurative sense, 2018 is my year of travelling lightly because I have begun to travel solo in earnest. That is, not only when required for work or to visit family, but actual vacations (2 in one year!) where I have been largely on my own and experiencing a euphoria of independence, knowing that I only have to please myself. There is no, ‘Where do you want to go?” “I don’t care, where do you want to go?” “Let’s go here.” ”No, I don’t want to go there.” and so on, ad infinitum!
In a literal sense, this is the year I’ve resolved to travel carry-on only, with minimal wardrobe and accessories, electronics, etc. Before 2018, I had already done a lot of travelling, both domestic and international, but I had not managed to travel with only a carry-on bag since before 9/11 and the advent of TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule (no liquids, gels, aerosols, limited to 3.7 oz. in a quart sized Ziploc bag, etc.) As a person who likes to have all of my creature comforts and customary toiletries with me, it has seemed a bridge too far. However, with 2 international trips on the calendar for the year, I wanted to finally take on the challenge, and hopefully save some time going through Customs. To prepare, I studied several existing online travel blogs to see what advice my fellow travelers could offer (a lot!) and studied the actual TSA regulation about carry-on items vs checked and the 3-1-1 rule. I researched the perfect backpack for my purposes, and purchased the Osprey Farpoint 55, but more on that later. I searched Amazon.com for the highest customer rated travel sized items. I packed my separate 3-1-1 Ziploc bag with far too many things, I’m sure, though I told myself it was all in the interest of research. Finally, I departed on the first of the two international trips for 2018, to La Paz, Mexico. This was to be a test run in real time; 8 days of kayaking on the Sea of Cortez, with only my backpack on her maiden voyage. Stay tuned to find out what I learned!