I’m a little more than halfway through my ultralight, go-with-the-flow trip to five cities on one backpack.
So far, I’ve had all the flight, bus, and train problems you could ever want, including a flight delayed by 10 hours and a bus delayed by 7. So unfortunately, I did have to scrap the Ann Arbor leg of my trip, courtesy of Greyhound’s legendary delays.
Now I’m in Detroit with my dear friend Monica, and here are some of the lessons I’ve learned:
1. My body is ultra-sensitive to high temperatures and sunburn. When exposed to long bouts of sun and high temps, I start to get the symptoms of heat exhaustion within a few hours. I’ve been pretty sick the last couple of days, with no appetite, low energy, and general nausea.
2. Packing ultralight makes me spend less money – I thought this would be the opposite. I thought for sure that I’d miss something (and I have) or leave things in places (I’ve done that too) and then have to go buy new sunglasses, belt, etc. But I haven’t had the urge to go out and buy all the things I “need” – primarily because then I’d have to cart that extra weight around on my back, and my daypack is already stuffed!
3. When no one is cooperating with your go-with-the-flow travel plans, and the late planes and missed connections and non-existence buses are making you want to set something on fire or have a cigarette or both? That’s exactly when it pays off to have packed ultralight. Can you imagine the disaster that would have been my luggage situation if I’d checked bags on the 15 different flights that I was booked on but then bumped from? Or walking the mile to a different bus stop when my Greyhound never came with a roller bag? Don’t get me wrong, these things aren’t the end of the world, but they certainly are one more *big* worry to put on the plate. Since I have been bouncing around with only a backpack, I can just hop off the plane, take that crappy experience, crumple it up, throw it away and be ready to have fun with my family and friends.
I highly recommend it. For grins, a few photos from my trip: