By Michael Gunther

After two weeks traveling overseas, I was continuing my European adventure and on my way to Greece. We arrived safely, but our luggage was nowhere to be found. I chose to fly one of Europe’s many low cost carriers whom, we discovered later, has a history of losing luggage; in one incident, a whole planeload of luggage never made it on the plane. (I am not quite sure how that can happen).

There we were, watching the luggage conveyor belt turn and squeak with an increasing feeling our luggage was lost somewhere between Lisbon, Portugal and Santorini, Greece. We were not alone in this feeling, as five other couples pondered where their luggage had gone. I began to search for anyone who could help us within this tiny little building that seemed like a third world country airport. No one was around nor concerned our luggage were missing – it seemed.

As my frustration started to rise, I remembered a trip I took many years ago with my spouse and our mothers to Aruba. Everyone’s luggage came except my mom’s, and I was getting very stressed over the situation. She, however, remained calm and collected. She said, “No problem. If the clothes don’t come tomorrow, I am sure I can find some new ones. Let’s enjoy where we are and the people we are about to meet.”  Remembering this trip and my mom’s insights, I soon shifted my energy and realized the luggage was out of my control. Eventually, I found the appropriate person to assist us and we wrapped up our lost luggage process, and we were continued on our way to our hotel.

Just as my mom did many years ago, Steve and I made a choice to enjoy where we were and the people we were going to meet.  As we arrived to our boutique eleven-room hotel, the office clerk, Enis, greeted us with Beckam, to carry our luggage. At this point, all we had were two small carry-on bags. We all laughed at the thought that we needed both of them to assist us in carrying our two small bags. They insisted anyways. Then, we looked across the path and saw the most amazing view of Greek architecture against the Aegean Sea with the warm sun beating on our skin. As we followed Enis down the steps of the outdoor staircase, we were both just in awe of the outdoor staircase, anticipating the experience that was about to unfold in Oia, Greece.

The staff prepared a bottle of wine and some snacks for us to enjoy on our patio as they learned the fate of our luggage. Steve and I were calm over the situation and figured we were going to enjoy our stay and just needed to find a few pieces of clothing and toiletries. Two days later, still with no word on our luggage, we realized how nice it was to travel so light. We had no qualms as to what to wear or worry about lugging our bags onto boats or planes. The staff couldn’t believe how peaceful we were about the situation. We replied, ‘They are just clothes. Look at where we are.” They agreed and felt the same way, but informed us other guests had ruined their vacations by being so upset about lost luggage that they couldn’t just enjoy the amazing place they were visiting.

With word that our luggage was in London, Steve and I laughed − our luggage was traveling to places we have never been together. We questioned, what other baggage do we carry around with us that might be weighing us down and preventing us from enjoying the people and places that surround us? This realization had us evaluating how we overcomplicate our lives and businesses at times. This got us thinking − how can we travel more lightly in life?

Bottom Line

Simplify your life and business. At times, we make life and our businesses too complex with layers of things and projects. Refocus on the relationships around you and the experiences available to you. Enjoy the life’s journey with less stress and excess baggage.

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