Monday, September 19, 2016

No Baggage

No Baggage
A Minimalist Tale of Love & Wandering
Clara Benson
2016, Running Press

So girl meets guy, guy meets girl and together they decide they are going to travel to 11 countries in 3 weeks WITH NO LUGGAGE.

Of course this book is really all about the baggage they lug around, the stuff inside of them. Both have pasts that are not easily left behind.

First off: who meets on OKCupid and stays together for 3 seconds let alone 3 weeks without a change of clothes?????

I loved this story and Googled and found out there is a film project around it, so can’t wait for that.

Clara meets Jeff, an professor of environmental science with a wild streak. Clara is a na├»ve but open-hearted young adult trying to navigate the world post bachelor’s degree. She loves poetry and soup. He experiments with alternate lifestyles, such as living in a Dumpster for a year. The idea that these two will embark on an overseas trip with nothing sounds crazy, exciting, and improbable.

Like that line in Say Anything when the two main characters are about to embark on their own crazy adventure—
She: no one thinks this is going to work
He: you’ve just described every great success story

One time I flew over to Sweden and my backpack didn’t land with me. I went to the hostel and the next day took a fast train to Copenhagen, got off at the station and took a walking tour, got on a bus, went to my couchsurfer’s apartment—and ten minutes later the airline called to say my luggage was about to be delivered to my host’s address. Wow! Serendipity! And that whole time I had been free to run around Stockholm and Copenhagen without the burden of my pack. It felt great, a little nerve-wracking, but great. A bit like unencumbered freedom.

So what do we really need when traveling? A sense of humor, an imagination to visualize possibilities, and a good pair of shoes. Oh, and an outfit you can wear over and over again.

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