Things are really creeping up on me.
Time is diligently plodding along and I know, before I realise, I’m two hours away from needing to leave to catch my flight and I’ve still not finished packing.
That’s how it’s been on every other trip I’ve undertaken. But I can’t be so blase about this. I want to take some reminders of home – I’ll be gone for at least a year, but who knows how long after that – and a gal needs her creature comforts.
I’ll be based in one place, which leaves room for more luxury items like my hairdryer and my bunting and fairy lights (although I daresay I’d take them if I was backpacking, too), but apart from that, I’m a little bit overwhelmed.
It’s also entirely disorientating packing for summer when the rest of the country is gearing up for winter.
My instincts are telling me I need all my chunky knit cardigans and tights and jumpers, but they’re just going to take up valuable space and weight.
After trawling the Internet for days and hours and weeks to little or no avail, I’m having to rely on my trusty TripList app, writing things into it as I think of them (at all obscure parts of the day and night).
But I still feel no closer to feeling completely ready. There’s an awkward amount of time left to go now, where in order to feel confident in what I’m taking I need to pack, but to pack would leave me with just my work clothes for the next few weeks and I really don’t want to just be changing from work to pyjamas.
Perhaps I’ll have a trial run. Pack what I think I want to take and then cull from that – I’m sure I’ll overpack. But then I do risk going the other way and underpacking…
The only thing I’m certain of, as has been my experience every time I’ve travelled, is that I won’t know what it is I really needed and should have brought with me, until I’m in the situation where I want to use the thing I have and really need, but didn’t bring with me.