So when I left for this trip I was surprised at how OCD I became about the size and weight of my backpack, weighing out everything that was to enter it. I was obsessed with “travelling light”.
People travel heavy because they do not trust the world to be there for them tomorrow. Perhaps they don’t trust that the place they visit will have things like coffee or tea and they bring their own. Perhaps the place they visit will not have people to talk to so they bring books. Perhaps the world will be hot or cold and the world will not provide shelter so they bring clothes for all situations. Many people travel by bringing their worlds with them, frequently on their shoulders. The typical story is that of course the world provides things and the instant coffee brought from home never gets made. The heavy packers end up either hanging onto their stuff for the trip (too scared to throw it away because perhaps they might need it some day) or they throw it out (and make the conversion to light packer).
But there’s also another kind of heavy packing. I recently found that I would frequently preoccupy myself with plans and eventualities that simply never got used. I carry many thoughts (“What job will I have when I get back to the States?”, etc.) like a 60 liter backpack! It’s uncomfortable to carry my worries but it’s hard to let go and not worry, allow the world to provide and enjoy the weightlessness.