Preparing for Travel: Choose What to Bring Along

Preparing for Travel: Choose What to Bring Along
Preparing for travel

All going as planned, two weeks from today I’ll be riding through northern Michigan on Day Two of the Long Road Home moto-book tour. The next six days of riding and camping will take me across the northern states and help ground me for what promises to be an exceptional journey.

There’s only Trudy (my Triumph Tiger motorcycle) and I to carry the essentials for three months of travel, presentations and workshops, and clothing and gear appropriate for weather extremes. Everything that comes on board undergoes close scrutiny and prioritization.

Trudy will carry clothing, camping equipment, two pop-up banners, food basics, and workshop necessities, including a small drum. Since estimating books to ship to each location is at best guesswork, she may well carry a few books from time to time. And of course, she’ll carry me.

My personal support team, the special guides and beings who came along on the Ancestor Trail journey, are eager for another moto adventure. They’ll take up their customary positions on Trudy, but of course they don’t take any physical space at all. (If you haven’t met them yet, they’re waiting to introduce themselves in Crash Landing. Or, Download the Preview to get a glimpse of these characters.)

I’ll carry the stories that live within me, inform my perspectives, and shape my values and beliefs. While it seems that they’d create no incremental weight, these can be the heaviest burden of all.

Dysfunctional stories, toxic emotions, and convoluted logic rear up at the most inopportune times. Attitudes and actions arising from anything less than the highest integrity weigh me down. Adopting the same scrutiny as the baggage Trudy carries and a daily spiritual practice helps with early detection and release.

It was no surprise that I found myself decluttering over the past week. Old clothes and shoes, survivors of previous purges, went to the thrift shop. My shredder transformed obsolete records into compost and a form where they’re useful again. I released any objects with a negative emotional charge to someone else who may appreciate them.

Even as I prepare for the road, a personal situation charged with emotion and drama threatens to derail me. Any potential outcome will not be “fair” from either perspective but I have no desire to drag it along. Extending forgiveness, including to myself, is not easy but it’s what I’m offering to release this energy. That frees space for much more important things.

Preparing for travel, whether it’s on a motorcycle, car, or walking our personal path presents an opportune time for reflection and choosing what we continue to carry. Let the excess baggage go and create space for the wonderful opportunities waiting to appear.

Travel Lightly Workshop

If you’re in the Portland, OR area and interested in excavating and transforming the stories you carry, join Jalene Case and me for our Travel Lightly workshop on August 13.

Photo on


Author, writer, student and motorcycle aficionado Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery. No helmet or jacket required.

6 Comments on “Preparing for Travel: Choose What to Bring Along

  1. Brilliantly written, Liz! And wise advice…time for me to purge as well, both on and off the bike.

    I just completed 2000 miles in the last 7 days on my new 2019 BMW R1250 GS (Blue Beauty), and learned much about what to bring, and what to leave at home. This included old stories and attitudes about moto-travel, self image, meeting new people, and connecting with old friends.

    What a joy to travel this way! I look forward to seeing you on a ride or at a rally soon 🙂