Nothing clears the mind quite like the realisation that you have a dwindling number of hours in which to cram everything you will need for two weeks into what once seemed to be a gigantic backpack.
The OE class’ year-end expedition is finally upon us, you see, and despite beginning preparations (ostensibly…) in September, it is abundantly clear that the last 24 hours before setting off is when the real work gets done.
Packing for any trip can be an illuminating experience. Sifting through your worldly belongings prior to departure, I submit, can be quite existential. In essence, you are finally forced to actually decide things (“ok, Mr. Chocolate Bar and Madam Toilet Paper: this bag’s only big enough for one of you…”). Gone is the time when you can idly plan and think in optimistic generalities; packing time is crunch time, and one must be ruthless in order to succeed.
But the ultimate question for philosophizing travellers, those who ponder every pound and consider every kilogram, is perhaps best summed up by the most basic of concerns, one that has dogged every restless nomad throughout the centuries…
“How many underwear do I bring?”
Too many and you will be mocked by your fellow travellers for being what my proudly-non-outdoorsy sister calls a “glamper,” too few and, well… I think everyone’s mother has warned them about that. Perhaps a bit cruelly, life has dictated that the precise situations in which one would have a paucity of underpants (namely, on an expedition of some sort) are exactly the times when one would be most likely to both soil them during some sort of traumatic event, and then subsequently be found by strangers who would no doubt judge you for your lack of basic hygiene.
But I digress.
Catch you in two weeks!