Tomorrow. Yep. We leave tomorrow. All three of us. Briana, Christine and I. I just finished packing, and can I tell you that was a hassle. Not only did I have to do my own, but I had to get Briana’s packing in motion as well! Who am I kidding though, I love organizing, so we made a day out of it. When it came to my own packing, it took some serious commitment on my part to just GET IT DONE.

It began like any project would: with excitement. However, just like the Five Stages of Grief, this project had many different layers. From Excitement, to Shop of Death, Being Picky, Denial, and Stuff it in. Let’s go through it:

Excitement is the anticipation of packing. What are you going to pack? How are you going to make it all fit in? What type of bag should you bring? Excitement can often be confused with stress, meaning: “How the hell are you supposed to live out of one back pack for so many months?” and “Do I have to do my laundry in a sink?”. Truth is, all of that is exciting because it is so ‘unknown’ and different, and brings on a new challenge. If you weren’t excited by this thought, then you wouldn’t be going on this trip.

For me, I just wanted to get my back pack out of the basement, clean it up and fill it up with another adventure. My back pack is my home, and comfort: But with comfort, comes being prepared for everything, so bring on stage two.

Shop of Death: I say this lightly. Shopping is fun, for girls of course, and yes, some men enjoy it too even though they would never admit it. Yet, shopping for a back packing trip can often seem confusing, terrifying and stressful. Do you really need hiking shoes? This was a huge question for The Next Big Trip. We are going on a two day hike up a volcano in Indonesia. So did we need to suffer the weight of hiking boots for three months, so we could salvage our ankles for two days? (We decided regular running shoes would be fine). Things like these add a thousand more stresses.

Being Picky:  My favorite stage. Pulling out everything you think you will need, and laying it all out. I am very OCD, so I colour coded, and put my tank tops, t-shirts, and V-necks all in different piles instead of one pile for tops. I tried on outfits that I could see myself wearing, like those cute running shoes, with a pair of shorts, tank and head band. I was so satisfied with my outfit that I convinced myself I needed three more just like it. From my Shop of Death I even acquired a ton of light weight dresses, and outfits that I thought would be so practical, but as all my piles began to grow and grow it was time to be picky… this is when denial really hits you.

Denial: “I want to bring my skinny jeans, a pair of heels and all my best make up to a trekking expedition in Nepal”. IMPRACTICAL. Your nights out, even on a trekking expedition in Nepal, are really going to be bland, and your only source of excitement will be a bit of lip gloss or a cute head band. Heels on any back packing trip are impractical. One of my travel partners, (who shall remain unnamed for her own dignity :p ), tried to convince me that she needed a sun hat, baseball cap, winter hat and three headbands for this trip. Further wouldn’t budge when I told her she could only pack two bras. She insisted that she needed a minimum of five to survive through a beach trip. Huge case of denial. This happened to me in the bandeau department. I wanted to bring one in every colour, a total of seven. Truth is, I never even wear one at home, so why I thought I would magically be wearing one every day over there was beyond me. Once I was able to convince myself that I really only needed half of what I was going to bring… I moved on to Stuff it in.

Stuff it in: self-explanatory. Pack it, cube it, squish it, roll it. My OCD really took over in this department as I fit all of my meds into one tiny bottle of Advil. I even glued on a new label to write down all of the different pills I had in the bottle. I had one zip lock bag for showering, complete with razor and extra cartridge, another zip lock bag for laundry with detergent, small laundry line, safety pins, and duct tape ( just in case). I counted out how many shirts, bottoms and dresses I was bringing. (This post is next) and Voila. Packed and ready.

All I need now is passport, ticket and a ride to the airport. Let’s travel.

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