Sunday, January 2, 2011

One tiny secret of light travel

We've traveled a lot by bike over the years. We've propelled ourselves in a non-straight line across the United States (4500 miles/7200km.) and wandered for months at a time in France, Portugal and Italy. As we have struggled up hills and mountains—because neither of us is a super athlete or a masochist—it has become deeply impressed into us how freeing it is to travel as lightly as possible. This style has crossed over to our other travel and without bicycling tools our luggage is very light indeed. On our recent trip to Italy, our luggage weighed 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) each. Including the suitcase. And my purse. Yet we had everything we needed.
  Traveling this light depends on drastic choices about clothes. It also depends on minimizing weight whenever possible. (How much toothpaste do you really need and can't you buy a new little tube along the way?) To take few clothes, one needs to wash clothes often and choose things that dry quickly. To dry clothes, clothespins and a clothesline are essential.
Before our cross country bike trip I found some tiny plastic clothes pins, which we used with parachute cord. They look silly but we could even hang blue jeans with them. (We've learned that blue jeans are very heavy and take forever to dry. There are much lighter alternatives.) Over decades, the little clips began to break and became very fragile.
We searched in vain for new small clothespins. Kind friends gave us what they hoped were replacements but most mini-clips are too small to work. Then this December, I found replacements.
 One of life's little triumphs.


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Oh, I love this!

We've cycled a huge amount after Robb broke his back. It turns out that the cyclical motion of pedaling a recumbent trike is very helpful to his well-being. I think he stopped counting after he cycled 3,000 miles.

Not bad, for a paralyzed guy...

Carolina said...

I think cycling is the best sport for a lot of reasons. Or the best transportation method, weather allowing. How great Rob can enjoy it!

Trudy said...

Dave and I travel with enough stuff to last four weeks whether we're going to be gone one week or even overnight. I"ll take some inspiration from your post....for me, though, it is the idea of being without a book or coffee that increases the volume an weight.

Carolina said...

Hi Trudy,
I find I pack the most for any trip in a car, no matter how short. Weekend away? Fill up the car! For our Italy trip, our only books were in the iPod Touch. Not so great during takeoff but we also took along a magazine and a guidebook.

Mt. Mom said...

Triumph -- hurray! :)