Confessions of an Overpacker
I want to be honest with you today: My name is Laura, and I am an overpacker.
I never thought I would say those words in print. But there — I did it. It feels good.
Here’s the thing: I used to be a good packer. Back in my twenties, I had a tiny Samsonite wheelie that I never checked. I was one of those cocky travelers who wheeled her petite bag on the plane. No baggage carousel for me.
Then something happened: I went on a crazy trip on the Oregon Trail in June. And it snowed. In June! I’d brought cute warm-weather dresses and sandals. I felt like a member of the Donner party, hungry for cashmere. What kind of shopping do you find on the Oregon Trail? How about …
So I skipped the bonnets, layered on the sweats, and vowed never to be a packing loser again.
It started slowly: a couple of extra sweaters. A bathing suit, just in case I stumbled across a pool or a hot tub. An extra pair of sunglasses — who wants to replace lost sunglasses on the road? Extra flats, extra heels. Options! The next thing you knew, I was checking my bag. A big bag. A very big bag.
I still wince when I think back on a trip to India, with a porter in the Chhatrapati Shivaji train station in Mumbai carrying my big bag — on his head. Or the trip to Thailand, when my very big bag almost sunk a little dugout canoe leaving Ko Phi Phi. Or the safari in Kenya, when I was good and stuck to the max — 27 pounds. Only I didn’t leave room for purchases along the way.