Pack Light

Before this Fiji trip there was some, um... let's call it "unpleasantness" in my life. I had a lot of hurt and anger brewing from multiple things and lost motivation to devote time and energy to things that I loved. 
I was even at a point that had I not sunk so much money into the Fiji trip on non-refundable hotels and flights, I would have considered cancelling it altogether and staying home. As the departure date drew closer, I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself by holding onto these feelings. Unlike most struggles in my life, I couldn't let it go. A week prior, I started to at least look forward to the trip, deferring my angst until I returned. But then, on the day before I was set to leave, I woke up and all that emotion had washed away. Without any further effort on my part, I had let it go. I was relieved.
Someone knowing a portion of my stresses said to me "Pack Light" in reference to the emotional baggage. It resonated with me because it is already my travel mantra but it further applied to my mental health.
I see people in the airport struggling with gigantic bags for short trips. Why? Why do we burden ourselves with so much baggage? I'm speaking somewhat of the metaphor too, but it's a practical application for travel. Why do you load up so many alternate outfits and items? Why do I continually hear of people getting robbed with heaps of jewelry or money on their person? 
I think some of it comes down to fear. Fear of the unknown. I applaud the people bold enough to travel somewhere new, but does all that baggage signify what they are holding onto? What is in that bag that they can't let go? When was the last time you went on a trip and had a light load? 
I think of my first trip on my own. Australia. My dream since I was a child. I spent 3 weeks in the country living out of a duffel bag. I was definitely scared on that trip, but that's a whole other story and half my life ago. 20 years later, I packed that same small duffel bag for Fiji with room to spare. When that person told me to pack my emotions light, it mirrored what I had already done travel-wise.
For me, Fiji equaled being free. And you know what? I still have clothes I didn't wear on this trip.
So take care of your baggage, literal and emotional and PACK LIGHT.

Except for underwear. I'll never make that mistake again.

My trusty 20 year old duffel <3