So I leave tomorrow! Always the procrastinator, I put off most stuff until the last minute. But I wanted to share some of my packing experience with you all! I will be taking a large suitcase, duffel bag, small (read: carry-on sized) backpackers’ pack, and purse. In it I need to fit all my worldly possessions…or at least a years worth. Now those of you who helped me pack up my house when I moved out of my apartment in June know how much crap I actually own, and chances are, you were part of the special task force enlisted to help get rid of some of it. Alas, it will still not all fit into my available luggage. There’s just to much…
For starters, books – I’m a nerd, and I read a lot. So, do they have English books in the Netherlands? Of course, but will I be able to find them, and will they be the ones I want to read? But do you know how much books weigh? And add them all together – I’m looking at an over-sized baggage fee. Plus they take up way to much space. I’ve already got two travel books, the princess bride (a must), my current trashy paperback series, and I think that’s all I’m going to allow myself.
Of course I’m worried about the little things that are going to make me feel like I’m at home. Pictures have been removed from their frames to be replaced by a roll of scotch tape. Decorative features have been replaced with a single box of fairy lights to be bought upon arrival. The teddy bear that has sat on my bed for the last 19 years has been put into a bag to make way for the sock monkey that I bought as a gift for the little girl.
Then there are the clothes, which includes accessories, hats, shoes etc. I have twenty different baseball hats alone…but they don’t play baseball in Europe so that’s one problem solved…no one is going to care that I’m an A’s fan, so I have decided to leave it at home in lieu of a plain black one for necessary protection from the sun. I’ve also decided to take a couple beanies for warmth, and I’m pulling out the old beret because I have a wonderful feeling that it’s making a comeback. Then I move onto the scarves I have acquired over the years to protect me from the harsh weather we experience three days a year here in California. Only problem is that there actually IS harsh weather in Holland, and I must choose which will actually keep me warm (which sadly means the leopard printed Prado scarf must stay behind.) Along with the necessity of warm accessories comes other warm clothing causing me to have gone out and acquired several protective, but bulky winter coats that are taking up way to much space. (Also on a side note, my sister won’t lend me her really cute fur hooded one because she’s a butthead.) So after that whole lot is done, it’s time to go from 37 pairs of shoes to five or six…hopefully. Being practical (but completely heartbroken) I have decided upon only two pairs of heels, a pair of boots, slip ons, and two sneakers. And with that I must take a break, because tearing out parts of your life is tiring.
I take the break time to comfort myself with Paula Deans taco meatloaf while beginning my children’s book I have been inspired to write by the “Where the Wild Things Are” movie. Feeling refreshed and with the next disc of arrested development in the dvd player, I move on to the hardest item of all…my actual clothes. Here’s my problem – the Netherlands has four distinct seasons requiring four different types of clothing meaning I need at least a weeks worth of clothes times four. Packing the staples like my comfy long dresses, jeans turtle necks, and my “Nothing wrong with a little junk in the trunk” t shirt, I think I’ve done it. I’ve also come to the amazing realization that (as I am prone to do anyway,) I CAN GO SHOPPING THERE!!!
With this new found appreciation for the retail industry, I continue pairing down my luggage (because the overweight baggage fees SUCK) and hope that eventually I will learn to become a savvy traveler. But for now I will make due with the fact that I have just fit my life into three bags, and for once, I’m excited about it.