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10 Weird Moments Hours Before a Backpacking Trip

1. Trying on shorts while packing to see if they still fit—a strange exercise after weeks of wearing winter clothes. Also, it’s -20⁰C outside and I’m standing in front of the small electric heater because as usual, I’m cold. I’m pretty sure the new pair of sandals will be great… once I take my socks off, eventually.

2. Realizing your entire life still fits into a 12-kilo backpack. Congratulating yourself on skipping Black Friday shopping for the fourteenth year in a row and using flyers as proofreading material when waiting for the water to boil or the microwave to ping.

3. Running away without telling anyone both because you’re superstitious and because you’re never quite sure what people think of your lifestyle. Wanderlust is hard to explain—everybody loves holidays, few people enjoy travelling for travel’s sake.

4. Hoping the flight(s) won’t be delayed or cancelled because you’ve just used all perishable foods, cleaned the house and put everything away.

5. Speaking in code—“Want a roll of toilet paper?” “Yeah. Where did you put the LPs?” “Are you taking your clothes line?” “I need one more short sleeves for Mark.”

6. Willingly leaving a familiar environment and a cozy home and throwing yourself into the unknown. We booked the first three nights. “Where do we go after?” No idea. For real.

7. Feeling like a drug lord while organizing several envelopes of cash in three of four different currencies.

8. Wondering if you’re still able to speak the language(s) you will need to speak. Attempting to do so in your head and losing English skills in the process—plus the internal monologue doesn’t sound grammatically correct.

9. Living in fear of forgetting something important, like Mark or Feng. Or your backpack. Making lists of lists to alleviate said fear instead of relying on common sense.

10. Trying to picture where you will be, what you will be doing and how you will feel a few hours from now. Hopefully not as stressed out. Probably not as cold either… yet it’s impossible to visualize because, well, see point #6.

Are we careless hedonists or masochists?

I can’t even tell.

Both, possibly.

Ottawa, December 2019
Ottawa, December 2019
Ottawa, December 2019
Ottawa, December 2019

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