Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Trying A New Type of Travel

I'm not sure why, maybe because I only decided I was going to take the flight about 12 hours before departure, but when I thought about what to pack for my weekend trip to Catalunya (Spain) last weekend, I kept going back to this thought of, "Just take your every day backpack, no change of clothes, and go." So as I was taking down my rollie backpack from the closet, which is by no means a large backpack, and laying out the clothes I would pack, it was no surprise that my conscience kept putting more resistance in my heart and chest with each item I picked up to pack. And then it hit me: 

Why on Earth are you even thinking of taking anything!?! You're going to be in a different city each day, wandering around the whole time, why take anything? 
You don't need ANYTHING
Just go! 

So in a great feat of relief, I abandoned all, left it on the couch as an act of defiance, and decided on what one outfit I would wear for the whole weekend! I ended up going away for three and a half days and three nights, with my small leather backpack that I use every day, and packed in it the following (amount of stuff can be seen above in the selfie-mirror pic):
  • One extra tank top
  • Leggings and a t-shirt to sleep in/use as an alternate/"going out" outfit (the leggings are psychedelic and kinda sexy)
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/mascara/face wash packet
  • 1 pair of underwear
  • Swimsuit bottoms
  • Poi balls
  • Kindle
  • A book
  • Journal/pen
  • Camera
  • Passport/money/ID
I didn't take my phone charger, knowing that would mean I would have to leave it off most of the time if I were to have any battery to contact my friend in Barcelona, who I'd be meeting up with on Sunday (which turned into Saturday). My phone actually died right as I was walking down the street to get to her place, and right after I was able to show the street names to someone so they could point me in the right direction. It served me long enough to Instagram a couple photos in Girona, look for a hostel/figure out how to get to it, Whatsapp my family and some friends a couple times, and know how to get to my friends place. I happily survived from Saturday afternoon until Monday mid-morning without it. 

I wore jeans, a tank top, a scarf/wrap, a light jacket, and ankle boots, and tied my denim long-sleeve button-up around my waist, and had my Spirit Hood around my neck. The outfit that I ended up wearing on both Friday and Saturday, and pieces that were incorporated every day/night I was gone. The extra tank top I took with me, I only wore during a nap I took on Sunday, paired with my swimsuit bottoms, that I wore as underwear that day as well. I borrowed a dress and sandals from my friend on Sunday, and wore them while I biked around town, but then wore my pajama bottoms (the leggings) and the tank I'd been wearing the last two days, when we went out dancing that night. My pajamas then served as my travel outfit on Monday morning, mostly because the flight left at 6:15am, and I couldn't be bothered to wear jeans at that time/to travel. Granted, when I got home, all my clothes were dirty, but I personally love coming home from someplace when unpacking only requires that I throw everything in the laundry basket. 

Normally, I don't like to wear jeans when I travel, because all of mine are quite tight, and it's not that comfortable for travel. Leggings or maxi dresses/skirts are my preferred travel clothes. But for going to Barcelona, the flight is an hour, and I knew all my other travel time (on buses and trains) would be under two hours, so it wasn't a big deal. 

This was the first time I'd ever actually brought into reality my knowing that to travel, you don't need to take a lot with you. I usually take enough clothes to change each day, and what always weighs me down are converters, books, and journals. This time, I decided I didn't want to go with a phone, and I just wanted to have complete freedom. Since I went without a real plan (no travel or sleeping arrangements booked/payed for, or knowledge of when/how/where I'd go), I didn't want to have anything holding me back. It was a weekend to just go into the world of Catalunya, with God, and without an excess of material items. 

And it. was. GOOOOOD!!

I felt so liberated to know that when I woke up in the morning I could only put on one thing, in turn wasting zero energy or time on "what do I put on today?", and knowing that I was alone and had no where I had to be at a certain time, left me with such an incredible sense of freedom. I wasn't in a rush for anything or anyone, and I was just floating around the streets, knowing I could go where I pleased, because I didn't have anything to lug around. It was a taste of the minimalist lifestyle that has left me hungry for more. (Somewhat ironically, I suppose, since it's a style of living with less.;) And where I usually am carrying around extra weight in fruit and snacks "just in case" (I'm always hungry/snacking), I didn't want to add anything to my pack, and decided to just fully trust that when I got hungry or needed anything, God would provide. And that's exactly how it went. (Except for the dark chocolate almond bar I always had with me. Whoops.)

When I decided I was hungry or wanted a snack, I'd say, "I want a banana. I want to find a fruteria (fruit shop)," and just like that, within minutes I would come upon one! When I decided I didn't want to eat in a restaurant, but instead just take my fruit lunch somewhere nice and enjoy it, God led me up and up some mysterious stairs, until I found myself on top of a hill, alone, with an amazing view of all Girona! And when I decided, okay, I'm going to find a place to sleep now, He said, "Ok, sounds good. And by the way, you're going to get a private room for the price of a shared dorm, because I want you to continue in solitude. It's what you and I need." (Read more about this here.)

View from where  I ended up having lunch

Literally every step of the way I was cared for. It was the most incredible thing to just follow my inner guide and let It show me the world I was meant to see and feel. To live fully in the moment, and not worry or plan for the next, was remarkable. It was necessary. It was perfect. It was a glimpse at how we are meant to live.

And now as I sit and write this, I have a perfect view of my closet, and I see an abundance of clothes and shoes, and while I am full of gratitude at my ability to have these things, I know none of it matters, none of it's necessary, none of it can take care of me the way living in the now and going with God can. And that's powerful, powerful knowledge to have and hold.

I highly suggest going on a last-minute, unplanned and unpacked trip. Just get in the car, on a bus, train, or plane, and take nothing more than a journal and some extra socks with you. Go with God, and live for the moment that is. The meditative freedom that it brings into the soul is so magical. It transformed me, and I'm still gathering the benefits of it all! I have become a born again traveler, and am now going to go with as little as possible always. Less is more, that's for sure!

I hope that the calm, present feeling that I have can be felt by any and all, and that you have an amazingly blessed and beautiful week! 

Blessings, Love, Light & Peace 

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