When my husband and I travel, we don’t check any baggage. We like to avoid the process and save time after we land, without having to go to the baggage carousel and wait for the endless line of suitcases. It’s amazing how much you can fit into carry on bags. New rules seem to be popping up now, with increased charges for extra baggage, and the size allotment for carry ons is getting smaller, as well.  Extra baggage comes with a cost. Not just for traveling — but for starting new relationships. I have many clients stating they don’t want someone with “baggage,” while searching for their new partner.  
I asked people on Facebook what they think the term baggage means. Answers varied, including: unresolved issues, resentment, anger, still in a messy divorce, court/custody issues, unhealthy habits, serious debt, holding on to past relationships, volatile exes, drama/chaos, jealousy/mistrust and fighting over kids. 
I realized when reading these answers that, when I finish my columns, I always say: “If you are happy and single.” What I mean by happy is that you have in fact unpacked your baggage piece by piece and dealt with it completely. A great email from a reader hit the nail on the head. She said baggage doesn’t have to be negative.  Our past relationships leave a mark on us, both good and bad. If none of us are affected by these moments, we will never learn from them and grow into the people we are now.
It is impossible to meet someone who doesn’t have a story. There will be some tough chapters. But, by the end of the story, the author should be able to end on a positive note before starting another book.
So when it comes to baggage, start unpacking. You may need some help along the way. But once it is all unpacked, think about all the room you will have to pack some new exciting items — like bathing suits and sunscreen — when you meet someone new to go traveling with. Remember, if you go with a carry on, the sunscreen needs to be in a 100-millilitre bottle or less.
If you are happy and single and have your baggage unpacked contact me at holmes@wheretheheartis.ca.