Today I leave for my next big adventure; yesterday I had to pack for it.
I thought I was doing well, because as of the day before yesterday I’d laid almost everything out like I usually do (but in a different spot this time), I’d picked the bag I was going to take (not my usual bag) and I started packing while I was still busy doing other things (instead of giving it my full attention). A perfect recipe for disaster.
Everything looked like it was going to fit, so I zipped up my not-quite packed bag and weighed it: 20 pounds over weight!!!! And not everything was even IN it yet!! Ok, start again, take everything out, weigh the suitcase: 13 lbs. NOT a good start. When you only have 44 lbs to deal with in total, those 13 lbs make a massive difference. So I ditched my wonderful rolly Salvation Army suitcase that I got for $10 and returned to my $300 (yes, it was that expensive) travelling backpack. Again, like a dummy, I kinda just threw everything in and hoped for the best. This time, the weight fit, but it looked like a dog’s breakfast. Tired and worn out, I decided to sleep on it.
Yesterday I woke up and promptly started packing again, kind of moving things around, and not really making a proper inventory of everything that I had/needed to gather/needed to take etc etc. A few more failed attempts and I was not in the best of moods . . . I was failing at packing . . . so that meant I was failing at travelling, and failing at being a travelling divemaster . . . FAIL!!!! Cue the waterworks. I was stressed out, I was tired, I was failing, and for the life of me I could not pack a bag I have packed probably a hundred times before. Things were not going my way, so eventually, and after much consultation with my sister via phone from Edmonton, I took absolutely everything out of every bag I was trying to pack, and started again, from scratch.
This time, I laid out everything (not just most things) in the spot I usually pack from; I picked the bag I was going to pack (ye olde faithful backpack), and then I had a cup of tea in the sun with a very good friend. I burst into (more) tears the second she arrived to say goodbye, but within minutes she had me straightened out, talking about work and life and boys and friends (ie things that really matter) instead of worrying about something I knew I could do if I put my mind to it. After dinner, another friend came over, and over a glass of wine and while talking non-stop, I managed to pack my entire bag in less than 30 minutes. Everything I wanted to take fit in (like I knew it would), and it wasn’t too heavy, and everything was going to be just fine.
I wouldn’t give up my crazy diving travelling lifestyle for anything. It’s how I like to live, and I (usually) thrive on the stress and insecurity of never knowing what is around the corner; but it’s not always easy. As great as it is to be the one always heading out on another vacation, there are innumerable things I give up to make it happen, both big and small. Sometimes, the weight of all the constant decision-making is just too much, the stress too intense, and something small, like packing the exact same bag with pretty much the exact same stuff, will spin me off the deep end. Luckily, I have an amazing group of friends and family that support me in everything I do, and when I need a cup of tea in the sunshine, they will be there.
So this afternoon, fully packed, I am headed off on my next adventure, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.