Thursday, August 28, 2014

Traveling Light ~ Magdalena Scott

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a lovely long weekend with girlfriends this summer. After that, I had one day at home, and then got on a plane. I flew from Louisville, KY to Dallas, TX to San Antonio, TX for the annual conference of Romance Writers of America.

I had a wonderful conference experience, including a chance to meet in person for the first time with several of the authors from Sweet Romance Reads: Melinda Curtis, Margaret Daley, Denise Devine, Patricia Knoll, Kristin Wallace, Merrillee Whren.

(Ladies, if I've forgotten to list a name, please give me a shout in the comments!)

The girlfriend weekend was shorter but I took a larger suitcase because I traveled by car. Yes, you read that right. I went on a longer trip with a smaller suitcase.

I didn't want to check any luggage, so I took only my laptop bag (with my skinny purse stuffed into it) and one carry-on.

I have always wanted to pack light, but this is my first time actually doing it. It always seemed it would be more adventurous to have a great vacation (or conference) without dragging along every item I own.

For RWA I took two black dresses exactly alike, a black/white dress, and five lightweight jackets: red, white, black, blue, green. Also a sparkly silver shawl for the awards event. I packed one pair of shoes. Every day I would wash a dress in Woolite and hang it in the shower to dry. My roommate Maddie James was gracious about letting me do this.

Here were the disadvantages:

  • I couldn't bring back tons of books. Tons of books are given away at RWA. It's wonderful! But if I had brought them back, or shipped them to myself, I wouldn't have had anywhere to put them. (I downsized and no longer have a bookcase, per se.) I would have had to give the books away... So I gave them away while in San Antonio. I mostly read ebooks, if you're wondering.
  • I can't think of any more disadvantages. Unless you count having to do the Woolite thing, which to me was part of the adventure.
Here were the advantages:

  • No extra stuff to drag from the cab to the check-in thingie. 
  • No extra charge for a checked bag.
  • Zero time spent at the baggage retrieval thingie.
  • I got home five hours earlier.
Does the last one surprise you?

My flight out of San Antonio was delayed, which meant that I would miss my connecting flight from Dallas to Louisville. I did a little research, and then confabbed with This Guy who was going to pick me up at the Louisville airport. He agreed to my idea, that instead of flying from Dallas to Louisville, KY, I would get a plane from Dallas to Indianapolis, IN. It was two hours more driving total, but we got back to our little town in Southern Indiana closer to 7PM than Midnight.

It was a win in our opinion, and it was easier to manage because I didn't have to worry about where my suitcase would land.

This is one example of how my life has been simplified by adopting more of a Minimalist lifestyle. I have found that having less gives stuff gives me more time/energy/space/freedom to enjoy life.

Oh! The photo above was taken by my terrific cousin who drove from Waco, TX to meet me for breakfast and then take me to the airport in San Antonio. That was another part of my great conference experience!



Magdalena Scott is a bestselling contemporary author of the Ladies of Legend series. Please visit her website.


  1. I always try to travel light, but rarely manage. My husband always flies with carryon only when he goes to Spain on Golfing breaks. Glad you had such a fab time at RWA. I'd love to come again one day. But it's such a long way for me, flying from the UK.

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  3. I hope you get to come to RWA again sometime, Helen. I'd love to meet you in person. (Next year is New York City!)

  4. Great post, Magdalena! I'm a big fan of packing light. I've only checked a bag once in the past 30 years. And that was on my way *to* the RWA conference in Atlanta. I was bringing along books to sign in that case. Next time, I'll have them shipped! :)

  5. Magdalena, it was good to meet you at RWA. I too I have been trying to travel light these days. Last year I got all of my things in a carry on to go to Atlanta for RWA. This year I drove, so I did bring a bigger suitcase because I was gone for 10 days.

  6. I am all in favor of leaving home with minimum and just one carry-on bag. That's because in addition to the basic necessities, I also stuff that bag with a giant duffel bag for all the goodies I always bring back from trips. That gets stuffed to the gills and checked-in on the way back!

  7. I, too, and leaning more and more toward minimalist living. I find that it is much less stressful.

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  9. My son and new DIL traveled for three weeks in SE Asia on their honeymoon with just backpacks. I have NO idea how they did it!! My daughter and new SIL went to Mexico for three weeks on their honeymoon with just backpacks. I have been trying to downsize my travel for years, and have only managed to average a 33# checked bag, plus a carryon and a big satchel. Clearly, I need to learn a lesson from you!
    I think I will save your post for later!! :)

  10. Hey--What interesting packing experiences you've had. Sounds as if I could learn from most of you! (Especially Roxanne's son, DIL, daughter, and SIL.) Roxanne and I are still in training on this thing...

  11. Loved meeting you face-to-face at RWA! I hadn't realized you were such a militant traveler - looks like it worked out great!