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March 13, 2005

Last-minute craziness

My last few hours of packing were a challenge. I had hoped to be ready early, but there were too many things to do. I was having a hard time making decisions. Would I need a tent, as Hands On Thailand suggested? Or just pay for a hotel? What would I do for 20 hours on the plane?

In the end, I put everything in. Tent, Thermarest, two knitting projects. I couldn't fit all the film in the small carryon I had gotten so I wouldn't try to carry too much stuff. G. helped me cram a lot of it in, but I had to use a donated daypack to fit it all, since the film couldn't get nuked in regular baggage. Through my tears of frustration and not being able to make decisions, and realizing for real that G. couldn't come with me for the trip, I threw in two wine-red balls of Merino Frappe yarn. Just in case.

In case of what? World hunger? Emergency scarf knitting? I wish I'd been talked out of this. But in grasping to take my home with me — G. — I could only fit two stupid balls of yarn in the bag. Which I didn't need.

I felt guilty now that my suitcase was full now - hard to zip. As though if there weren't a little room in it, I wouldn't be able to take any Adventure home with me. I felt worse when Shilpa came up with the same size bag I'd had before the tent and thermarest. My carryon was heavy with magazines, a book, travel books.

Please click continue below for the rest of the story.

And then when I got on the plane all I wanted to do was sleep. My chin nestled into the cushy neck pillow G. gave me. And I felt even more dumb about the extra yarn. My heavy bags, added to the heavy donation bags.

The thing is, I'm a person who likes to make decisions, have options. It makes me feel rich to have choices. Knowing I always overpack the carryon, I still couldn't figure out what I'd really want during the trip. In the last hours of Friday and on the plane, I realized I just wanted a simple trip, and for G. to be with me, helping the kids as well. Maybe I could have left the tent at home. And I realilzed, having something productive to do on the plane wasn't as important to me as travelling simply.

But now here I am in Taipei, more than halfway there — with 100 kilos of luggage (most of it donated toys, shirts + shoes for the kids in Kamala), three pairs of knitting needles, and five balls of yarn that I now want to just send home (and I just might). I'd hoped to finish a sweater for G. 's niece in all the travel time. But I didn't fully absorb how many emotional levels this trip will span — and now I realize that adding another layer of productivity on the airplane isn't really necessary.

Posted by sedda at March 13, 2005 06:45 AM