Last night we went through our packing ritual. We have it down to an art at this point. It used to take us hours to collect, strategize and execute on getting all our stuff into two duffel bags. Now we know where every thing goes – the exact placement of every sock and diaper – to allow the zippers to seal.
Our first task is collecting all our stuff. Inevitably two thing go missing, my sunglasses and Taniya, Ava’s doll. We leave tomorrow morning for Greece and we still have to find either. Taniya usually makes a magical appearance just as we are about to lose hope, as if she’s protesting our departure and held out until the last minute before agreeing to join us. My sunglasses seem to have many lives.
We then begin stuffing the bags. First, let me tell you that these are magic bags (thank you The North Face). Every time I see our stuff gathered for packing I swear it’s not going to fit. There must be a secret compartment in these bags because they take all our clothes, an inflatable car seat, a year’s worth of sunscreen, insect repellant, contacts for two people and other toiletries, electronic paraphernalia, and oh so many shoes.
If you’re suspicious about the amount of stuff we carry, let me introduce you to our shoes (starting from behind Ava’s head and going clockwise). I only mention the brands when I am impressed by their resilience and quality. I’m also going to put a plug in here for Zappos because we bought and returned so many pairs of shoes from them before deciding this lot was worthy of around the world travel.
Diya’s flip flops (hidden behind Ava’s head) – Perfect for pool lounging
Sandeep Keens – For extreme heat when shoes are unbearable
Ava’s Crocs – Her everyday shoes only because she refuses to wear anything else.
Diya’s running shoes – Perhaps the largest waste of space.
Sandeep’s running shoes – He uses them a lot more than I do.
Kayan’s Crocs – The shoes he dubbed as “my two-way shoes”
Sandeep’s Sauconys – Sandeep’s everyday shoes
Sandeep’s blue canvas shoes – Serves the split personality of evening attire and dirt gear
Ava’s Keens – She’s slowly warming up to them because they are pink
Diya’s Pumas – My everyday shoes. Ok, I like red shoes too.
Diya’s gold sandals – I’ve worn these only a handful of times and keep thinking of leaving them behind but I love them.
Kayan’s Keens – The first time we put these on he cried for his two-way shoes. It’s a work in progress.
Packing is bitter-sweet. We know that one chapter of our journey is ending but also look forward to unpacking in our new home. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. It is such a liberating feeling to walk away (regardless of what shoes we are wearing) from a place with everything we need in two bags. Now where is that Taniya?