UGANDA: This is why you travel light

Conventional wisdom says: when backpacking; travel light. After the ordeal of losing their backpacks, our travel companions @Xolile, @Marcus, and @Busi totally agree.

When boarding an international flight, your luggage is weighed, measured and its destiny decided. If you don’t watch how much you pack you get the pleasure of watching your bags tagged, wrapped and ushered away from you with the promise that you will be reunited 4,000 kilometers and 24 hours later.

From that point on, you and your luggage have different destinies and sometimes, as it was in this case, bag’s destiny takes the scenic route. Taking with it your toothbrush, underwear, cell phone charging cables, contact lenses solution, mosquito repellents, swimming costume and your favourite pajamas that you bought specifically for this trip; leaving you with only the useless things like your passport, that stupid looking travel pillow, a book and headphones for a flat phone.

You are told by the tired and severely abused baggage claims operator, who has had an unending stream of angry travelers screaming at her all day, that your bags are fine, they are enjoying the best airport safari that bags are afforded with other international bags from Germany, Canada, and China.

She doesn’t tell you how stupid you were to check in luggage you need when you have transfer flights. She doesn’t point out how you caused the mess by missing your original transfer. She simply smiles and tells you to fill out the form, she tries to reassure you and promises that your luggage will be delivered to your guest house as soon as its Kenyan airport safari ends, but she will not commit to when that will happen.

Hours later you find yourself standing at Game Stores, which looks exactly like the one you left back home wondering how many items to replace. You are looking at new gym shorts that look exactly like the ones that are in your missing bags, and just then a thought flashes through your mind; “Next time, I will pack light and make sure I can carry on my luggage”, because having a small bag with everything you need is better than losing a bag that has everything you want.

#ConventionalWisdom says: when backpacking; travel light. Finally while sitting on the veranda of your guesthouse eagerly waiting for your bags to be delivered; you understand why.


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