For months I had been planning what I would need to take with me on our backpacking trip. In my head I had carefully selected each and every item based on need, size, weight and use. I had condensed the items that my family would need for possibly a year of travel into a manageable amount that was small enough to fit into our four backpacks. I had a 50L backpack plus a 15L daypack, Ricky had a ridiculously large 75L backpack plus a 15L daypack and the boys both had a backpack each that would fit their clothes and toys and still be able to suit the carry on size and weight requirements.
In my imagination this was absolutely plenty of space. In fact I could see my clothes, toiletries and yoga mat all in my bag with room to spare. But unfortunately sometimes what I imagine to be true is really fantasy and reality has an earth shattering way of showing up eventually. As I sat there slumped on the floor of my living room, a week before we were due to leave, surveying the items that we were to take with us and then looking at the size of our backpacks I started to panic. Perhaps this wasn’t going to be such an easy task. Maybe, just maybe I had overestimated the size of our backpacks and underestimated the amount of stuff that we were wanting to take with us.
Eek, maybe this whole ‘fitting your life into a backpack’ exercise wasn’t such a great idea after all. Could I really do this? Was this really such a good idea? And then the reality of what we were actually doing hit me… It was time to cancel the trip. Adult tantrum right here. Foot down. Panic over. Crisis averted.
…the piles of items that had been destined to travel along with us lay untouched, strewn across the floor along with our backpacks for five days…
But I probably didn’t really want to cancel the entire trip. I may have overreacted ever so slightly. So sheepishly I apologised for my outburst and together we all sat down as a family to start the painstaking task of reassessing the necessity of each and every item. The game of tetris began and after two days of getting it close to ready and then five stressful hours of getting absolutely serious the night before the event, discarding many items along the way and repackaging things that were too heavy, the deed was done and our journey was upon us.
It was now 1.30am and we were exhausted after the last few days of sorting and cleaning. We were also slightly nervous about the unknown ahead and worried about where we would store the extra stuff that was now to be left behind. But our packs were bursting at the seams, only grams overweight and so for the last time, for a while, we fell into our bed to get some sleep before the adventure really began.
xx Travelling Fresh