The Logistical Nightmare of Traveling with Excess Baggage

by | Jan 11, 2022

The Logistical Nightmare of Traveling with Excess Baggage

Disneyland is often touted as “The Happiest Place on Earth”, and indeed it is. With its proprietary brand of Disney Magic, it’s the ideal environment to relive your childhood or experience the world through the wondrous eyes of a child. 

But what about a 5+ hour road trip to said ‘Magic Kingdom’ with a one year old baby? 

Strollers, ice chests, pallets of water and food, toys, first aid kits, diaper bags, luggage for what seemed like a professional hockey team and more packed our overflowing SUV as we headed West on our very first vacation with child in tow. 

The irritability of sitting strapped into a car seat indefinitely, and the persistent need for entertainment and pureed fruit pouches, caused our little princess to recreate every scene from Jurassic Park from the back seat for hours at a time. 

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song on loop seemed appropriate as my wife and I considered our options: voluntarily check into the mental hospital in Barstow, or continue on to Anaheim. 

The multiple highway ‘diaper blow-outs’ confirmed our decision: forge on in the face of adversity no matter what. Jameson was going to see her idol in person, dammit, if it’s the last thing we did. 

After what seemed like 5 days of travel, and serious contemplation about our vacation choices, we finally arrived at our unassuming 340 square foot hotel room—road weary and hungry. Howard Johnson’s finest was ill prepared for the vomiting of equipment and humans that had arrived that night.

You never really think about how much shit you have until you unpack it all into a 340 square foot space. But I can now tell you from experience that the answer is—way too much.

Don’t get me wrong, taking our new baby girl to see Mickey and Minnie was an incredible experience, and the days spent at the park were worth every bit of discomfort, but the drive and accommodations were a logistical nightmare.

This got me thinking, if we are all trying to get to our own “Happiest Place” in life, why do we travel with so much extra baggage?

Maybe because, much like my wife, we want to be prepared. Maybe it’s because we want to play it safe. Or maybe we just don’t realize that jamming that much crap into an SUV is counterproductive and downright uncomfortable.

Most of us are in search of some magical place that will make us happy, and most of us are carrying more baggage than United Airlines with us—”just in case”. 

The baggage we carry—memories of past mistakes and failures, limiting beliefs about what we’re capable of, and the fear of not getting there safely are weighing us down like a crap load of heavy bricks on the back of an amateur skydiver. 

As Toni Morrison, author of Song of Solomon says “Can’t nobody fly with all that shit. Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

We need to learn to let go of the things that no longer serve us—the failures, the mistakes, and the unavoidable setbacks. Mine the past for the diamonds that will benefit you, and let the rest go. 

There’s literally no need to harbor the the fact that you bombed your last job interview with you into your next appointment. And there’s no reason to take six boxes of diapers, four suitcases, an ice chest and 30 bags of potato chips on a road trip. 

It just takes up too much damn space. In the car and in your brain. 

Travel light. Take what you need and nothing else. There are lessons to be learned from every negative experience and you can pack those in a small carry-on. But if the excess baggage you’re dragging around is holding you back, you’re not going to get there with your sanity intact.

Enjoy the journey as much as the destination by taking as little baggage as possible. And you just might arrive at your happy place without the perpetual maddening of “Hot Diggity Dog” playing in your head.


Learn more about letting go of past mistakes and failures in my new book Disasters To Dreams!

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