Pack it Up, Pack it In

Let me begin…

As much as I travel, you would think I would have packing down to a science. In a world of shoulds, I would be the person who never checks a bag (even in winter!) and always has the right number of wrinkle-free outfits. These outfits would undoubtedly match whatever climate I was traveling to and be flexible. Add a layer, take a layer, dress up, dress down.

In reality, I rarely check a bag. But with winter comes sweaters (and a puffy coat! and boots!) so sometimes – especially with a lengthy trip -you have to bite the bullet.

Within one hour of being at the airport and ten minutes of being in St. Louis, I had already documented two packing mistakes.

I was reading Punky Brewster’s book while sitting at my gate when I realized this is very much a parenting book, and I’m much more a parent-to-be-to-be than a parent or a parent-to-be. But there I was reading a section about what to bring to the hospital when you have a baby and see (either in all caps or bold) DON’T FORGET THE CAMERA CHARGER.

Insert sick feeling here. I knew exactly where my charger was and it wasn’t in my carryon. The night before I had had the genius idea to plug it in in the kitchen to juice it up before the trip, and that’s where I had left it.

I played back my morning in my head and – like I sometimes do – imagined the camera zooming in and highlighting the charger as I passed it to take out the trash. You know, like how they highlight passports or other crucial documents on The Amazing Race when people leave them places?

So there I was, waiting to board my plane, knowing that I was going home for Christmas, where photo and video opportunities would abound, and all I had was a half-used battery. #richpeopleproblems

It had been a hectic morning because I didn’t get to sleep until around 1h30a (totally normal for this night owl). My alarm was set for 3h05a as the shuttle was to arrive between 3h45 and 4a. My alarm didn’t go off, but miracle of miracles I woke up on my own at 3h27a. I’m usually not a morning person anyway, but a rushed morning? It’s amazing that’s all I forgot.

So I get to St. Louis and it’s cold and gloomy and soaking wet. Perfect Hunter boots weather!! Only one snag. I brought three pairs of boots, none of which are the Hunters. I remember briefly considering them and checking the weather and deciding I would be ok without them.

And I realize I will be and it’s all very inconsequential, but I would definitely love to be an amazing packer one day.

As far as clothing goes, I most often either overpack or get somewhere and not want to wear anything I brought. I really worked on simplifying this time, like I mentioned a few days ago, getting some key mix-and-match items.

After an intervention from my neighbor about possibly bringing too much, I pared down to nine outfits. This morning when I opened my suitcase, it looked totally empty and I already felt like I was out of clothes. The only thing I had pulled out of it so far were my pajamas. So this should be interesting.

I can obviously do laundry, and really, everything’s going to be ok.

In the future I won’t ever plug anything in on the night before I leave without putting a post-it on the door. And I’ll bring the Hunters whenever it’s not summer. Lessons learned.

As far as the camera battery charger, I ended up buying another one. Which means I now have three. (This is the part where I reveal I did something similar earlier this year when I was in Cape Town.) I had hoped I could rent one, but they don’t apparently rent chargers and my family members with similar cameras are Nikon people.

So instead of being the aunt who always has gum, I’ll be the aunt who always has a camera battery charger. Unless I forget it.

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