I love to travel. But I hate packing.
It’s pretty much the only part of the entire traveling process that causes me any stress.
As an expert over-analyzer, its the perfect situation to apply my talents: I never know… am I packing too much? Not enough? The right kinds of clothes? Am I going to get there and realize that I have made a terrible mistake and none of my clothes are casual/fancy/warm/cool/cute/artsy/sporty/girly/hip/etc enough?
Somewhere buried in my tomboy history is a strong need to not come off as high maintenance. So I also have historically prided myself on packing surprisingly lightly… not so easy when your indecision makes your packing desires include the kitchen sink.
My most recent technique has involved waiting until the last possible moment to pack, hoping that the stress of time will make me more efficient. After all, nothing inspires like a deadline.
It has resulted in mixed successes, to say the least.
Here’s how packing usually goes for me…
(and like anything I do, it is a complicated, convoluted 10-step process.)
- STEP ONE: Go into closet, start grabbing all your favorite articles of clothing, knowing full well it is WAY more than you need. It’s a starting point.
- STEP TWO: Make nice sorted piles by type. See, packing is so easy!
- STEP THREE: Realize that you only gathered up one skirt and nothing but tank-tops for shirts. Return to closet and Step Two.
- STEP FOUR: Remember to check the weather for your travel destination.
- STEP FIVE: Realize most the things you grabbed are inappropriate for the weather. Return to closet and Step Two. Again.
- STEP SIX: Divide clothes into likely outfits to negate unnecessary items. Realize you have enough clothes for several costume changes per day. Go with it.
- STEP SEVEN: Gather shoe options for previously devised outfits.
- STEP EIGHT: Remember that there is a slight chance for a nice dinner, swimming, exercise, international dance-off, or spontaneous crafting party. All very likely and all of which require alternate attire. Aaaaaand Return to Step Six. Yet again.
- STEP NINE: Don’t forget leggings, underwear, socks and the right bras. Don’t even plan accessories/jewelry, just grab tons and toss them into your bag, willy-nilly.
- STEP TEN: Shove everything into your suitcase and pray that it closes. Sit on top, panting from exertion and admire the disaster zone that used to be your closet.
And at the end of it all? After all that effort? And the indecision and stress and uncertainty?
End up wearing 1/8 of the things you brought.
Vow to pack better/smarter/lighter next time?
Hahahahhahaha… yeah right.
Repeat process next trip.