Practicing non attachment, with holiday baggage

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Our summer holiday: We have been looking forward to it for months. Easy journey to airport, smoothish flight on Alitalia, fresh Italian coffee immediately upon landing at Rome airport and the long wait at the baggage carousels. Still waiting. No bags left at carousel. How is this possible?

I am not sure why I was surprised that our baggage had failed to turn up; although the last time this had happened for me was in 1992 so had been lulled into what appears to be a false sense of security by checking bags for the flight. Of the 2 bags, one had running shoes, a chess board and a pack of Uno. The remaining bag had all our clothing for the weeks break for the 3 of us.

Having lost our bags, was this the opportunity to put our yogic ‘aparigraha’ (or non attachment in Sanskrit) to the test. Thankfully leaving the airport we found a local Decathlon what would provide us with the key essentials for the next few, or however many days. Both Max and I found our 2 Tshirts and shorts within 10 minutes, whilst the third member of the family took a little bit longer trying on the few pieces of clothing… (Shannon edit: Tim’s yoga shorts were exceptionally tight from not trying on at shop)

On day 4 the first bag turned up- both the chessboard and pack on Uno were gratefully received and members of the party made best use of the games and the chance of a bit of one upmanship. Our clothing issues had not been resolved and the Decathlon was hours away from the remote rural hotel. Only at the end of day 5 did the clothing bag arrive. Our limited wardrobe had served us well and made us realise that once again we had over packed. Did we really need all these clothes? And more importantly can we travel with just hand luggage in future to prevent us from over packing and to make sure we arrive with all our bags.

Practising aparigraha encourages us not to hoard both physical and emotional things and for us to be content with what we have without a sense of loss. Maybe in some small way we learnt a little about non attachment.

In this case – less proved to be perfectly sufficient – though I would have to say that it is certainly worth trying on clothes in future. It proved particularly interesting trying to do yoga in shorts that were rather tight and felt as if they would split any moment. Naked yoga was certainly not an option. Perhaps next time if we do check bags we will pack emergency clothing in our hand luggage. Perhaps we will just pack less.

Life throws us little lessons to show us that it’s about the journey, not the luggage.


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