The Pitfalls of Packing

I am a terrible packer.

this is me every time

You’d think that after several lengthy trips abroad, living in an apartment and the dorms on-and-off, I’d get the hang of it.

But, no.

For example, when packing for my studying abroad in Peru, one would think I had bought the plane ticket the day before: not only was I frantically packing an hour before we were to leave for the airport, but I also assumed that because Peru was south of the equator, it would be warm in Cusco in January (it’s summer, right?), a city set at around 13,000 feet.

Therefore, I had many clothes I couldn’t actually wear, terrible rain gear, and I spent the first several weeks freezing until I gave in and bought some alpaca wool.

I remember my first shower: although my host family did not have central heat, I had assumed they would have hot water, so my first night I dove into that water shivering with cold and excitement.

I almost bit my tongue off holding in the scream as the cold water poured down and left me freezing for days. I eventually learned that flushing the toilet would give me several glorious minutes of lukewarm water, but that was much, much later.

(I’m making myself sound terribly brilliant, I know.)

The school I was going to was also freezing–even when it got slightly warm outside, the walls would emit cold, I swear.

The next time I traveled abroad, you would think I would have been more prepared: this time, I knew more about the climate, and this time I knew to bring more books and less shirts.

But, no.

My pack was bursting constantly, and every time I bought a souvenir I ended up leaving several shirts behind. I also ended up losing my headlamp on the first night (I still think it was stolen, but everyone else seems to think this is a ridiculous claim for some reason).

Strangely, I am no better at packing up everything I own. Part of the reason is that I have to extract it from everything else in the basement (of which there is a lot) and collecting it from all the other rooms in the house. (And convincing my sister that if she hasn’t noticed a shirt missing for the last five years, it’s mine by now…if it ever was hers in the first place).

I also need to decide what I actually need to bring, while piling all of the other stuff, mostly kept out of purely sentimental reasons, into organized boxes in the basement.

I’m not sure how organized they are going to end up, considering I have about two-and-a-half days until I leave!!

AND I’d better get back to it, as I’ve barely started……….

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