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This Month: Traveling Light: Love it or Loathe it?

Are you a light packer? Photo courtesy of www.publicdomainpictures.net

Are you the traveler type that goes away for the weekend with everything but the kitchen sink rammed into a cavernous case, packing all of those things that you just might need in an emergency, or do you simply throw a few essentials into a hold-all and head off for a gadget free getaway, armed only for the kind of emergency that requires a spare pair of knickers?

.Click here to vote on Facebook!

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Are you a light packer? Photo courtesy of www.publicdomainpictures.net

I used to be rather more like the former than the latter, convinced that something terrible might happen to my hair if I didn’t take my straightening irons with me, and certain that if I didn’t take a jacket for every kind of weather condition, I would inevitably freeze to my bones in a snowstorm, get soaked to the skin in a torrential downpour, or even worse, feel a bit of a chill wearing a lightweight jacket that simply wasn’t designed to keep a delicate traveller warm in a wintry wind. Nowadays however, years of trotting the globe has taught me the fine art of packing only what I think I will need, enabling me to reap the rewards of a bag that doesn’t threaten to give me a hernia when I attempt to lift it, and allows me to bypass the usual clothing dilemmas that blight many female travellers; if you only have one outfit to wear, then there really is no dilemma.

Also, most budget airlines charge you to check a bag into the hold of the aircraft, whereas hand luggage with a size and weight restriction, is usually free. So if you’re wanting to jet off somewhere on the cheap, but paying to check a bag in might mean the difference between being able to afford it, and having to stay at home, you quickly become adept at travelling the lightweight way.

That said, regardless of the duration of my travel, the destination, or even the mode of transport, I still experience a brief moment of panic when packing, and my head battles with my heart over just what to take.

So, whether you’re a frequent flier, a last minute day tripper, or a long distance public transport traveller, will you be packing a selection of power tools, your entire wardrobe and the complete box set of Friends in your bag, or will you be travelling light with a flimsy rucksack containing nothing more than the barest of holiday essentials?

Take a few seconds to vote in our online Facebook poll and tell us whether you’re a lightweight vacation packer or a heavyweight holiday loader?

Love it : The lighter the bag, the happier the traveller!

Loathe it : The heavier the bag, the less chance I’ve forgotten something important!

Now Vote, Vote, Vote!

 

Results from last month: So girls, are we in love with our bodies?

A somewhat lacklustre response to last month’s poll topic hasn’t left with me with much ammunition to fuel the debate with, and although we were left with a clear result, I’m not sure that ten responses are enough to judge how us girls truly feel about our bodies. That said, I was pleased to see that some of you do indeed love your bodies and I can only hope that those positive physical images you have of yourselves, will go on to encourage more of us to see our bodies in a better light and to show our teenage population that they can love theirs too.

I can remember only too well what it felt like to be a teenager with  a body that just didn’t seem to fit, didn’t do what I wanted it to, and definitely wasn’t loveable; a body I wholeheartedly loathed, in fact. But one thing I’ve learnt over the years is that it is far more important to have a body that functions healthily, than it is to have one that is simply aesthetically pleasing. If you’ve ever known someone who has lost the independent use of their body, then you may well have a greater appreciation of just what our bodies do for us on a daily basis, and how a healthy body can enable us to achieve so much more from life.

Of course there will be those among you who have bodies that are both pleasing to the eye, and fit and healthy, and what can be better than that? But for those of us who don’t exactly swoon at the sight of our naked reflections in the mirror, perhaps we can take some comfort and pride in the fact that if nothing else, our bodies work for us. For some of us, marathons will be run, mountains will be climbed and oceans will be swam, and for others, the simple act of walking to the shops or taking our dog to the park, will be enough to make us appreciate the amazing ability of our beautiful bodies.

Thanks for participating!

Kate Blanchard
Kate is an English woman currently living in rural Morocco with her husband, Ben, and their mischievous mongrel, Douglas. They moved out there three years ago after Ben was offered employment as the manager of a large fruit farm, and although life can often be challenging for them both with cultural differences and language barriers, they see this as more of a reason to stay, than a reason to admit defeat and leave. Kate tries to find humour wherever possible in life, and finds herself blessed (or as her husband would say, ‘cursed’) with an irrepressible desire to see the beauty and the positivity in what others may see to be ugly and negative. Most of all though, she has a zest for travel and exploration and finds it incredibly satisfying to share her stories of adventure with others, even if it does nothing more than transport the reader to a distant land for a few minutes.

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