Wreck This Journal: Traveling Light


I’ve never truly understood why women carry huge purses or mass quantities of baggage wherever they go.  There seems to be an obsession with the idea that we should always have everything we (might) need with us at all times.  I know multiple people that carry a purse, a work bag, a gym bag, and a food bag (lunch and snacks) every single day to and from home.  What do they need the gym bag for when they’re hauling around all this stuff?

I am seriously befuddled by this concept of packing purses with everything from make-up to flashlights.  Have you ever lifted a large purse pack to the brim with all that crap? It’s so heavy, I’m surprised more women aren’t walking around lopsided with one shoulder lower than the other.

Perhaps, I’m confused because I don’t go out as often as other people nor do I have grave concerns about being able to reapply my lipstick later in the day.  Incidentally, I don’t worry about being trapped in a dark tunnel, either. Am I weird because I’ve never felt the need to carry loads of stuff with me all the time? Probably.

I have three modes of “packing” for when I leave the house, all of which are pretty minimalist compared to what I observe on a daily basis.

Mode #1: Work

  • 1 tote bag that carries Lesson plan calendar, keys, wristlet (that holds iPod and cell phone), water, apple

Mode #2: Writing shift at the bookstore

  • 1 tote bag or messenger bag that carries laptop, reading book or journal, (depending on writing goals for that day), wristlet, pencil pouch, keys

Mode #3: Anywhere else

  • 1 wristlet or small purse  that carries wallet (unless carrying wristlet), cell phone, iPod, keys

Now, I’m sure most men would consider these modes with the same confusion as I regard women with large purses.  Everything a man needs or want fits nicely into his pants pockets, but I must argue that the pockets in women’s clothing are about four times smaller than those in men’s clothing.

Blame Wreck This Journal for my little rant on this subject. One of the pages gave instructions to trace the contents of my bag or pockets.  I did this page a while ago, but everything I “need” to have with me on an outing has essentially stayed the same.

Keeping it simple.

For the record, I have a waaaay better cell phone these days, (no more flip-phone for this girl)!

If anything, carrying less makes me a little more careful and creative when I venture outside of the house. Whatever situation befalls me, I’m confident I’ve got the right equipment with me.  And should I feel the need to run from danger, I won’t be weighed down by thirty pounds of clutter in my bag.

– – –

c.b.w. 2012


30 thoughts on “Wreck This Journal: Traveling Light

  1. ~Lady Day

    this made me laugh…I love when I can leave with just a wallet & keys, but soon as I carry a bag (diapers&baby stuff) it cries outto be loaded with more. Apparently I’m worried I’ll be trapped away from my home library somewhere, and not have enough reading material or writing materials to take up my time while I care for an emergency situation with five kids in tow…lol


  2. I totally agree with you!! If I had big enough pockets, I probably wouldn’t even have a purse. Many of my friends tell me that they have a wallet or mini bag inside their purse that is the same size as mine. I do have one friend who does carry her stuff in her 2 front pockets-driver’s license, cash, bank card, keys, phone. That’s it for her. I guess I’m not quite THAT light!


  3. I am mocked roundly for my canvas man bag, but, if you add a bottle of water, I carry pretty much the same ordinance as you. Travel light and kitted for survival!


  4. I’m with you, C. B. Once my kids outgrew the diaper bag, I reverted to a ‘fanny pack’. I recently gave up the fanny pack for a more modern version – an across the shoulder, adjustable-strap small leather purse. If I’m subbing, I carry a larger purse with a notebook, extra paper, calculator and pencil bag because I never know what sort of classroom I’ll end up in – and kids are forever forgetting their own supplies, so I have extras they can borrow for that class. 🙂


  5. I am with you on this one. If I can avoid it I don’t even take my purse. When my kids were little I used to avoid the diaper bag the same way. I’d hust toss a diaper or two and some wipes in my purse.


  6. OK, I confess. I’m a big bagger. I don’t know why really – every thing you say is quite valid. But I like having a large bag with all those important going-out things. Don’t even get me started on packing for a trip! Do you travel far away as lightly as you travel around town?


  7. I have, as they say, transitioned. 🙂 I used to carry a back pack with me when I left the boat. Friends called it my man-purse. Keys, checkbook, glasses, cell phone etc inhabited that black mesh carryall. I thought it silly really, so I cut back. Now, i find it very comfortable to leave the boat without my phone, without the accessories i felt were required to simply exist. My pockets are small, and if it doesn’t fit in my pockets, it doesn’t go. Phone, iPad, checkbook, etc,…. unnecessary. Glasses to see, keys to drive, I need nothing else. 🙂


  8. Sorry. I’m the big purse type. Not a huge bag, but big enough. I work 12-hour nights. I like to have my eye drops and other basic things I might need (ibuprofen…). And I HAVE to have my Kindle–and the cord to recharge it should need be. Same goes for the cell phone. Many a night I recharge these things while I work. Because I carry my nurse paraphernalia and a lunch bag, too, I use a basket to carry it all. (You know. One of those milk crate thingies with a expandable handle and wheels.)

    Now if I’m just running up to the drugstore for a single item, I’ll grab my wallet and keys and go. 😉


  9. i am guilty as charged my other half jokes I have a ‘Mary Poppins’ bag with something in it for any emergency the truth is it is laziness in that I can’t be bothered changing whats in the bag for different occasions, but the numer of times the plasters and safety pins have come in useful even when the kids haven’t been with me is amazing. Really one thing I could do with is a bag with compartments so it didn’t take so long to find what i need in there lol


  10. I just switched again from the bag big enough for the iPad, the prescription sunglasses, the traveling pharmacy, the phone & charger, the appointment book, the pocket sized journal and pen for sudden snatches of writing that must be put down immediately lest I forget, tehe retainer case, the musician earplugs, the small Swiss army knife, and wallet and keys for my tiny bag that holds small wallet, retainer case, Chapstick, phone and keys. I go back and forth between having everything with me and traveling light. The new phone helps as I can send emails, write a journal note & keep my appointments on it. There is probably some pattern to my need to carry it all and the need to travel light, just not sure which one means I am ready to run away from home again. But I am starting to think that it’s when I start traveling light…..


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