Rolf Potts is traveling around the world without any luggage. A few months ago, he issued his “Reader challenge #1: Lighten your load (and win a free plane ticket).” Some woman named Victoria won.

The challenge was to explain, in 500 words or less, how you will lighten your load in the next 12 months.

Some people talked about using travel vests, leaving luggage at home, or discarding old magazines hoarded over the years.

Here’s what I wrote:

“I will travel lighter by listening. I’ll be curious. I’ll discard my ‘tourist’ persona and save a lot of weighty mental-baggage fees. I’ll listen to stories from the Bulgarian musician who played in the Soviet Orchestra, the Turkish taxi driver who’s trying to extort our money, the Australian travelers who got their passports nicked in Barcelona. How about lightening the load for others when I travel? That is what I’ll do over the next 12 months. If there’s a way to help someone else be lighter I will do it. I will listen to their stories of war in Bosnia. I will ask questions. I will make sure to be a human being, reminded that the only thing that separates my brand of suffering from this person’s suffering is…geography.”

* * * * *

How do you travel light?

Advertisements