Life Changing Salad (or: A Lesson In Packing Light…

…and I’ve clearly watched too much TV)

Turkey, 2012.

A girl and her boy hop on a bus for a scenic drive along the Turkish coast, taking in sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, relishing the air conditioning and free cold bottled water after a long rideshare to the bus stop, completely carefree.

The open road is like, a metaphor, or something

After a few hours, the road dips closer to the sea, and as their bus hugs the edges of the highway’s curves atop dramatic cliffsides, they are able to spot small beaches below; Turks on holiday swimming, barbecuing on the beach.

Their bus driver makes an announcement in Turkish. Asking his assistant for a translation, they find they have 3 hours to spend in Kaş, a traditional fisherman town now only becoming known to foreigners for its beautiful beaches and fine dining. Great timing, it’s past lunchtime!

But this is not a story about how my husband and I enjoyed a nice meal and relaxing beach stroll in a beautiful seaside town.

Could that be us down there? No. No, it could not. Because we were stupid.

This is the story of how we spent 3 long hours at a bus stop, eating bus stop food, so we could babysit our stupid luggage. I’m vegetarian, so this involved bus stop salad, and alternating between complaining about being hungry and complaining about how bad the salad was.

Lunchspot. Looks promising, right?

I love to eat, and my meal was so bad, I vowed to never be in this position again.

That meal is one of many reasons why, for as long as I am physically able, I will always try to travel with a lightweight backpack and nothing else.

Can’t check in yet? No probs. I can walk aimlessly up and down these stairs in the meantime! Watch me go, stair-sitters!

Got some extra time? With only a backpack, you’re free to head out and socialize, like my husband tries to:


On our next trip to Europe, we had 3 hours to kill before our ferry left Croatia for Italy. Our food options were significantly better with only a single bag each, even if the maitre d’ was a little snitty about them.

Black truffle pasta with award-winning olive oil, Dubrovnik: an option made possible by our easily stowable bags.

Pack light, stay mobile. Don’t eat bus stop salad.

SuperHans agrees:


Stopping with the TV references now.