Friday, June 13, 2008

Skip the Baggage Claim

The Indian holy man Sathya Sai Baba often tells his students, "Travel light. Arrive quickly." This applies to both spiritual and physical journeying. Pack only what you'll need. I love the freedom of taking just a compact carry-on bag designed to accommodate enough for a week away, so I can avoid waiting at the baggage claim. On the other hand, greed is nowhere more apparent than in people trying to get anything short of a steamer trunk to count as a carry-on. Respect your traveling colleagues by packing conservatively, or checking your bags.

Remember greedlessness, too, in those ubiquitous airport shops. Many airports have become shopping malls with metal detectors. Anything you buy there is sure to cost more than the same item elsewhere—if you'd buy it elsewhere at all. Ask yourself before you acquire that souvenir, "Do I want to pay for this, lug it, repack it, and take care of it when I get home?" If not, pass.


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