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    Packing Your Life into a Carry On

    As my father-in-law, Paul, would say, getting ready for a year long trip around the world “ain’t for wussies.”  And he wasn’t joking! The amount of energy it took to check everything off the endless to-do list and finally walk out the door was so much more than I expected.

    Leasing our home and getting it move-in ready, packing away all our personal items, doing our will, updating insurance policies, switching utilities, changing our mailing address, stopping accounts, starting accounting, putting all our affairs online, researching home school options for Kayla, shopping for travel items, planning our route and where we are going to stay and on and on and on…  Add some sleepless nights and a few unexpected surprises and I feel loopy just thinking about the process. 

    One of the biggest challenges was packing our whole life into a carry-on and a back pack.  I thought I was pretty good about the bare essentials.  I chose a space in our guest room and over the past few months would add the must-have’s to the pile.  I bought some packing squares for the three of us, (Thanks for the tip Neslie!), and began to fill them with the limited clothes I was bringing with me.  They all fit perfectly into each square.

    Then our friends, Greg and Michelle came over to say goodbye with their kids.  I had the filled packing squares sitting next to my small baggage.  Gregg asked if I tried to fit them in the carry-on and began stuffing them in to the tiny space.  I was shocked to see he could hardly fit one out of five in there.  Crap!  I would have to rethink this packing thing. 

    I stayed up all night pulling “essentials” out of the bag and putting them in the “do not absolutely need pile”.  I whittled it down to a handful of socks and underwear, a pair of flip flops and sneakers, a couple of pairs of pants and long sleeve shirts, one micro down light weight jacket, a few sets of yoga clothes, three bathing suits, computer, first aid kit, small toiletry bag and phone.  Gone were the exercise bands, water filter, books, foam roller, travel hammock, picnic blanket in a bag, good camera and other do-dads I thought were necessary items for a year’s worth of travel.

    Kayla had no problem fitting her tiny clothes and shoes in her bag and even had room for her slime collection, tons of games and art supplies for the year.  Scott on the other hand, with his size 14 shoes and XXL clothes, was only able to take a miniscule amount of supplies.  I was proud of all of us for slimming things down and making it work.  Wow! What a weird and liberating feeling to be able to carry everything we need for a year in our hands. This process has taught me two big lessons. 

    First, you need very few “things” to live a full and satisfying life.   Collecting stuff provides a temporary happiness.  But, it’s the quality of the people you surround yourself with and experiences you engage in that truly create a meaningful life story.

    And second, the less you have, the less you have to worry about. Leaving behind the few valuables we own has provided a huge sense of freedom from anxiety over losing stuff.  In addition, gone are the stresses that go along with managing and maintaining that stuff.

    Now if I could only convince my family not to unpack anything when we get back in a year!

    Looking for an opportunity to practice packing a carry on?  Meet us on the first pit stop of our year-long trip around the world on the beautiful shores of tropical Costa Rica.  Scott and I would love for you to join us for our 8th annual Costa Rica Yoga Retreat June 30th-July 7th, 2018.

    Guatemala anyone??? I am so excited to partner with Rod Hairston on this Journey to the Heart Retreat on the shores of mystical Lago Atitlan in Guatemala November 3rd-10th. This is going to be a full mind-body-spirit immersion into the local Mayan culture through transformative workshops, yoga, ceremony, meditation, chanting and dance. Three powerful volcanoes and the beautiful lago will be our backdrop as we embark on a Journey to the Heart.  Visit www.growth-u.com/events for details and to register today!

    Interested in following our year-long, global travel adventure, as well as being the first to be notified of newly released worldly yoga videos by yours truly?  Please SUBSCRIBE to my Meditation Mutha newsletter.  I am planning on blogging about all our stops and people we meet along the way.  Hope you can join us!