Be prepared for some long-winded, soul-searching posts to come in the near future, as some big (exciting!) changes are happening in my life. In the meantime, it’s nearly 1 a.m. and I finally made myself do something “productive” because I’ve been laying in bed for the past hour. What’s crossing my mind? Lots and lots of random things.
One that is sticking out is one of my biggest traveling vices. Overpacking.
There have been many instances when this has gotten me into trouble or been a burden, such as tears at Heathrow after finding out that the cost for my extra checked bag will be $200, good natured chiding from my friend’s parents in Mexico over my excess baggage and more. But, the cake has to be the overpacking for my trip to Korea.
In a future post I will document my interesting trip to Korea in winter of 2009. But for now, the basics are that I travelled to Korea to teach at a winter English camp. I was supposed to be there for 6 weeks, 4.5 teaching and 1.5 to exploring Seoul, but it actually ended up being only 5 weeks. And this is what I brought…
You should have seen the crazy looks I got! From the camp recruiter who kindly met me at the airport to the people on the train, to the camp director who had to make two trips from the station to the school because I had so much stuff. I was very fortunate to have definitively learned this lesson in Korea, where the people are generally very friendly. On the train, both to and from the town where I was teaching, bystanders helped me heave my bags off before the train moved on to the next station, and at the hotel/hostel where I stayed in Seoul, the owner gave me a room on the first floor — a double — for the price of a single so that I wouldn’t have to venture upstairs.
Things certainly could have gone worse, but the inconvenience, and moreover the worry associated with the bags (I seriously considered spending a lot of won to send one of the bags and its contents back to the U.S.) has really taught me a lesson. For my trips since I’ve been very selective and continue to cut down on the unnecessary.