This is the day that you don’t want to be me.
This is the day that my life of continual adventure and international travel is not sexy.
This is the day where you’d come to visit and return home THANKFUL to be returning home to your three bedroom house and a dishwasher.
This is the day when anyone and everyone who wanders past looks out of one corner of their eye and loudly thinks, “WHAT in the world?”
This. Is. Packing. Day.
I was awakened at 7:20 a.m. by the sound of some kid yelling outside. It was my kid. Of course. They were out sparring with their new Nerf swords before breakfast. I was not amused.
You may not know this about me, but I’m not a morning person. I’d really like to roll out of bed around 8:30 a.m., have an hour of blissful silence in which to sip my tea and watch the clouds, and then slowly, meet the day.
This is not possible. I have kids. Quite a few of them, in fact.
Even so, Nerf swords before breakfast is not something I enjoy, or support. Nor does it put Packing Day off to exactly the right kind of start.
This is the day of prodigious laundry. Every scrap of clothing we own, every sleeping bag, every towel.
This is the day of therma-rest mats draped over picnic tables to dry and tents airing out.
This is the day of every child related item known to man strewn hither and yon as children sort, clean, and pack their travel bags for the trip and pare down the rest of their possessions to the bare minimum and make sure that all of it is packed for Daddy to move while we’re gone.
This is the day of testing stoves, finding the gas canisters, double checking the replacement parts bag, overhauling the water purifier pump, revamping the medical kits, organizing bathroom bags and rationing socks and underwear into ziploc bags (3 pair per person).
This is the day that requires a lot of tea… and sometimes a Tylenol or two.
This is the only day in our travel life that makes me groan before I’m even out of bed and makes me wonder if living in one place wouldn’t be easier (of course it would!)
This is also a day of excitement running high! We know we’re “almost there,” off on another adventure. This time, a cross-country journey with the kids’ best friends.
This is also a day of freedom, as we purge the excess fat and return to our “lean fighting weight” to hit the road.
This is also a day of “remember when…” as the kids start back through their mental log of other pack days:
- Leaving for Europe
- Packing for Ferries
- Leaving Africa
- Leaving France
- Leaving for Mexico
- Leaving for Guatemala
- Leaving to come “home”
- We do a lot of “leaving,” it seems.
But at the other end of “Leaving” is “Arriving”
- Arriving in London
- Arriving in Amsterdam
- Arriving in Marseille
- Arriving in Tunisia
- Arriving in Boston to a baggage claim packed with our screaming friends
- Arriving on Wolfe Island
- Arriving “home” to the Lago
- Arriving in the Mid-West
- And now, arriving time after time, all the way across the country.
Truth be told, I hate this day.
It’s long, messy, dirty, sweaty, often fraught with opportunities to develop our positive attitudes, and it’s just not fun.
But the other truth to be told, is that I love this day.
With all of the promise it holds, all of the memories we return to, at the end of the day, we rediscover the solid faith in our reasons for choosing full time family adventure travel in the first place and finding our “real life” in the process.
Even on Packing Day… I wouldn’t change a thing…
except perhaps it beginning with Nerf sword fighting!