Not referring to any personal issues, surprisingly enough, but to the amount of luggage I take on tour. Our passengers are supposedly restricted to a 15kg soft bag (although they totally disregard this just because they feel like it) and I try to limit myself to one bag as well.
It’s harder for me, though. I pretty much never have the time to do ongoing laundry and I get filthy really, really easily; this means enough socks, undies, shirts and shorts to last a week.
There’s also all of my tour stuff – reference books, maps, two way radio, torches, 3 phones (personal, business and satellite), a tablet, charging gear for all of the previous, a sodastream. My own first aid kit, water bottle, travelling mug, swag, portable speaker and mike. Stationery supplies, silly little ‘treats’ for the paxs and various things that somebody is bound to need but won’t have brought – scissors, needle and thread, safety pins, immodium, duct tape, rapid cool towel, hydrolite…(somebody once asked me to list every item in my day bag, even giving me a 20 item forget list, and I lost by a ton of things!)
Anyway, the point is that I have a lot of stuff and most of it isn’t personal. We customise our buses because we mostly travel on the same one all season and leave our tour stuff onboard and are flown in and out of destination. Everything is set up the way we like it, designed for maximum efficiency and we can leave it that way in our downtime. But this last trip was a spanner in the works.
The other full time on the road crew pair had some passengers who wanted to travel with them again and my boss, being a profit driven fellow as he should be, made the decision to swap tours and vehicles. This meant meeting up with our regular vehicle elsewhere down the track. So we had to take all of our stuff off the vehicle at the end of this trip in order to have it for the next trip/all the rest of the season.
I flew back from Cairns and I was very embarrassed at the amount of baggage I had to check it. Me, of the minimalistic approach, who never travels with anything heavy, put luggage weighing 70kgs on that plane. My fellow team member went in the opposite direction and he had a shit ton of gear as well.
I carried back to Perth an entire arsenal of tools, a swag, a bag stuffed full of printed knowledge, all of my clothes for the next tour washed and ironed and ready to go, and a lot of stationery. I paid over $300 in excess baggage (well, I technically paid but on the company credit card) and I was very self conscious about it in front of those passengers flying back with me, given that they had been told to limit their luggage.
My next tour vehicle was due to be driven up to Broome today so I needed to put my tour stuff onto it beforehand, when it picked us up at the airport. I also needed to make sure that the specific trip relevant items from the just finished tour came home with me and that I didn’t leave any dirty laundry in my Broome travelling bag. And paperwork – receipts, account books, details, running sheets etc; all needed to be passed over to my boss in the two minute interval I saw him in, at midnight.
Not surprisingly, there have been some slipups during the sorting process and I m fairly sure the soaked shirt I wore to clean the bus on the last day is happily mouldering away amongst my ready-to-wear lot, making the whole lot smell delightful. I also had an email address list to type in and circulate amongst the passengers so that they could keep in touch with each other but that has totally disappeared, too.
I’m an organised light traveller generally but, at the moment, I am not sure if anybody else would concur with my judgement, given just the look of the thing and not the reality, and it bothers me!