The best part of every trip

packing for a trip
Photo: Vika Strawberrika/Unsplash

Is when you’re still preparing for it. You count down the days and hours, hoping that “the day” would come soon. You are full of excitement and optimism, and you can’t wait to discover what’s in store for you at your chosen destination.

While packing for the nearing adventure, you can’t help but imagine how things will unfold and how fun the activities you’ve meticulously planned would be. Every now and then, you catch yourself thinking, Around this hour on day X, I would be at Y doing Z.

Deciding on the things you’ll bring is never easy, especially if you are traveling by plane and are relying on budget flights. The idea of having to carry a heavy bag doesn’t seem appealing, either, especially if you plan to check out attractions before you check into your hotel. And so you choose your lightest clothes and convince yourself that you don’t really need some of the things you initially planned on taking with you on the trip. You tell yourself about how you’d never be able to use them at all.

As you pack for your trip, you inadvertently do an inventory of your possessions. Suddenly, you can see a clear line between the things you think you need and the things you actually use. You begin to see the objects around you in a different light, too. You realize how heavy your favorite shirt is and how bulky most of your pants are. You notice how plain and boring your wardrobe is in general, making it a lot easier for you to mix and match items from your closet. You barely have shoes that are comfortable enough to wear for a few days in a row. Just looking at the footwear lined up in your room is making you feel the pain that will most likely be caused by each of them.

You’re like a museum curator when you pack for a trip. You come up with ideas based on what’s been planned, then you put things together based on those gems of thoughts. At some point, though, you see how some things don’t really fit in the bigger picture, and so you take them out. Edit, edit. It is not an easy task, however, because as you take certain objects out of the suitcase, something pops in your head: What if something happens and there’s suddenly a need for it? Aha. Just when you think you can already see that clear line between the things you think you need and the things you actually use, you realize that your overthinking self just wouldn’t give up too easily. They’re still there, urging you to consider all the what-ifs you can think of. Sometimes, it even tricks you into thinking you should be ready for anything. And, before you know it, your bag weighs heavier than 7 kilograms.

Your overthinking self is so persistent, so they take things to a whole new level each time. Besides making you question your decisions about which things to take with you on your adventure, they also remind you of the usual dangers that come with traveling. Not just the usual ones, actually, but also the most out-of-this-world disasters one can think of. And just like that, your excitement is diminished. You slow down with what you’re doing until you stop packing entirely.

Good thing, though, there’s a voice inside you that says, Aren’t all exciting things scary at first? Then you are reminded of the most fun things you’ve done so far and they all terrified you at first. You would not have experienced the beauty of such experiences if it weren’t for your boldness, you tell yourself. So why not take another chance?

Now you are excited again. And you begin packing. A few more days to go before “the day,” and you can’t wait.

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