I hate packing for a trip. Hate, hate, hate it. Any kind of trip – doesn’t matter the destination or length of travel. Doesn’t matter the weather where I’m headed. Doesn’t matter if I’m looking forward to going. I just don’t like the process. And it stresses me out every time.
Once upon a time I used to think this was mostly weight related. That I hated trip planning because I didn’t have anything that fit or that I felt fat in what I did have or some other reason along those lines. But during my yo-yo years, I have packed for enough trips during my thinner days that I can unequivocally state it is not just about the size of my clothes (and body).
The irony here is that I am planner. Before a trip I have lists for what to pack, lists for what to do before I leave home, lists of restaurants to try (and probably even a reservation or two). I often have itineraries in hard copy and online. I have printed directions for everywhere I need to go, just in case the GPS fails. Not that every moment is preplanned, but …. hmm… a lot is. But even with a packing list, I don’t have the specifics. It might say “shirts” and “outfits for dinner.” So then the drama begins.
Before a trip I stand in my closet. It is not pretty. Yes, there are clothes. But why are there never the right ones?! Could it be that I should add recreational shopping to my exercise regime? Is it because I am a candidate for “What not to Wear”? Might it be due to the fact that I usually wear the same worn out things over and over and that won’t work on my travels?
I hate having to decide ahead of time what I will wear every day. What if the weather changes? Or my plans (as well thought out as they are) change? Sometimes even an over-planner like me appreciates a little flexibility! I hate trying to decide which things, if any, can be worn more than once, and what I will do if I spill something on the outfit the first time out. I hate trying to coordinate everything to go with only one pair of shoes. And coordination of outfits to mix and match is really stretching the limits of my patience and wardrobe. I hate trying to pack just the right number of clothes. Except underwear – I am a firm believer in always packing extra undies and prescription medicine because you just never know.
And then the second guessing begins. Everything is in the suitcase. Maybe it fit perfectly. Maybe I had to edit down my selections to get everything into the bag. Regardless, there is always something that I wonder about. Should I bring that sweater? Or the umbrella? Can I leave the exercise clothes behind because I’m probably not going to use them despite my good intentions? Do I need an extra swimsuit? Is there room left for souvenirs that I might buy? Did I forget something important? Aaaarrrgggghhhhh!
Later this week I am going on vacation. (Yes, again. More on that tomorrow.) I have already decided that I will not be able to fit everything for one long weekend into a carry on bag. This trip requires multiple shoes and multiple outfits for multiple activities and more. But the good news is that if I have to pay extra to check a bag I might as well take a big one! So one less worry… how to cram it all into a carry on. Instead I can fixate on what should go with me on the plane in case my checked luggage doesn’t make it to my destination:(
Packing is a necessary evil if I want to take this, or any, trip. So I will live with the pre-vacation stress for a few days. And today I will go shopping… because it is very clear to me that I just absolutely need one more thing before I sit on suitcase to zip the lid shut.