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  • purcellcathy

Packing, packing and more packing!

My fellow pilgrims and I leave in less than 2 weeks! I am nervous, anxious, excited and did I mention nervous?

I have been stressing about packing for this trip since the day I decided to embark on this crazy adventure. Do I just take a backpack? Do I “cheat” and use the luggage transfer service? What type of walking shoes should I bring? Should I pack snacks? Shampoo? It’s been a never ending whirlwind of thoughts running through my head. I’ve had to stop a few times and remind myself that I’m not going to a third world country and there will, in fact, be stores if I need anything.

What I didn’t count on when I started mentally packing a year ago was the OTHER packing I would be doing at the same time. For the past 5 months I have been living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle, staying in hotels and with friends and family. I have been in 5 places in 5 months, but I have spent the last 2 months staying in the in-law suite of a friend who is also going through a divorce. It has been a lifesaver and she will never truly know how much I appreciate it. I have made myself quite at home here, but today I am leaving for Richmond VA where I will spend a week and a half with a friend (a repeat stay!) before heading to Newark airport. So I have been slowly packing up my worldly belongings and putting them in storage, or in my backpack, or my Camino suitcase or my Richmond suitcase!

There’s a lot of strategy involved when you are leaving on a trip that expands seasons and when you will be homeless upon return. I have a suitcase that has my clothes for my time in Richmond (definitely summer) and for when I return in November (fall, but could still be warm or could be snowing 🤷‍♀️), Our trip includes the Camino plus 5 days in Paris so packing the “Camino” suitcase has also been complicated! The rest of my stuff I put in storage but ran out of room (there is plenty more room but being only 5’2” and with questionable upper body strength I could not make use of all the space) so I am leaving some items with my friend in Atlanta.

I’m pretty sure when I return I will forget where half of my stuff is. It’s also very likely that after this life changing trip, I won’t care!

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