Katherine Hayton | Packing
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22 Aug / Packing

After long hours of culling, arranging, and rearranging, I’ve managed to pack up most of the things that I’ll need for my forthcoming holiday.

Due to the slight differences in temperatures between the place that we’re leaving (-1C low / 12C high) and the place we’re traveling to (19C low / 27C high) at least most of the clothes we’re packing aren’t in any danger of being in use at the time.

First attempts to fasten my suitcase proved fruitless, and then I rediscovered the zip on the side that unzipped the lid so that the whole case was bigger and could fit more in.

I do have a small worry that I’ve packed more cardigans than I possibly need in a humid climate where the temperature struggles to fall below 20C at night, but part of the holiday fun is taking a whole lot of stuff that you don’t need.

Every year I commit to only taking the bare minimum of clothing that I can use, and then promptly forget this each time it comes time to pack because I can’t remember what it’s actually like on holiday.

It’s like the opposite of pain. Whenever I burn myself on the stove and flail around cursing until I think to stick my charred limb under the permanent source of pain relief in tap form in the kitchen and bathroom, it always feels to me like the pain is the worst it’s even been. I then think, I’ll remember how painful it is so next time I’ll be more careful.

And then the next time my natural clumsiness prevails, I realise that the memory of pain doesn’t encompass any of its true elements and it’s the worst it’s ever been again.

When I’m living my normal life in a temperate country I forget that west of us is a country that’s a living desert and which is hot to the point you don’t need heat pumps on 24/7 so the water doesn’t freeze in your toilet overnight.

I forget how it really feels to have heat on your body and therefore not require the many thicknesses of clothing that I currently am attired in.

I’m fairly certain that about five minutes after I step off the plane and walk across the tarmac – wavering in the heat – I’ll remember exactly. Until then, I’m overpacking.

By Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog

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