Always it seems as if I lose a little bit of myself when I am packing for a trip. It’s not that I go insane, it’s that I get quietly methodical. Like a battle surgeon preparing for an operation, I am calm, collected and focused.
I haven’t traveled extensively without picking up a few tricks. I lay out the tools of my trade. Socks cushion my cameras, my underwear is rolled up and my t-shirts slide in nicely alongside my Sunday bests. I wear my Timberlands – even if it makes security difficult – because they take up too much space to pack.
I always roll everything, because it reduces wrinkles. I always make sure to have the right items in my day bag so I am not caught without lip balm on the plane. I bring a reusable water bottle with me so I can avoid evil bottled water. Sunglasses on my head, magazines in my hand, and business cards in my pocket. Never quite in the same spot, but everything in its place.
I take comfort in the ritual, understanding that a journey is ahead of me; an unknown journey, with unexpected turns, fortuitous encounters and new friends. I savor the time it takes for me to get ready to go, because it makes the journey sweeter. More than just a chore, packing marks the shift in perspective from home to world.
This is the lust of travel, and packing is the foreplay. What’s your favorite travel ritual? Mail it to us at email@example.com .