The “what ifs” bullied their way into my carry on bag expanding it to a steamer trunk that needed checking and a porter. In my past journeys, these “what ifs” won the packing battle.
Medical What Ifs:
What if my glasses break?
(I bought a glass repair kit.)
What if I lose my glasses?
(I packed two extra pairs.)
What if I lose my sunglasses?
(I packed two extra pairs)
What if I get sick?
(I packed zinc lozenges, Nyquil, and antibiotics.)
What if I have a wound?
(I packed various sized bandages, Neosporin, and gauze pads.)
My glasses did break in Dublin. I did lose my sunglasses in Seville. I did catch a cold in Cairo. I did cut myself in the Galapagos.
The optometrist replaced the screw in my glasses in Ireland. I purchased sunglasses in Spain. The pharmacist prescribed antibiotics in Egypt. The drugstore in Ecuador carried bandages.
I never lost my glasses although I could have done so twice.
I learned that globally humans lose things and need medical attention. Unless I’m a lone backpacker in Antarctica, locating a drug store and/or a physician solved the problems. I DON’T need to pack a Walgreens along with the Walk-In Clinic.
Clothing What Ifs:
What if it’s hotter than expected?
(I packed extra shorts.)
What if it’s colder than expected?
(I packed extra sweaters.)
What if it’s dressier than expected?
(I packed two dresses.)
What if it’s rainier than expected?
(I packed rain gear.)
What if I can’t do the laundry when I expected?
(I packed a travel clothesline.)
It wasn’t hotter or colder or dressier or rainier than expected. Shorts and sweaters and dresses and rain gear weighed me down.
I learned that all I needed was a scarf or two. Scarves dressed up my casual khakis and kept me warm under my light jacket and dried the rain soaked seat before I sat down.
I did buy a travel clothesline for emergency underwear washing.
I can hear the What Ifs whispering in my ear as I pack for my snorkeling and hiking and sailing Greece vacation:
What if you need a wet suit and the tour doesn’t have your size?
What if the trail is steep and you need hiking poles?
What if you need an extra swimsuit when you’re sailing?
Maybe I should haul out the steamer trunk.