After 14 years of travel, I have radically changed my packing method, it is strange.
“The things you own end up owning you. It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
The airlines are teaching me how to pack for world travel, I learned yesterday there was nothing in my backpack worth paying 342 dollars to own. I could choose an expensive airline like American Airlines, and pay 520 to keep the gear, or Spiritair.com for 178 and dump a lot of travel gear.
Adios Travel Gear!
Yesterday was an emotional day, maybe one of the saddest days in my 14 years of world travel. I have been going through all my travel gear, and throwing away anything that can be purchased in the next country.
Ooops, there goes 60-90 percent of the travel gear in the bag above. My idea of travel gear is radically different than other people, I buy travel gear in places like Walmart, and Walgreens, or a food market in Africa. For example, I carry 40 feet of nylon cord for a clothesline, and plastic clothes pins, and I really hated to throw them in the trash. But I truly can buy them again in Thailand, or West Africa, they are just convenient travel gear to have with me, I can buy upon arrival at the next travel destination. All this gear I carry has become inconveniently expensive to own.
Adjustment to the quote above
“The things you own end up owning you. It's only after you trash everything you own that you're free to do anything.”
- Andy Graham
I do Not Like SpiritAir.com
Ok, I am the same as the rest of you, I do not like SpiritAir.com, they are sneaky, slimy, sons of b....tches, but they are still 342 dollars less than United, American or Delta to fly from Guatemala to Detroit, Michigan. Providing, I have no travel gear or luggage, food on the plane, or other conveniences that cost 342 dollars.
When a person says, I will never take SpiritAir.com again, my incredibly mathematical brain kicks in, and starts talking to itself,
"Even if that sneaky, slimy SpiritAir.com wants 200 for my backpacks, it is still cheaper than American Airlines."
Well, my plane ticket from Guatemala to Detroit is 207 U.S. Dolllars one-way, and that included 33 USD for one checked bag.
520 minus 178 Dollars equals 342 dollars?
All the contents in my checked bag can be purchased for 75-200 USD, maybe some of the shirts or pants are difficult to buy. I am wondering how many people arrive at the airport, the airline says,
"you need to pay 150 for your bags,"
and they just leave them sitting at the check-in and say goodbye?
Convenience is an expensive addiction, a nipple with bad milk.
Please understand, this is another day of liberation from the USA culture. With each passing year I need less, and the less things I need to watch, own, and care for, the less petty my life is, and the more noble my existence.
Packing is becoming simple.
Luggage fees are a complete rip off. As a surfer, I have seen surf travel prices go through the stratosphere with the airline service charges and fees for boards. It used to be a board bag was one of two pieces of luggage and it was free. Over the years, it has gone from zero to $200 per board. The 4 board quiver I used to carry is now $800 x 2 (RT) plus regional carrier fees. I'll pay....NO WAY! I now have a two piece board that makes the dimensional cut for most airlines as a checked bag, plus Ive stash two boards at a friend's house. Buried a board at the beach one time. I also bought boards from tourists who didn't want to pay RETURN or need quick cash.
When it was two free bags, and I had a pickup at the airport, I used to max out on packing old clothes and stuff to give away in the 3rd world. Now that luggage fees are crazy... I buy the stuff Andy and other people bought at Walmart and dumped in the goodwill or Salvation Army containers. It wasn't sold at their thrift stores, and was bulk shipped in bundles to West Africa or the PI for stores on the Left Coast, and we buy it for 350 CFA in Libreville...or 15 or 20P in Manila. Then I give away stuff in the days before I am leaving. FREE! Sign also gets my loot down the road.
VISITORS TRAVELLING TO THE US TAKE NOTE: Garage/rummage sales are great places to pick up things on the cheap or even free on CRAIG's. Clothes for cents on the $... Stuff to outfit a road trip ... Mmight be a cultural phenomenon, with classic souvenirs for take home to your place. It's a bit better now, but a America is still very much a disposable society--we throw away lots of stuff that is perfectly functional.
You're right Victor, I live in the States, and from time to time I see good, and perfectly functional pieces of furniture right in front of their sidewalks, but for some reason they don't need them anymore! Oh well, Ces la vie.
Ps. This is for Andy please gives us some feedback afterwards on your trip to Detroit through SpiritAir.
Personally, I thought you packing list, especially the number of briefs, was extravagant when compared to other travelers. Lightening the load means fewer back problems.