Therapeutic for travellers as it shows you it could be worse!

Have Bags, Will Travel: Trips and Tales - Memoirs of an Over-packer - D.G. Kaye, Talia Leduc

Although I’ve been travelling more than I used to in recent years, mostly for family reasons, I cannot say I’m a seasoned traveller or one who knows all the tricks of the trade. I get annoyed by the queues at the airport, like most of us, and I always discover I’ve left something in my hand luggage that shouldn’t be there, even after checking.

Reading this book I realised that perhaps I shouldn’t complain. I am not obsessed with germs (thankfully), I’m not a big shopper, I don’t wear make-up and although I’ve managed sometimes to pack too many things, I haven’t had to carry three suitcases all by myself. The author of this very short book has all those things against her. She also remembers the good old days when travelling was more glamorous and the airlines weren’t so strict with weight limits and didn’t insist on packing the clients as if they were sardines. That for sure must add to the frustration, as at least quite a few of us have nothing to compare it with and know no better, only degrees of discomfort.

  1. G. is a woman with a great sense of humour and writes the book as if she were sharing anecdotes around a table with some friends. She wonders why she always gets picked up for searching at the airport (she tries to go unnoticed but there are limits to her attempts at invisibility) and is happy to confess to her fears, her crazy shopping sprees, and her failed best-laid plans. I was particularly interested in her reflection about how Las Vegas had changed. She describes her first trip there as a fascinating experience, when you landed in the desert and the hotels were the only oases in it and is disappointed by how much it has changed. I’ve only visited once and not being a gambler either, found that although its location was very convenient, it wasn’t the place I had read about. It’s difficult to fight commercialisation and consumerism and nobody can stop “progress” but perhaps there’s more to be lost than to be gained by some of the changes we’re implementing.

This is not a guide to travelling or packing (although there are a few wise words of advice at the end), but, as the subtitle indicates, a memoir of some of the writer’s trips. It could be extremely therapeutic if you’re going travelling as you’ll have the comfort of knowing that things could always get so much more complicated. You’ll end up with a smile on your face and you might also pick up a tip or two.