Excess Baggage

There’s nothing worse when you’re at the airport and you hear those bitter words ‘you’ve got excess baggage. What’s crazy is that if you take out a few items like books and take them on as hand luggage, it’s allowed, yet it’s on the same plane.

When we left Sydney a week ago the airport staff let us through without weighing our hand luggage. We spent a day in Fiji before heading on to LA but the lady at the final checkout section was not going to let us through with the same gear. We had to go all the way back to the main counter, hand over one bag not more than 4kg’s and go through the whole thing again. It was such a hassle, when all we had to actually do was take out 2 books, but we were so tired we didn’t even think about it.
We’ve been at the theme parks in Los Angeles for a few days and I’ve found myself in a similar dilemma. Firstly, it’s so easy to over indulge in the less than healthy food available, because it’s so cheap compared to what we pay in Australia. You see the results of unhealthy lifestyles all around you when there are thousands of people walking around Disneyland. Their excess baggage is caused by too much self indulgence.

Even though somebody else paid for our tickets to get in, it was difficult to get pass the fact that what was spent on these alone was more than some families in East Africa would earn in 3 or 4 years.

While we came away with a few momentos, I refused to buy things that will either end up in the bin or become useless dust collectors. Although America is in a recession you wouldn’t think so looking at the amount of money people were spending on their preschoolers to make them look like a princess or the overpriced Disney tee shirts that you wouldn’t wear in the normal world.

Excess baggage doesn’t just have to be at the airport, or a theme park, it’s very easy it be in our day to day lives. We’ve been given this life to enjoy but it doesn’t mean having all the ‘stuff’ we accumulate and then eventually throw out. Each country has amazing parks, beaches, scenery, wildlife, trekking routes and the such that we can spend time with our families at.

Recently a survey in Australia showed that children from less financially able homes were just as happy as those from well off families. It wasn’t the lack or abundance of money that made a difference. It was simply being together with friends, hanging with family members and learning to be happy with what you’ve got.

I know Walt Disney wanted Disneyland to be the happiest place on earth but the whole idea started out by him taking his daughter on dates each Saturday.
Let’s get rid of the things that we don’t really need – negative attitudes, ungratefulness, over indulgence, intolerance, selfishness – as well as having to have the latest thing that comes out on the market.

Travel light, live light.

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