A journey is like a marriage.
The certain way to be wrong is to think you can control it.
I visited the port city of Funchal, Portugal, on a cruise ship scheduled to travel around the world. My mission: purchase a vintage bottle of Madeira. At the farmer’s market, a merchant’s display of colorful woven handbags beckoned me inside the shop, which also contained the best collection of vintage wines in the market for the right price – 4400 escudos or $22 for my 15-year-old bottle.
One month and six ports later, my cruise ended prematurely in the South Pacific. But I began my new world tour in French Polynesia before heading to New Zealand. My first adventure on the new itinerary: hop a freighter to Bora Bora from Tahiti.
From the time I learned about the freighter, I had 90 minutes to get to the dock before it left port. To prepare for it, I spent an hour on the floor of my hotel room triaging the sprawl of contents from a large suitcase filled with months’ worth of belongings. What to take? What to ship home? What to leave behind?
During five of those frantic 60 minutes, I debated lugging that bottle of Madeira. Other than two weeks in New Zealand, I had not yet received my itinerary from Joan, my travel agent in Connecticut. I didn’t know if I’d be in one place long enough to enjoy the wine. Hauling it once uncorked seemed absurd. And, what if the bottle broke? I hadn’t come prepared to protect glass; I thought I would be on a cruise ship.
So, I let it go.
Leaving my cherished Madeira on the hotel bed marked the beginning of my new journey, one in which I would continue to release possessions, attitudes and beliefs – an act that would lighten my load and propel me forward around the globe.
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Much of what we acquire in life isn’t worth dragging to the next leg of our
journey. Travel light. You will be better equipped to travel far.
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