Packing Paranoia: Do I Have Everything I Might Not Need?

It’s late and I can’t sleep thanks to a thick concoction of nerves, excitement and anticipation for the unknown. As I write this, I’ve got exactly one day, 13 hours and 45 minutes (or 135,900 seconds) until I board the plane and leave behind my daily routines for three weeks.

Organizing and planning are my things. Maybe its my type-A personality, maybe its undiagnosed OCD, but I’m that person in the store who tweaks products so the labels are even. I always have notes on my phone and lists in my purse; if it’s not on a list, it doesn’t happen.

For this trip, I’ve gone through my list—about 8,000 times—and packed everything on it. Check, check, done.

Now I’m laying in bed and my mind is racing faster than the fastest train in the World. I’m staring into the darkness having a conversation with myself that goes something like this:

Did I pack enough conditioner…because if I get over there and run out of conditioner, I won’t be able to get a comb through my hair! Calm down, they sell conditioner in Thailand. Your conditioner was probably made in Thailand.

What about that email from Outpost when they mentioned not to wear cotton shirts? Some of my shirts don’t have a label… how do I know if they’re made of cotton? AHHHH. Don’t be silly, you packed the right type of shirts… too many of them, in fact.

Should I pack my Chaco sandals in my carry-on? What if the airport loses my checked bag—my precious new hiking sandals will be lost forever!”

What about toothpaste? I have one for sensitive teeth and one for whitening so I should bring both. Two tubes of toothpaste for three weeks?! How many sets of teeth am I brushing? This is ridiculous! Why am I still awake? Go to sleep.

I can’t help myself any longer. I throw on the light and run to the spare bedroom where everything is perfectly packed in my beautiful teal Osprey backpack and tear it all open.

I’ve been packing for the last month, and now I forget what I packed. I need a visual! Are these shirts going to wick away sweat? What about these socks? Will they work for our jungle hikes?

It’s one in the morning and I’m repacking.

After an hour of rummaging through a multitude of Osprey pouches, I’ve realized that everything was fine before I tore it apart. I didn’t add or subtract any items. I head back to bed and turn on the Food Network (it’s my happy place) and they’re showing a documentary on noodles. How fitting! I love noodles!

As I finally drift off to sleep, one final thought pops into my head: What am I going to eat for my last meal in Canada? Poutine? Maple syrup? A maple donut from Tim Hortons!? That’s pretty Canadian…

It’s going to be a long night. Wine, anyone?

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