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No More Packing

2009 November 12
by Zoe Strimpel

I’m going on holiday tomorrow. To Mauritius. Yes, yes, I know, my life is tough – opera one day, sunny islands off the coast of Africa the next. But I’m exhausted after a long week in which I managed to be so disorganised that on the night before I depart I still have no idea if I have any summer dresses – I can’t even remember what I wore in the summer. Maybe that’s because we didn’t have a summer? Anyway, more importantly, I can’t face the prospect of packing. I set aside the night to do it but all I want to do is go to bed and wake up and go to the gym before heading to the airport. Not go home, deliberate, sort, get depressed that things don’t fit anymore and smell musty, fold (badly), forget things, spend ages planning what I might need, struggle with a zip, break the zip, realise that my toothbrush is at the bottom of my bag, get a backache from lugging the bag to Heathrow, bashing into the Tube turnstiles, having to pay extra for my bag because its heavy, and then…after all that…losing my luggage because instead of Mauritius it went to Timbuktu.

So allow me to indulge a fantasy in which I don’t pack. I just turn up at the airport with a swimsuit in my handbag. I’d pick up a few essentials in Duty Free and I am absolutely positive that my holiday wouldn’t be any the worse. Packing is merely an exercise in picturing every minute of every day while you’re away, imagining what occasion will require this outfit or that. It’s bringing home with you, only stuffed and wrinkled in a crappy liitle bag. Isn’t holiday about leaving home for a bit? About getting away from your wrinkled bits and bobs purchased at H&M on Oxford Street, your worries about looking the part for dinner and breakfast and pre-dinnre cocktails? Life’s got enough worrying about getting the right stuff in – the right people, activities, exercise, food etc. Well, holiday starts tonight. I’m going to be carefree and fancy free and – perhaps even clothes free – when I head to the airport tomorrow with my little handbag and that’s it. Holiday is about shedding the baggage of life – and I’m going to start with shedding, well, my baggage. Just try me. Fantasy is about to become reality, folks, though at the moment, just getting out of work some time in the next hour would be enough of a fantasy come true.

One Response leave one →
  1. Editor-in-chef permalink
    November 14, 2009

    Lovely fantasy, and it suggests some business opportunities for like-minded people to pick up some bare-bones holiday essentials at the airport. We do tend to pack in a bit more of home when we travel than we normally need to do because there is a sort of presupposition that we are venturing into the void, or at least we’ll not have time or the wish to shop for underclothes and the like when we arrive at our destination.

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