Packing should be something that I have down to a science at this point in my life. I’ve taken hundreds of flights, and yet somehow this is one of those things I loathe and still can’t wrap my head around.
Don’t get me wrong: I have a drawer of travel-sized liquids to throw in my TSA approved carry on liquid bag, so I’m sure I seem relatively travel savvy to someone who would root through my bathroom drawers.
Or I’d look like someone who is obsessed with tiny deodorants, toothpastes, contact solutions, and dry shampoo. Let’s hope if someone is going through my drawers they know me well enough to put me in the former category.
For this trip to Australia, I only had my one carry on bag for two weeks as my job sent me two 50 pound suitcases to check. I grumbled about it for a week, then I decided this also meant I couldn’t procrastinate like I normally do and had to start packing early in order to be organized.
I blocked off my weekend, so I could clean my apartment and pack my bag in an organized fashion, as I’ve never done in my entire life and came to realize several things during this time:
1. After about an hour, I needed to go “clear my head” which meant going to get a mani/pedi and sitting in a coffee shop for a few hours to gather my thoughts. I told myself as long as I was thinking about packing, surely it counted toward the effort.
2. Picking out a book to read on the plane consisted of me staring at a bookshelf for a hour, realizing how many books I want to read, and then talking myself out of the five that I pulled as that is way too much weight to be bringing along, and I know I’ll end up regretting it and only reading half of them.
3. While cleaning the house and rocking out to some 60’s music, I discovered that my hallway is the perfect size and shape for me to replicate my best Mick Jagger strut.
4. I make an excuse for all shoes to be practical even when I know they aren’t. Editing down is another hour long decision that ends up being ridiculous as I am confident I will buy more shoes while I’m over in Australia.
I hit a wall Sunday night and stared at all of my clothes that I had laying out on my couch, which was basically the entire contents of my closet. I thought “Fuck it. I’ll figure this out tomorrow,” and went to bed.
Monday rolled around and I decided that after a 12 hour work day I deserved to crash on the couch and not pack that night. So I cleared a space next to my mess of clothes and watched tv while trying to ignore my problem that was literally sitting on the couch next to me.
Tuesday was the day I had to leave. Later in the afternoon, but still. I woke up, went to “clear my head” again and get a coffee (yes I can make it in my apartment but I’ve come to know some of the people who work at the coffee shop and thought it might be nice to chat with someone for a while). Then I figured if I couldn’t edit down I’d throw a swimsuit, some underwear, and my two favorite dresses in the bag and buy the rest of my clothes there and call it a day.
Somehow, packing in advanced had just turned into three days of distractions and being half packed. But at least I’d arrive back to Seattle to a clean house–because nothing motivates me to clean quite like dancing around the apartment like Mick Jagger.
I set out with my obnoxious orange suitcases sent to me by my company, and grabbed my seemingly tiny carry on bag, ready to look like a complete American diva if that meant I was going back to Australia after a 7 year hiatus.