My co-workers, random stranger in the airport, and even my Swedish friend were amazed that my sister and I can do a trip like that with just a carryon suitcase.
I used to be a huge over-packer. I make lists and I try to plan for every contingency. I refuse to get stuck somewhere without the things I need. But I have learned over the past couple years to pack a little lighter. I spent most of 2010 and 2011 traveling for my job and nothing gets old faster than pulling around a suitcase, no matter how small it is. And over the years since I started traveling outside the USA for vacations, I have drastically cut down my packing.
The Sweden trip was the second one with a carryon and I’ll never go back to larger luggage if I can help it. Even this trip, I packed a thing or 2 that I didn’t use. I’m learning to make do with less. And when we ended up trekking across Copenhagen to catch a train at 4:40 AM because the metro broke down, I'm so glad I didn't have to drag a larger suitcase. Of course, now that I'm home, I'm so happy to be surrounded by my stuff and have more choices on clothes and makeup.
I’m currently reading a book about travelers backpacking through Guatemala and I must say I’m not sure I’ll ever get that adventurous. I think I’d be willing to try traveling with a backpack but I have a hard enough time living out of a suitcase, I’m not sure I could do a backpack. But who knows, maybe one day I’ll try it and never go back to a carryon. J