A friend asked what carry-on to buy. This poured out:
“For what it’s worth, I’m learning it’s best to go simple, cheap, light (maybe even used) and then reuse until threadbare — and also to leave +50% of what’s packed at home, leaving the rest empty for gifts (either for folks one visits, or gifts to take back home).”
It hit me this might as well be life advice: (1) minimize (and keep simple) stuff (you’ll move faster, see and enjoy more, and experience less trauma when stuff is damaged or lost); (2) reduce, reuse, recycle material stuff (variation on the same theme: consume less — it’s a loss of time, money, energy, and brain power, and has surprisingly massive negative environmental impacts up the supply chain); (3) leave room for the unplanned and serendipitous; (4) invest some time thinking about the people where you will go and what may pleasantly surprise them; and (5) invest some time thinking about the folks at home and what will be fun to share with them (besides hopefully epic pics and stories).
Try it. To paraphrase a quote attributed to Gautama Buddha, “don’t take my word for it, test it for yourself.” Safe travels!