Monday, November 7, 2011

Packing: A Lost Art?

     Well, for me it is. You would think that with as many times as I’ve moved around, I should have it down pat. Well I don’t. I succumb to all the nostalgic estrogen whirling around in my body and end up wanting to bring everything. I tried to do a quick count on how many times I’ve actually moved and I came up with fifteen but I’m sure I’m forgetting one or two. As a child, my parents were constantly moving me around, and it was not because I’m a military kid. Usually we moved from one house to another house or trailer to trailer because of finances or drama. Probably drama. That’s a can of worms I won’t subject you to though.
     By the time I was eleven I know of at least nine different times we moved, and I don’t mean a temporary relocation, I’m talkin’ full out, pack up everything you own and unpack it somewhere else ‘supposedly for good’. So I guess it became a tradition with me. I have come to thrive on change. Something about a completely new environment and new people gives me a fresh outlook; it is invigorating. So let’s see, from eleven to nineteen I count six more moves. Luckily, when I moved in with my sister, things calmed for a bit and I was able to attend only two high schools.
     After high school, it was time for college, and there was no way I was staying in my hometown. So I traveled to the other side of the state to attend University. But those ants in my pants just couldn’t let me be content, so after two years of study it was time to go again. Where this time? I searched online for work and travel jobs and came upon the discovery of Glacier Bay Cruise lines; a small, adventure cruise line that hired me after one application and one two hour phone interview. I moved to live onboard ship in Alaska.
     There is more after that but I think you’re getting the picture. I’m deviating from my original point though. Packing. After all that traveling and all that wandering you would think that I pack like a pro, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong. I still want to take much more than I need and stress about it right up until my departure. ‘Well, what if I need this? I can’t leave that, I might need that set of thermal gloves in case the tropical paradise of Thailand suddenly has a freak cold spell and then I’ll be the only one left with cold fingers and then there won’t be anywhere to buy thermal gloves because it’s Thailand and tropical and they probably don’t have anywhere to buy thermal gloves because they don’t ever need them….’ And on it goes. I’m sorry for the run-on folks, but this is my brain; it runs on and on and on…..
     I’ve googled the phrase ‘travel+packing+Thailand’ and pretty much any variation you could come up with, and they all have very good advice. ‘Course it would help if I actually was capable of following said advice. I’m kidding. I’m sure I’ll do fine. But…
     Problem is I’ve only got one checked bag that can weigh no more than 44 lbs, one carryon, and one personal item. How on earth am I going to pack all my essentials in just those items? I could pay the extra $70.00 for an additional checked bag, but I ain’t made o’ money, so I’ll have to stick to what is allowed. I know, I know, logically I can buy most of what I need when I get over there but that doesn’t stop the worry train from speeding down the tracks well over the speed limit. Even sitting in my room staring at all my half-packed luggage is sending me into fits of anxiety. I want to wait until I’m within four or five days of my departure date to really pack. Nevertheless, I would also rather just pack it now and have it done.
     You see? People do you see what I have to put up with in my own head? It’s dizzying, is it not?
     I’m making a promise to myself. I will be cold and calculated. I will be merciless and unforgiving. Thermal gloves, I’m sorry but you can’t come. And that’s just the way it is!

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