A thought about packing light and carrying medications

The other day my friend Rachel called me. She was staying at Ascent as was my backpack (while I traveled more of Israel) and she wanted to know if I had any cold medicine. “Yes, I do!” I replied excitedly. “It’s yours, actually. It’s the same package that you bought me the week we met and you wanted to help me get over being sick. It’s in the original box. You should be able to find it in…”

You may wonder why I was so excited that she was asking if I had this. There are several reasons why:

1) I love that I had something to help a friend.

2) I love that something she bought for me turned out to be able to help her or to help her help someone else.

3) There will be two fewer items in my backpack. No matter how light or how small something is, it still weighs something and it still takes up space. This is my most selfish reason and the greatest one from a traveler’s viewpoint.

4) I don’t tend to take cold medicine so it wasn’t practical for me to travel with. When you have a home, it’s easy to keep things around for when you need them. But when you have to look at each item daily or carry it all frequently, you realize how little you use most items.


Part of the reason I don’t need to carry things like cold medicine is that I eat fresh garlic and  fresh onion as often as possible. I also carry a small empty nasal spray bottle which I can fill with boiled water and salt to flush out my sinuses as needed. (I used to use a plastic cup but that gets messy so I invested a bit of backpack space in this.)

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