last updated September 7, 2012

Less is Definitely More


I love to travel but I hate airports: which is one reason I enjoy holidaying in Scotland on the bike.
I'm independent, I don't have to speak to many people and no stranger asks me to take my clothes off. If you think that's a bit harsh try watching an elderly man losing his dignity or another being marched off for travelling with a penknife (in the same queue in late 2001 I saw a young woman revealing her disposable razors and being ushered through without question).

It doesn't help when you hate authority. I used to dislike being told that all my liquids need to be in 100ml vessels and must be in one bag only. I have medical complaints that make this difficult and I am definitely not clogging up the NHS by asking for a note like a school child.

Watching people wrestle around pink floral designer suitcases the same height as themselves on matchbox wheels is a ridiculous sight. When we recently travelled to Turkey everyone (Check-in, Hire-car, Hotel) asked with astonishment if that was "all we were travelling with?" I hadn't even considered it a small amount - the last time I travelled for 3 weeks I went with a bag that would fit in an overhead locker. If you are Scottish, travelling to a hot country, you basically only need sun block. And maybe some shorts.

Cycle Touring is a great way of appreciating how much luggage you actually need. In Japan, my local club do food touring. They go to decent Inns where they immediately wash, are given dressing gowns and slippers and then sit down for dinner. They don't take any luggage other than money - this is credit-card-touring proper.

Louis Theroux's documentary on Jimmy Saville stays with me for Jimmy's great insights into life. He was a remarkable man - and one I respect for his drive and confidence in his own ways. The main thing I learned from this was him taking Cruises and talking us through his one pair of pants which he would wash each night in the shower and leaving to dry overnight.

Lightening the load makes you feel less dependent and more free. It's like the opposite of watching a commercial break on Television. So I now see the logic in making people travel with only 100ml of shampoo - It's not about terrorism as such - I see it as being more about not needing.

Posted by stupot at September 7, 2012 01:29 PM