'Tis better to travel?

You've got to be kidding.

OK, a good road trip, sure. Or a nice relaxing train trip. But anything on an airplane sucks. It gets you to where you have to go, hopefully without too much discomfort, inconvenience, and potentially much worse.

I'm a pretty good traveller. I don't mind showing up early. I'm patient in lineups. I'm OK with sitting around waiting to board (as long as I have my laptop and free wifi and/or a book and/or music, and probably coffee in any case). I don't mind being on an airplane. I have no fear of flying, even during turbulence. I even deal with situations such as intrusive security theatre, flight delays, and general airline passenger insults pretty well. My expectations of service these days are low, so I'm rarely disappointed.

No, my big anxiety is about packing. I hate packing. I hate deciding what to bring, what not to bring, what I can possibly cram into a suitcase that is never large enough. I'm not a light traveller. I wish I were. I want my entire wardrobe with me, or at least a substantial part of it. That just can't happen. I have to choose and choose wisely. And that's where the anxiety comes from. I never seem to be happy with what I put together if it's for more than a couple of days.

That's what my friend says: "It's only for a week." A week! Do you have any idea how many clothing changes I can make in a week? We're not talking about undergarments. I can always pack enough of those. But outfits! Pants, tops, skirts, dresses! If I were travelling for work, packing would be fairly easy. But this is not for work.

Weather forecasts are only somewhat helpful, especially long range. Everything might change by the time you're at your destination. And even if the forecast is accurate, if it shows that temperatures will be all over the place, how do you pack for that?

Shoes are the worst. You just can't pack a lot of shoes. They're both heavy and bulky. But of course at my destination, I want a nice choice of shoes! Instead, I must compromise. And possibly go to DSW and come home with more shoes than I left with.

No, I was wrong. Shoes are not the worst. I can triage my shoes. But inevitably, too much of my suitcase, both by volume and weight, is taken up by various and sundry cosmetic products. Even when I put things into small bottles, there are a lot of them. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, facial cleanser. Toner, serum, facial, eye moisturizer, facial moisturizer. Body moisturizer. Makeup, makeup remover. Hair dryer and mousse. These things are not optional! I do my best to leave things behind and compact the rest, but inevitably I have two large plastic bags of toiletries taking up copious amounts of suitcase real estate. It's not like you can put any of this stuff in carry-on anymore.

And then, of course, you don't want to forget anything vital. There are a lot of things which, if you forget them, you can get a replacement. I'm thinking of skipping certain toiletries and just getting some there. But there are some things that you really want to have with you and can't easily replace. Anxiety!

Somehow, I always survive. Yes, it's only a week.

[I wrote this before I left. I almost posted it but decided not to. Internet paranoia? Even though my blog is public, it's not like I have such a large readership (tiny in fact), and it's not like I think anyone is casing my house. But somehow I never want to post that I am away. I am protective of my sweetie!

My packing turned out OK. I could have used some lighter tops, but in general what I brought worked fine. I did a little socializing, but mostly I was taking care of a friend in need. And right across from the supermarket is a DSW. Yes, I returned with more shoes than I left with!]

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