335 – Packing Jitters

Can we ever be jitter-free? Each one of us has a pet panic. Mine is packing. I am stressed out, when I go on a trip. It does not matter whether I am going for a day or twelve weeks. This is the time I wish I was an animal, and I would have no worries other than being afraid of poachers and not having a belly full.

Of course, I would be an intelligent animal. Animals go where the food is. They clean their wounds with spit; they do not need soap, disinfectants and tooth paste. Is it vanity that I need so many things? If I was a wandering sannyasin, I would have had a kamadalu (oblong water pot); made from dry gourd (pumpkin). And it would represent a simple and contained life. I need a glass water bottle or a steel bottle. Leaving attachments to material comfort is difficult and irksome.

Overweight at the airport

Since I am who I am, I taught my children to pack when they were seven. They saw that their mother was incapable of packing. They decided to make sure that they carried what they required. What was that a cricket set, a skate board, roller skates and few clothes. Of course at the airport we were overweight and much had to be returned to my husband, who had come to see us off. After that they have packed for themselves, made lists, and have no trepidation of packing.

My despair is that I overpack and am always short of something. I have the most baggage in the family and then I have to borrow socks. Maybe this stress comes from when I went by train with my sons and the cat in a bird cage. We had to carry everything as one could not eat what was sold on the trains. It could be seventeen pieces of baggage and when we reached our destination, the pieces had to be counted.

Overpacked also travelling alone

To name a few, a small broom, a jerry can of water, homemade wipes with disinfectant on them, food in a basket, the cat’s bowl, and books. When I recall those times, I was not the only person travelling with so many items. I derived comfort when I saw that some had more baggage than me. I thought that I would reduce my packing after I travelled alone or with my husband. It remains the same plenty of books, and overpacked.

I console myself with “Let your memory be your travel bag.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” Antoine de Saint–Exupery.

And think of the owl and the pussy cat who went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat. “They took some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five pound note.”

Aim Hrim Klim


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