–by G.K. Sydney (photos and column)
Oh no. Big moan. It’s that time again. It’s time to travel.
What, you say? Why would there be a moan about that? Get out of the rain, follow the sun, relax, enjoy, what’s wrong with that? Well, that’s what we’re going to do – but not til January. First, Christmas. Family (can’t wait). Friends (yahoo). Flying (yuck). Airports, crowds, security, uncomfortable seats, delays, and at the end of all that, for us, snow. Cold. Really cold. It was 35 below in Manitoba last night. Oh no.
But before all of that, there’s the packing. Okay, I admit it. I’m a packing freak. I pack for days, maybe weeks. I start about two weeks ahead of time by getting out the suitcase. You’d think I’d know my own patterns by now, but no. I do it the same every time.
Down the stairs I go to haul out the suitcase. Just the small one. Don’t want any extra weight, right? This time, I won’t bring too much and therefore, I’m sure I can get it all in this little baby. No problem.
With the suitcase retrieved, it begins. Each day, I throw another item in as it benignly sits open on the floor of my closet, quietly laughing at me. Oh, I also need this. And this. And who could travel without this? After about a week of putting necessary items in the small suitcase, it is now completely full with things pouring off of every side. Hmmm, what to do?
At this point, frustration (happens the same way every time) sets in, and I go back downstairs and get out the big suitcase. What the heck. Who cares if we have extra room? Better than not enough, right? Ok, carry on.
Thus it continues. About a week before departure day, I decide that many of my favourite clothes should be washed. Consequently, I plunk the big suitcase (how did it get so heavy?) on the bed, go through the items, do a load of wash, iron everything meticulously and repack. Add several more things that absolutely have to come.
Four days before departure. I sit down and write a detailed list of days away, events (this is Christmas, lots of parties, are we READY??) that will be occurring during the trip and what will be worn to each event and on each day. Then I struggle with decisions. I list everything from underwear to jewellery. Go over it several times. Repack. I’m a lunatic AND a packing freak.
And so on. Two days before departure, I start on the toiletries. I put all creams in small containers. Put all makeup in a plastic baggie for the security dudes to see. Put all jewellery in a little bag where it can all get royally tangled. And I make sure I take that huge hair dryer and straightener because, who knows, I could get stuck somewhere needing an emergency hairdo makeover and those hotels have lousy ones. Phew! This is exhausting.
And then there’s suddenly a terrible shock. Oh no, what about the husband clothes? Geez, forgot about that – where will they go? And the Christmas presents, omigod! This is a crisis. There’s no room, absolutely no room left in this suitcase. At this point (happens every time), I glance over at the little suitcase that has been relegated to a corner and is still laughing at me. Ok, come here, you sucker. Yes, I need you. I’m desperate.
And with one day left til blastoff, in go the extra clothes, the ton of last minute Christmas presents, the extra boots, scarves, mitts, toques (soooo cold on the Prairies) and a bit of room left for seriously warm jackets. This is ridiculous. I’m exhausted. We are now at two suitcases and counting. To my dismay, I’m still not sure I’ve got it right. There might actually be a day when I don’t have the exact right thing or when I’ve forgotten an essential item- what kind of nightmare would that be?
But wait, there’s still tonight. I can stay awake all night wondering if it’s all okay.
And then in the morning….what the heck……if I have to, I can repack.
Previously, Through the Lens:
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: The Thrills Just Keep on Comin’
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Wasting Away in Margaritaville
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Our Cups Runneth Over
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Confessions of a Packing Freak
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: The next new thing is Yoga
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: A Touch of Special
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: I. Will. Do. This.
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Never too late
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Close encounter with bear, saved by a driving hero
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Cross Country Crazy
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Lord love a duck!
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Get on the Bus, Gus. Make a New Plan, Stan.
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: And a Warm Welcome to Everyone (or…?)
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Into the Mystic
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: This is how I row
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Take care when you tinkle; or, before you bare, look for bear
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: True Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Acrophobiac
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: There’s no place like home!
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: The eagle has landed
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Finding fitness that fits
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: When you don’t know where you’re going till you get there
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: A Fairy in the Forest
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Small Town, Big Hearts
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Dr. Seuss
- Introducing a new column to SPN: “Through the Lens of a Newcomer”