The Art of Packing is (very) Hard to Master

When I was a kid, we didn't travel much. Trips to New Jersey to see my grandparents once or twice a year or visits to Houston or Galveston a few times was the extent. What seemed like weeks before a trip would kick off, my mother would start packing. As a family of advanced vitamin takers, I can remember Dixie cups of vitamin pills piled all across the dining room table. And the food planning- coming from a family with lots and lots of food allergies, snacks and meals would have to be thought out also- sometimes weeks in advance. These were the days before Amazon Prime could deliver you things two days later- or amazing Shipt or Instacart shoppers could bring you all the things you forgot to plan for within a few hours. I didn't care much about travel- but also didn’t get what the big deal was about packing back then. Just throw some stuff in a bag? Eat whatever you want, you'll be fine! And vitamins- who needs them? My sibling and I would “forget” to take the vitamins, leave them in our backpacks or bedrooms- the world didn't end. (Sorry, mom!)

Now- packing an adult who travels cross country on trains and buses, who takes vitamin pills, who has food sensitivities and has to plan accordingly- I pretty much cursed myself by laughing off my parents packing woes. Planning for my current trip (yep writing this from the Amtrak bound for LA) began two weeks ago with an intense 70 item plus packing list, an long vitamin bag making session, trips to purchase gluten/dairy/egg free snacks in case things don’t work out on the train, and general over packing of all the things I could possibly ever need- well because- that just what I do. Always.

You never know when you might need a different outfit. Or a pack of cards. Or a sketch pad. Or all the vitamin bottles that match up with your pre-packed pills (trust me on this one) or several sets of headphones because lord help me if I lose them and have 30 hours left on this train (As I type this several rows of patrons seem to have forgotten their headphones but somehow don't appear to be bothered.)

My husband went on a work trip last week. It took him about ten minutes to pack. He threw toiletries and workout clothes in a bag, grabbed a few suits from his closet and was off.

I told him a blog about how I packed would be the first one of my Vegas bound series. He shook his head, simple packer that he is, and sighed. I told my mother. She commiserated.

Me and all my things are here, hopefully ready for anything. And the train rolls on.

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