For the second time in three weeks, we’re packing up for a weekend out of town. My cousin’s getting married on Saturday at the beach in Delaware.
It’s funny. You’d think that after 15 months of living exclusively out of our backpacks (detailed fairly extensively over at the old blog, boots in the oven), packing light would come naturally. This is all I had for over a year:
I was so thrilled that I could fit everything into those small bags. Sure, I didn’t always have absolutely everything I needed. I couldn’t get dressed up particularly nicely, and when it got cold I pretty much had to wear everything I’d brought, and I had to surreptitiously wash underwear and socks out in the sink, and my toilette was greatly reduced (especially compared to now, when I’ve discovered nice makeup and products), but I did have clothes and books (thank YHVH for e-books) and shoes and medicines.
Perhaps it’s actually in reaction to that long period that I now have trouble packing in a carryon for a weekend getaway. I’m hoping that this has proven to be so difficult for these last couple of trips because we’ve been going to weddings that require multiple outfit changes with shoes to match (6! pairs! last time! Down to three for the next trip, I think), but I think it’s really that I’m reveling in the freedom of being able to do whatever I want with bags as big as I want. I mean, if I overpack, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like I’ll have to carry everything I brought with me on my back every three days. For over a year.
Being able to pack light on our long trip made such a difference in our enjoyment. We could easily carry our things through narrow aisles made by enormous blocks of ice on rocking Vietnamese boats. Taking the metro from the airport to our hotel was simple, as long as we took care not to travel fully laden during rush hour. Everything we’d brought—two packs plus assorted small bags—would easily fit into the back of a Mexico City Volkswagen Beetle taxi. Getting off the train a mile from a hotel in Venice wasn’t a problem, because we could just heft our bags up and start walking.
Yeah, I miss all of that. But there sure is something to be said for just throwing everything you might need into a giant bag and saying “screw it, we’re renting a car anyway”.