Rachel, a great blogger over at Small Notebook wrote a post called, The Beauty of Packing Light, and inspired me to pack for my long trip in a carry-on. I was genuinely thrilled to be among the minimalists. Until my bag had to be checked after all (no more room in the overheads) and got ruined. And started a cascade of other vacation problems…
Upon arriving in Palm Springs, I discovered that my cute new small suitcase was completely beat up and the handle no longer extended. Guess what? United doesn’t cover any damages but were nice enough to give me an ugly strap so that I could still wheel it. Thanks, guys. I left in a bad, bad mood and looking like a luggage-fashion disaster.
When I saw my rental car (booked with this coupon code and corporate code in case you need to save $75 too), I thought my luck was turning. It was a cute VW Beetle. In Red. Perfect for my AZ/CA roadtrip. However, my GPS ran out of battery power a minute outside of the airport. The cigarette lighter didn’t work. Since it was midnight, I navigated (or drove around in circles) to the Palm Springs Quality Inn and decided to deal with it in the morning.
They should change their name to Dumpy Inn. And I should have spent the extra $27 and stayed at a $77 4-star hotel from hotwire
. I usually do that, by the way, and have never, ever regretted
it. But I was trying to save every penny. STUPID. It smelled, I had to keep my shoes on the whole time, I found hair from the last person and there was a homeless person outside my door. Here’s a picture for you. Please notice the lovely, ripped seating that I rolled in front of the door. And the huge gap between the door and the frame. And my luggage strap. Not how most people see Palm Springs, I’m guessing. 🙂
I woke up feeling awful from the dirty, musty room. And the anger issues. And the fact that I was too scared of diseases to shower there. So I packed up my little VW and went to exchange it. By the time I had my THIRD car from Alamo, I was able to get a working one. A Chevy Cobalt. Without Cruise. Felt like a severe downgrade, but at least my vacation could begin.
And you know what? Somewhere along the road I remembered who I was. And that it didn’t matter what I was driving. Or where I laid my head. The purpose of packing light was for the freedom to roam and I wanted to spend every extra penny on my camera lens. I was humbled when I walked through the desert and captured moments like this at Joshua Tree National Park:
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. Psalm 95:6