OK I’m a self confessed over packer. I always take way too much stuff with me, pretty much everywhere I travel. I agonise over everything I place in my suitcase and tie myself up in knots of anxiety over it all. I was a mess the day we left home for this trip and true to form I over packed but I justified 90% of it.
Life has dealt my family some body blows recently and so this trip with my best friends and Reuben (minus my beautiful children) couldn’t come soon enough.
After two years living in Manila and lots of travel my first hard case had died. RIP my hot pink suitcase that was so easy to find on any airport carousel. I tried to convince myself I was going to pack lighter for this trip so maybe I could use only a medium size case instead. In the week leading up to this trip I’d recognised I was lying to myself and bought a new Mambo hard case from Big W.
The first flight to Manila caused the first serious cracks to appear and by the time we arrived in Rome Fiumicino airport one wheel was mortally wounded and it had a wicked warp to it. I’m currently sitting on the third of four trains we’re taking from Siena to Monterosso (Jenelle’s destination for our 40th birthday trips, mine is now a separate trip) and I’m wishing I’d taken her up on rationalising my luggage back in Brisbane. Seriously. Lugging this sucker over cobblestones and then up & down train station platforms blows big time. In the name of full disclosure Reuben’s lugging it for me. I’m in charge of his which is lighter in weight because he’s not plagued with fashion indecision and my need for choices but it’s similarly wounded after 3 years of hard travel.
This case has been on boats to Boracay & Palawan, planes to Australia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, London, Dubai, Cambodia and the Philippines. It wears its scars like badges of honour. It has withstood much mishandling in the pursuit of new horizons and adventures.
Travel is a choice that we have made again and again over owning property or other symbols of financial stability. To us the adventure is always worth the stress of bolting down train platforms, the interminable boredom of delayed flights and the whinging of the kids (the absence of that on this trip is frankly unsettling, so we take it in turns to fill the void ourselves). Not to mention the stretched finances and large credit card bills at the end from all those souvenirs and presents I just had to buy.
I know already that this trip is going to provide lifelong memories probably including dumping this stupid suitcase somewhere along the way and replacing it with one that keeps up with me a little longer. Maybe I’ll pack lighter next time.