It’s funny how the future actually happens.
Take Christmas, for instance. You plan ahead, shop, decorate the house for a day that seems far into the future when it’s still early in December and bam—next thing you know, the presents are open and you are picking up wrapping paper off the floor. The event happened, like it does every year, and it’s time to move on to something else. New Year. Oh yeah, 2017 is going to happen. That year seemed like way into the future, a random number in a sci-Fi novel, but now it will be reality in just a few days.
Crazy shower thoughts of mine…
And now, for us, another future is about to happen. The date on the plane tickets we booked a little while ago is tomorrow.
Christmas presents were unwrapped and now we are packing—packing for travelling. My favourite kind of packing, ever.
Feng and I both have cryptic handwritten to-do lists on our desks. “Mark’s shoes.” “Filter for lenses.” “Pack Mark.” “Take travel guides.” “Wash towels.” The house is a mess and the backpacks were hauled from the basement to our rooms.
It’s the same meticulous and methodological process every time.
We are used to packing and we each have a different method. I go by my master list that I customize for the destination and the duration of the trip. Then I fill my backpack with clothing, toiletries and dozens of useful miscellaneous items like laundry detergent, pens, a lock, toilet paper (don’t laugh—some places don’t have it…) etc.
And of course, I have to pack Mark’s stuff. I carry his clothes, Feng carry the rest (sleepwear, soap, etc.). At least, we don’t need bottles and milk anymore. Makes the bag much lighter and travelling less stressful.
“Mommy? Where is my red bag? Do you have it? I need it!”
Yes, Mark. I have your toddler-size backpack in which we can’t fit anything. We’ll take it. Promise. I’ll just make sure you aren’t smuggling LEGO, though.
We know where we land (hopefully so does the pilot) and we know where we will eventually take off to come back to Canada. We have no plan for what will happen in between. Where, how, when are questions without answers for now. It’s just more fun this way.
Like before each trip, I try to analyze the reasons of my addiction to travelling. Sure, there is the luxury of a “holiday” component—life is easier when you don’t have to deal with daily chores and when you sleep in a clean bed someone else made for you. But then, if we wanted a relaxing time, we would go on a cruise or book a couple of weeks in an all-inclusive resort like most people do. Besides, I usually work on the road and backpacking is a lot of work since we make decisions as we go. We have to be self-sufficient and frankly, most of the time, we take the less beaten path, the bumpy, more rewarding one.
No, it goes beyond “taking a holiday.” I’m chasing freedom. I’m looking for the unexpected. After, most of the best things in my life—Feng, Mark, my career path—happened by chance and because I took a chance. I can deal with a structured routine and play by the rules when we are home because my main goals are mundane—work and save money, make sure daily needs are met, fit into the culture, meet expectations. But after a while, I feel stifled. I need to escape.
I’m ready to take yet another chance. Come on, future, try me!