I’m less than a day away from leaving the U.S. and I find myself in a bit of an odd position. I’m writing this laying on the hardwood floor of a friend’s apartment in northern Jersey. Now you might be thinking to yourself “Why’s he laying on a wooden floor? That can’t be comfortable.” And you know, you’re right. It really isn’t. I’m down here, you see, to take inventory of the hoarding extravaganza that is my suitcase.
Months ago, when Italy shifted from a “maybe” to a “definitely”, I began to fantasize about the nomadic lifestyle I’d live while abroad. I’d trek across the globe armed with nothing but a simple rucksack and a hunger for worldly adventure. I’d befriend chic gypsies and schmooze my way into state-sponsored soirees with the consulate. I’d throw myself to the wind and like a leaf I’d dance and glide my way across Europe with whimsy and grace. In short, I was going to be amazing.
Thing is though? All of that amazingness is pretty damn difficult to pull off when you’re lugging 100+ pounds of crap on your back.
The romantic ideas I had have about living in Florence for the next few months didn’t take into account the simple truth that I’m a borderline hoarder. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not the type to keep mismatched buttons in hopes of one day decoupaging myself a quirky lampshade. I am, however, the type to pack five different types of corduroy pants of various thicknesses for fear of temperature fluctuations as fall turns into winter.
The pants alone didn’t seem too bad—you might have even called me sensible for my foresight. The problem made itself clear once I got to the three pairs of jeans, three pairs of shorts, 20 t-shirts, undershirts, and pairs of socks. I’d taken to cramming crumpled slacks and shoes into my already over-large carry-on bag—an extra large Chrome messenger pack that had been meant to hold my laptop, camera, and a few books.
My dreams of coming across a dusty-yet-trusty Vespa to zoom around the countryside with all my possessions in tow evaporated as I stared at the mountain that I’d foolishly thought I could bring with me. Even if I’d wanted to put myself through the hell of dragging damn near every piece of clothing and technology I own across a continent to satisfy my traveller’s neuroses, baggage fees are no joke.
So now, here I lay, on this hardwood floor surrounded by the aftermath of my great luggage purge. A lot of this stuff is staying in Jersey, and I think it’s going to be better that way Yeah, I might get a little cold without the corduroys. I’m gonna wear holes-a-plenty into my one Sunnydale High t-shirt. But what’s an adventure without a little dirt, wear, and tear?