I have to admit that I initially misread the title of this post as The Pathology of Packing. I read it that way several times, as though someone was performing a postmortem on my behavior and checking to see what I did wrong in my efforts.
And I’m not so sure that the Psychology of Packing is actually all that different a view. I mean, we’re still talking about taking a look inside my brain to figure out how and why I packed what I did for a trip. Sometimes it is just being absentminded, like when I packed a pair of sneakers for a winter journey to snowy eastern Europe. Suffice it to say that I bought new shoes in Bratislava and tossed my sneakers away on that trip. Other times it is the joy of figuring out how to plan for a 20+ day trip covering multiple different professional and personal events in a single, small bag (yes, do laundry along the way, but is that enough to make it work?!?). Or the various trips I’ve taken with just my briefcase holding a spare outfit and the experiences I’ve had with immigration officers as a result.
I do agree that skipping wheels is the way to go whenever possible. Wheels are great if you only head from the airport to the hotel and back in a taxi or car service. But that’s really not my travel style at all.
For us, wheels represent tethered travel: the body is present, but the mind remains elsewhere.
I’m less convinced about leaving 10% of the bag empty to bring home souvenirs. I’m a bit more of a “one in, one out” policy type of guy these days. I do find that I’ll typically fill whatever bag size I choose from a trip, regardless of what I actually need. That’s usually a bit depressing when I walk out the door.
In the end my packing is often far more haphazard than it should be. A few shirts and a couple pairs of pants. Always a bathing suit. And hopefully things match well enough when I get to the next stop. If not, I can always trade something out for new duds while I’m there.
So, do you have a plan for packing? Better than mine??
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