*WARNING! I swear a lot in this post, just so you know. *
As most of you will know I’m embarking upon a pretty big trip in the next few weeks. Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia etc etc. Sun, sand, sea and all that other stuff that looks awesome on a Pinterest board.
I get to leave behind my soul-crushing job and escape to far off lands. No more crying with frustration every other day. No more smiling through gritted teeth as I listen to the same ridiculous phrases -“OH, I can get that cheaper up the road”, fuck off up the road then please, “Oh, you’re a long way from home”, no I’m not actually it’s about 40 minutes on a plane, I AM NOT AMERICAN.
Maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally get a chance to breathe, or even better, to tell the next rude person I meet that it’s about time they stopped being a cunt. The dream.
Amazing, right? Yes, of course, but to be completely honest I haven’t really had a chance to get excited yet.
My life has been thrown into a whirlwind of chaos in preparation for the afore mentioned adventure.
Everybody talks about travel and how wonderful it all is, but people seem to skim over the fact that it is a MASSIVELY STRESSFUL undertaking to pack up your life. That is, unless you live at home with your parents, in which case you have it extremely easy. All you have to do is pack a bag. I am jealous.
Basically, packing up every bit of your life is overwhelming. Here are some of the crazy things I’ve been dealing with in the past couple of weeks.
A million questions
Where do I put all my stuff? How in the name of Jesus did I end up with this much stuff? Do I really have to throw all this out? Will a charity shop actually accept my worn out Primark jeans? Where are my pets going to live? How the fuck do I get rid of furniture? Why, oh why, did I ever unpack in the first place and start an actual life in a real apartment?! This all would have been much easier if I’d just lived out of a suitcase for my two years in the UK, or even just stayed living in my mother’s house forever!! Alas, I’ve let myself settle in and now I am paying the price.
Currently I’m sitting in my apartment, with an assortment of half-packed boxes strewn about the place, silently willing myself to get up and continue my packing. I’m not getting very far. Last week I did manage to rope my work colleague into helping me in exchange for a bottle of wine. Despite my original expectations we did actually get some work done. My mother and my sister were also so good as to lend a hand. Essentially I have managed to avoid doing much for myself. I highly recommend this method. Unfortunately, I now only have one week to finish packing up my life and no one left to help me.
I already live on energy drinks. In fact I’ve had to Google the lethal dose of caffeine twice in the past few weeks. I don’t know what to resort to in order to keep me focused on the task at hand. Ah if only I lived in Peru. A handful of coca leaves would have me working non-stop for the next 24hours at least. Basically I’ve just been wandering around my apartment slapping post-it notes on things and hoping that makes everything better. Quick tip, it doesn’t.
Once I realised that post-its were not magical spells that cast all relevant items into any box of my choosing I decided to move onto throwing stuff away. Throwing stuff away is bizarre. I keep heaping things into the bins, brimming with pride at my ability to sever my attachments to these material goods, only to turn back around and think “fuck, it looks the exact same”.No matter how much I throw out, there still seems to be more and more and more. My apartment is like a bottomless pit of crap. Remind me never to buy anything ever again. I mean, did I ever really NEED five different types of dreamcatcher? Probably not. My dreams are still absolutely mental anyway.
One thing I point blank refuse to throw away are books. I adore books. Ok, so they’re mostly teen fiction, or “young adult” novels as they call them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t speak to my soul! I don’t even want to give them to the charity shops. They are mine and I don’t want anyone else to have them. Childish, I know, but I love them so. No kindle for me. I prefer my books made from murdered trees and to smell like it, thank you very much. That’s another bulging box to add to the pile. Damn it.
At the moment I’ve got about nine bin bags full of old clothes. I really hope charity shops wash those clothes before they put them on display because God knows I’m not doing it. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I’d recommend inviting some of your friends over to see if they want anything, if they’re a similar size. It just means you might only have to carry eight bags to charity shop instead of nine.
I had to say goodbye to my rats. That was emotional. They have been whisked off to the animal haven that is my zoologist sister’s apartment. Devastated. The place feels a bit empty without them. I may or may not have shed a few tears. I’m atrocious at goodbyes (animal, human or place, I don’t discriminate). However, one must look on the bright side. No squeaking to wake me up at night, no smell of rat piss overpowering me until I have to open my windows, no purchasing a million pairs of curtains because they ate the last ones and the ones before that. Silver linings and all that.
