Are these things serving you? Or weighing you down?
Read the full story ⬇︎
¿Qué hay en tu maleta?
My Spanish isn’t great, but given the context, I surmised the airport employee wanted to open my duffle bag and see what was inside.
After standing outside for over an hour waiting for the airport to open that morning, I was perturbed that I needed to now wait even longer as the security agent riffled through my overstuffed duffle bag. I had spent the past ten days in Peru and was anxious to just get to the gate to make sure I didn’t miss the international flight back home to the states.
Even though it was just a ten-day trip, I had packed a lot—much more than was necessary—so the agent had plenty to look through. Though the duffle bag spent most of the time at the Bungalow during the trip, it did become a hinderance traveling with it to and from the airport.
Especially during the attempted kidnaping.
The near-abduction happened shortly after landing in Lima on the first day of the trip. I was running late for the connecting flight to Cusco, and while lugging around this overstuffed duffle bag, a Latam airline employee stopped to help.
He spoke just enough English to let me know I wouldn’t be able to catch my connecting flight and offered to help me get a new ticket for another flight. I was so relieved to have found someone who could help—especially because he offered to carry the darned duffle bag!
The relief was short-lived, however, and instead turned into confusion.
“Why are we leaving the airport?” I asked.
He had to use a translator on his phone to understand what I was asking. In broken English he replied. “We go to office. Get new ticket.”
This didn’t explain why the airport office was away from the airport, and my concerns were further flamed when he threw the duffle bag into the trunk of a taxicab and told me to get in.
It was at that moment that I realized this man in uniform—with a Latam lanyard, and an official-looking badge—wasn’t really an airline employee at all, and was instead likely trying to scam, rob, or ransom me…or harvest a kidney!
As soon as the imposter wasn’t looking, I grabbed the duffle bag and ran as fast as I could back to the airport and into the safety of the ticketing agent line, where I was quickly issued a ticket for the next flight to Cusco.
“The nerve of that guy!” I thought to myself. “In broad daylight…with so many witnesses!”
It can be difficult to escape from kidnappers when you’re weighed down with so much baggage, and it can be difficult to get to the airport gate in time when security agents have to riffle through all the things you’ve chosen to carry with you.
It wasn’t until about a week after getting back home from Peru that I received travel advice from my ukulele teacher, Bernadette Plazola—advice that I wished I had heard before the trip. She said:
“When going on a trip, pack your suitcase, then take half of it out; make a budget, then bring double the money.”
In other words, don’t be weighed down by things—yet be ready to collect experiences along the way.
What’s in Your Suitcase?
This advice seems especially appropriate as we embark on a journey into the new year. As you begin your trip into 2022, my question for you is:
¿Qué hay en tu maleta? What’s in your suitcase?
Will the things you carry with you actually help you? Or will they weigh you down?
Sometimes the baggage we carry are old habits, limiting beliefs, and relationships that no longer serve us—like an old hat, spare shirt, or extra pair of shoes we choose to stuff into our duffle bag, even though we won’t need them where we’re going.
But when we empty our bags and “forget the former things,” we become empowered to fill our bags with something new—the goodness that “springs forth” from constructive habits, edifying beliefs, and high-value relationships—as we make our way into “the wilderness and streams” of the adventure that waits.
It can be difficult to escape from trouble when you’re weighed down with baggage, and it can be difficult to get to where you’re going when forced to carry what should have been put down years ago. As my ukulele teacher would say: Don’t be weighed down by things—yet be ready to collect experiences along the way.
Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination on a mission to help you experience abiding joy.