I’ve learned a lot throughout the planning, preparing, and packing process of this trip. There were times when I felt well equipped and times when I felt overwhelmed. The latter feeling usually came during the packing process when I slowly realized that it wasn’t practical to try and fit my entire home in one 50 lb suitcase. This was the beginning of a hard yet valuable lesson to learn: sometimes you have to leave things behind to gain more ahead.
My suitcase went through five rough drafts before it was deemed suitable for travel. The packing stage took so long because it was hard for me to distinguish between what was actually a necessity and what brought me comfort and convenience. There came a point (after many tries) where I realized that bringing a steamer, hangers, baskets for toiletries, a toothbrush cup holder, a full bottle of sanitizer, and much more was not an actual necessity! These would all bring me comfort and convenience but they are not integral to my travel. Packing for this trip taught me the importance of minimalism. It taught me the importance of being intentional and practical with how I approached life.
My comfort was costing me both literally (I would have to pay for overweight luggage) and figuratively). After grappling for some time, I came to terms with letting go. Even though it was hard, I’m happy that I made the decision to leave some things behind. This will leave space for new experiences, new memories, and new souvenirs to come!
It’s officially been a week since I’ve been in Florence, Italy. So far, the experience has been exciting, liberating, and insightful. The days feel like months and the weeks feel like years. This is because we maximize each day to the fullest, taking advantage of every opportunity we have to explore and learn. During our first weekend in Italy, my roommates and I decided to take a trip to Pisa and Monterosso. The planning and execution of this trip was a completely new experience for all of us. We had no previous experience using public transportation, nor did we have experience traveling solo. While this was the case, I’m proud to say the trip was successful due to our strengths in organization and planning. Personally, I attribute some of the success of this trip to the lesson I learned prior to departing from Florida. Because I’d gotten used to living more minimally, I was able to effortlessly travel throughout Italy. I was free to explore without the burden of worrying about maintaining insignificant luxuries. This is a significant feat because I am a person that truly clings to comfort. I’m extremely particular about maintaining my current standard of living. Deviations from my comfort level would have previously been met with abhorrence. Instead of resisting new experiences, I welcomed them with open arms. Because I let go, I was able to experience climbing the tower of Pisa and exploring the breathtaking views in Monterosso with a gracious attitude.