Admittedly, I don’t have much panache (or patience) when it comes to packing for trips. Maybe the process reminds me too much of moving, which I once did three times in a year and nearly had to report to a your neighborhood mental health hospital to recuperate from the stress of it all. Maybe it’s because I can’t stand trying to figure just what to pack, where to put it, how to organize my life…All right, let’s not go there.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I dreaded packing for my 16-day trip overseas, so much so that I waited until the night before I was scheduled to fly out of town. But I should have feared nothing.

Because my sister was going to handle it.

packing
The suitcase. Like a Picasso, really.
Let me introduce you to my little sissy: organized, organized, neat, and organized. She’s always been that way. Years and years ago when we shared a bedroom, her side of the room was like Switzerland. Neat, lovely, like a postcard. My side of the room was Chernobyl. So when she heard me bemoaning the packing I was about to do, she calmly told me that she would take care of everything. As I stood by my closet, she divided her tasks into types: I was to hand her shoes, skirts, pants, tops, any sweaters, etc. I then watched as she expertly positioned these things into my suitcase, calmly dismissing my doubts that everything would fit, waving away my claims that one suitcase wouldn’t hold everything. (I was determined to take one bag that would hold most of my things.) She was right. Everything fit, you guys. Everything. I was mesmerized. And ultimately terrified of unpacking it all and ruining her art. (I should mention here that she’s an actual artist, so it’s no surprise that the inside of my luggage looked like a painting.) Needless to say, her fast and precise packing abilities had us finished much earlier than expected, which allowed everyone in my household to go to sleep peacefully without hearing me loudly sobbing in the next room because of everything I had to roll and smash into a bag.

So I had my medium-sized/kind of large suitcase ready, as well as my carry-on bag that I was planned to use for any souvenirs that I purchased. But let me tell you why I will never take a medium-sized/kind of large suitcase overseas, or really anywhere, ever again:

  • I have no upper body strength. I was reminded of this especially in London when I had to hoist that bag up and down flights of stairs all over the London Underground (short of the escalators that take you out of the stations, there are stairs, stairs, and more stairs) the day I arrived. (Again, my friend who hosted me didn’t have a car.) It nearly brought me to tears. So although thankful for all the gentlemen who helped me, I am resolved to travel from now on with a small, carry-on type suitcase that can be easily lifted by yours truly. I mean, unless the gents really want to help me out, which will, uh, pose no problems for me.
  • Speaking of a small, carry-on type suitcase: I packed way too much for this trip. My sissy’s expert packing is more than appreciated, but in hindsight, I didn’t need all those clothes. Sure, I like variety and having the ability to choose what I want to wear, but quite a few of those outfits remained right in the bag during my trip, unworn. So yeah, for the foreseeable future: some pants, a few tops, and that’s it. Stop trying to be super cute, Square Peg. (Mildly cute will do.)

So major lesson learned: pack light.

Oh, and you travel lovers out there: got any packing tips to share?

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