Thursday, September 6, 2012

Packing Woes and Other Pre-Departure Thoughts

I am sitting on my four-poster bed surrounded by clothes. My clothes are literally engulfing me and I look ridiculous lounging here, enveloped within them. I should probably transfer these intimidating stacks to my suitcases, but I cannot seem to find the motivation.

This shouldn't really come as a surprise to friends and family. Anyone who knows me well knows that the one thing about which I can be fully counted on to procrastinate is packing. Always. Always, always, always. I don't know why I avoid it so much - I really don't even hate it (my family members would kindly disagree with that statement). 

But I honestly don't hate it. I just don't like doing it. Maybe it's the effort and the time commitment involved. Sometimes I wonder if I avoid packing because I am figuratively (and literally) putting myself into a box: here are all the clothes I am bringing with me, and during the next four months of my life, these clothes - only these clothes - will define my days sartorially. Packing a suitcase feels like a huge form of dictation, one of which I am not sure I wish to be a part. 

I have no idea what the next four months of my life will look like, and that both excites me and intimidates the hell out of me. Packing seems so authoritative; the clothes and shoes I place into these suitcases are the closest things to stability that I'll have, at least during the first few days and weeks of my journey, and here I am without any sort of confidence in my packing abilities.

This is why going to college in Massachusetts is so easy! I just throw all of my seasonally appropriate clothing and shoes into boxes and go. (I don't know how my friends who fly to Mount Holyoke with only two suitcases do it.) But here I am now, with two suitcases (giraffe-patterned...but of course) to my name. I am a two-suitcase traveller. This terrifies me. 

I hate being so dependent on material objects. This may seem laughable to some. I do love to dress well, and I own upwards of 70 pairs of shoes. Still, I take little comfort in knowing that, were I to lose either of these suitcases in the midst of my travels, I would be utterly screwed. (PLEASE, ALMIGHTY PACKING GODS OF HEAVEN, LET THIS UNFORTUNATE INDIVIDUAL NOT BE ME.)

That being said, here I am, on my bed, with the packing process 80% completed. I've laid out dresses, skirts, blouses, sweaters, jeans, cardigans, tights, scarves, and shoes. I'm taking ten pairs of shoes. Most people probably think I'm overpacking in the shoes department. I think I'm severely underpacking. (Welcome to my life.)

Now all that's left to do is throw everything into my suitcases, and pray that each one weighs less than a baby hippo. 

Today I exchanged some money for my trip into pounds. It felt strange holding the notes in my hand, so lightweight and foreign, with the Queen staring sternly into my eyes, no doubt laughing at the cringe-inducing exchange rate I had just endured in order to come into possession of her beautiful currency. Why does the exchange rate suck so bad? Come on, America. At least make your money a little prettier.

I've spent the last few nights shuffling through my Frommer's Guide to Scotland and highlighting, making notes, and marking off everything I want to see. I've created a tab system, because I'm a dork like that. Red for castles, museums, and architecture. Orange for food and bars (duh). Yellow for shopping. Green for nature, hiking, and all things active. Blue for villages, towns, cities. I've used so many tabs already, and my book looks like it vomited confetti. 

There is so, so, so much I want to see and explore, and I fear that four months will not be enough time to cover it all. I think I would honestly need years of my life dedicated to wandering the country before I could begin to feel content with the thoroughness of my travels. Add to this the fact that I am determined to explore the remainder of the UK as well as continental Europe, and I might as well drop out of my courses and simply spend my time as a vagrant (sans the begging part).

My flight leaves from Logan Airport tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m., and by this time on Saturday, I'll (hopefully) be settling into my new home in Edinburgh. It hasn't hit me yet, but I'm so excited for the moment that it does finally kick in. 

1 comment:

  1. SamDoo, I completely feel your pain. I think I brought 10 pairs of shoes to NYC, but I wanted to bring 20! A small word of advice from another traveler: keep in mind that you may not get to do everything that's on your to-do list, but that's okay! There's always a next time, if you want there to be. And enjoy every single moment. Much love, and safe travels!!! :)