I’ve got it bad – an unfortunate condition I refer to as Packing Disorder. PD is characterized by a complete and utter inability to pack light for any sort of trip. You’d think, with the amount that I travel, I’d have my bag streamlined down to a simple carry-on, a collection of mix-and-match apparel and tiny toiletries. But this is most definitely not the case! Instead, I find myself pulling out the scale prior to every flight, making sure my bag is just below the 50-lb standard limit. Without fail, it weighs in at 49.5.
I oftentimes wonder what is wrong with me. Why do I struggle so profoundly with the most minor of challenges: choosing what to take and, more importantly, what to omit? You see, I like to have options. I mean is it honestly reasonable to expect me to know, today, what I’m going to feel like wearing this weekend? There are far too many variables at work. The weather, of course, is unpredictable. My plans might shift, and I could end up in a dive bar rather than seated for a four-course meal. I always need a selection of cozy clothes for lounging in the hotel or a friend’s house, plus I can’t forget my workout gear – that alone sometimes requires an entire suitcase. And the greatest variable of all – how will a specific outfit look and feel on any given day?
Don’t pretend you can’t relate – I know I’m not alone in thinking that my body, and therefore the way my clothes fit on my body, changes almost daily. As does my mood, my fashion sense, my not-so-signature style. I swear, if there was ever a fire in my house, I’d wind up a burned effigy in front of the closet door, stuck trying to decide between flap-pocket-boot-cut-jeans or low-rise capris for my dramatic escape.
The point being, I’m beginning to get a little bit stressed about the impending pack job for my journey down under. With weight restrictions for our in-country flight, I need to pare it down to one checked bag plus my bike. Normally I would take two bags – one full of swim-bike-run training, race and recovery gear; the other filled with fashion apparel. And shoes – oh god, my shoes! I already have to allocate valuable space to bike and run footwear. Where on earth will I fit my mules, wedges and flip-flops?
There is a part of me, however, that is weirdly excited to step up to the challenge of minimizing my load. After all, what’s really wrong with wearing the same jeans to every occasion? Two or three tops, a pair of shorts, a bikini (ok, maybe two bikinis) and a warm hoodie and I should be just fine. I’m sure they have laundry facilities in Australia. I’ll also be traveling with two women (MJ and twin Gabby) who would gladly lend me anything I’m missing – however the fact that they are half my size and twice my height makes sharing near impossible. Of course, in the back of my mind I’m also holding tight to a bit of insight that MJ gave me: the less I bring, the more I can buy. That touches on another of my afflictions, compulsive shopping – but I’ll let that one lie for the time being!