I travel around the world constantly. I stay in airbnbs, hotels, or with friends for a few days, a week, or maybe 2 weeks, and then I get on a train, bus, or plane to the next destination.
My lifestyle is not for everyone. It's not always easy. But overall, it ROCKS. I love it. I feel so lucky every single day. The world is my home. If I need something, I get it wherever I am. When I order things online, I have them sent to whatever address I'm staying at. Sometimes this means I don't get things!! A credit card I now finally have in my wallet was sent to four addresses before I finally received it.
I've learned to live very minimally. I have my backpack, where I carry my laptop, phone, passports, my wallet, and some toiletries and snacks when I travel. I generally put everything else into my suitcase.
So the fact that for the last week I've not had my suitcase, thanks to the alarmingly terrible incompetence of Vueling Airlines, has been a challenge.
If I had a home with the majority of my stuff, or heck -- an address for the airlines to send my bag to!! -- it would be easier. Lemme tell ya, when they ask "what is your home address?" and you say "I don't have one", the response is NOT "no problem at all!".
My suitcase holds, for the most part:
- My yoga clothes, all by Alo Yoga and all so comfortable and stylish.
- My yoga mat, from Liforme, the only yoga mat I love to use because I've sweated on it and had so many beautiful practices on that mat all over the world.
- My supplements which I know I can live without but they make me feel like I'm helping my body do its thing. Magnesium and Omega 3 and Probiotics and stuff like that. I have no idea if they actually help, but in my mind, taking them daily makes me feel healthier.
- My skincare products, which I feel keeps my skin healthy and hydrated.
These are the things I've been missing more than anything.
But what I realised is that even though I own a lot less than other people, I am still very attached to these things in my suitcase! I mean, look at the words I used above! Those are words of attachment.
I attached myself to my yoga clothes, to the way I feel when I wear them. I was attached to my yoga mat, not wanting to use any other mat. I have a story in my head about what my supplements and skincare products do for my body and appearance.
When we are attached to something, it's a story we tell ourselves about ourselves in relation to that object or person or label. "I need XYZ to live my life" is the basic story. And yes, maybe the life that you've currently got is dependent on some of those things.
But to live LIFE in general -- you don't need anything.
When I realised how attached I was to the things in my suitcase (and actually, the suitcase itself), I began to wonder how attached I am to the things I still have. My phone, my passports, my wallet with my cash and credit cards, and my laptop. "What if I'd lost those too?" I asked myself.
Without those things I would have no easy way of living the life I've currently got. I would have no access to my money and no way to communicate to anyone except by talking face-to-face. I would have no way to travel and no way to buy anything. Nightmare!
BUT...I would still be ME.
This is the crux of it. Can you imagine it? What would you do if you lost everything. I mean EVERYTHING. So all you were left with was your own body, (okay you can have an outfit so you're not naked). Mobile phone: gone. Wallet, cash, cards: gone. Your house, your home, and everything in it: gone. No car, no bike, no nothing.
It would suuuuuuck.
But you would still be YOU.
And that YOU, what is left without your ability to leave a beautiful filtered selfie on Instagram or the ability to buy a new outfit, or chat to your friends or travel to somewhere, that is the real you. The you without the stories that form from attachment to THINGS.
And luckily I haven't yet lost my wallet and phone and laptop and passports, so I don't have to experience this to learn this lesson! But it's been a profound little journey for me, to remember that I am NOT my belongings. I am NOT how I feel wearing a cute new Alo outfit. I am NOT how healthy my gut may or may not be after a probiotic capsule. I am NOT how glowing my skin looks after an Expurtise face mask.
I am what's left when I strip away all of that. I hope that I get my suitcase back, but I hope more that I retain this feeling of non-attachment to the things inside it.