Hitchhiking and the Art of Weightlessness

This is one of my favourite photos of myself. I am somewhere on the highway between Clarenville and Gander in Newfoundland, Canada. Lee and I were hitchhiking across this isolated island province, couch-surfing in small villages.

See that little pile of luggage there on the roadside behind me? Those bags contain everything that Lee and I own in the entire world. We have no house, no mortgage, no car and nothing in storage. We carry all our worldly possessions on our backs through subways, airports and streets. If a car pulls up beside me, I am ready to grab my life and throw it in the backseat. I’m ready to let that stranger take me to a new town I’ve never seen before.

I weigh more than everything I own.

My backpack doesn’t weigh more than 40 or 50 pounds even when completely full. I won’t tell you how much I weigh, but it’s definitely a bit more than that.

That realization had a certain poetic significance to me. Think about it; when something “has weight” we mean that it has significance. When we “give weight” to something then we place it as important above all other things. When something is “weighing on us” it is having a huge impact on our hearts and our minds.

The problem is when we let the wrong things weigh us down.

What are the reasons why your life is not going in the direction you would like it to? Is it because you have made your life too heavy to pick it up and change direction?

What is weighing you down? What are the things which are anchoring you somewhere that you don’t want to be?

If weight equals significance, you SHOULD be heavier than everything you own. If not physically, at least metaphorically. You are more significant than the stuff you have accumulated.

Someday I will have a closet, a sock drawer, a book shelf, a spice rack, a laundry basket and more than one pair of shoes. I hope that my traveling years will remind me that these are only things and that I own them and not the other way around.

You are more important than your house, your bed, your car, and all the clothes in your closet. You are worth more than your computer, your desk, your chair and your microwave. You are more important than all the money you have in the bank.

Who you are is more important than any job, possession, or status. Your life and your experiences are more solid and vital to you than anything you can buy and place on your shelves.

Once you realize this, these things won’t hold you back anymore. You will know how it feels to be weightless. (and oh what a feeling it is…)

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

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  1. I’m sure I would love the feeling of freedom that I would get from the whole experience. I’d love to try it. I don’t think I’d be able to go very long without my computer though. But maybe the feeling of weightlessness would be enough to make me give it a try 🙂

  2. at a whopping 98lbs my belongings unfortunately weigh more than I do lol. Ive always wondered what it would be like to just get rid of everything and start over. Id imagine it would be so uplifting and free feeling. Letting go in the first place is hard though.

  3. Having the courage and resourcefulness to hitchhike is pretty amazing. I think it would make for unique experience and a very interesting novel. It seems like you gain wisdom in going to towns that you wouldn’t normally consider. And I’m sure it gives you plenty of inspiration for new places to visit.

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