Giving in my notice for leaving my apartment was easy enough. However, when I gave in my notice they sent me photos of the original state of the apartment from when I first moved in, TWO YEARS AGO. Basically the place has to be spotless before I leave in order for me to get my deposit back.
To be honest I had forgotten about getting the deposit back. I hadn’t included it in my travel fund money. However, it would be nice to get it back.
Only catch being, I am a disgusting mess, completely happy to live in a disgracefully unclean apartment. Seriously, today I had to throw out several items from my fridge due to the fact that they had become very fluffy. I didn’t even know pineapple rings could cultivate that much mould. This makes the whole cleaning process a lot more arduous.
I’m debating whether or not to hire a cleaner…. or ship my neatfreak aunty over from Dublin? Who am I kidding, my Aunty is definitely coming. I already asked my mother. Actually, it might just be easier to burn the whole place to the ground.
Another thing I need to do is set up NZ online banking. Ugh, I keep NOT doing this. Literally it is just a phone call away. I could even do it after work because of the time difference. But in the back of my mind I keep thinking they’ll tell me to get off phone, I’m not a Kiwi, I have a Canadian accent! They’ll see through my fragile kiwi roots …. or worse, tell me I owe hundreds of dollars in account fees that I haven’t paid in the past four years. THE FEAR IS CRIPPLING.
Then there’s packing the actual bag. Do I have everything? Do I have too much? I want to bring ALL the drugs. Do I need ALL the drugs?? How many adorable fluffy things can I have hanging off my bag without looking like a child after a trip to Disney land?? Is that material going to make me sweat? I HATE travel towels, but they are so LIGHT and compact, BUT THEY DON’T ACTUALLY DRY YOU. The struggle! How many bottles of sun cream do I really need? I know I’m pretty much transparent…. but I counted 6 bottles last time I looked at my bag. Completely ridiculous.
Waxing is another important thing that needs to be taken care of before I fly off. Bikinis do not lend themselves to having any body hair. Again, I’ve been putting this off because it’s expensive and I hate ringing people I don’t know…… oh and waxing is painful as fuck. The back of the legs, sweet Jesus. BUT it’s an ivestment. Oh and fuck you men, might I just add, because you don’t have to do this and I do, and that’s not fair. Also, now that beards are cool, you don’t even have to shave. Not fair at all.
Have I said goodbye to everyone? Will I see everyone before I go? Do I have time to see anyone before I go? How do I avoid seeing the people I secretly hate??
I recommend throwing one big party to see as many people in one night as possible. DO NOT DO DINNER WITH A BIG GROUP. Terrible idea. People can basically only talk to whoever is opposite or beside them, and the bill is an absolute nightmare.
I opted for a small dinner with work colleagues last night and tonight I’ve sent out a general invitation for drinks. If people don’t turn up and you don’t get to see them before you go, who cares, you made the effort, they didn’t. What really matters is seeing your family and close friends.
I’m going back to Dublin for a few days before my trip so that will be a whirlwind of goodbye drinks with all my favourite people. To be honest this part is most important to me as just recently a friend of mine went travelling in South America and was involved in a bus crash in Bolivia. He died. It was so completely shocking and tragic. I can’t imagine what his family are feeling. But I know it’s reminded me that I should spend as much time as I can with the people I love before I hit the road, because, well, you never know. I’ve been trying not to see this as a bad omen.
Lost & Found
The best part about packing is that you find stuff you had forgotten about. Barbie Frisbee anyone?
This is also the worst part about packing.
Holy mother of God, is that my ex’s t-shirt? It is. Balls. AWKWARD. This means I have a moral dilemma to face.
The way I see it I have two options; I could simply dispose of the evidence, OR I could return the items to their owner. Being the picture of maturity that I am, I’m leaning toward option number two. Now, HOW to return them? I could do a drive by and fling them out the window as I cruise past his house. However, I do not have a car and am a bit fuzzy on his exact address. I could return them to where he runs his martial arts class. Cowardly perhaps? Then there’s the final option of going to meet him face to face. How very grown up. I’m so conflicted.
Why, oh, why wasn’t I one of those crazy girls that burns all her ex’s crap after they break up?! That would have made life so much easier.
All of that aside, I am very excited to get all of this over and done with so I can fly off with the Gent.
Preparing for travel does make me want to pull my hair out, but it’s always worth it in the end.