Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Does travel need to be that traumatic?

Earlier today, I helped a friend do the last of his packing before he was to leave for a 20-day trip out of the country. Since he was going to see relatives in two countries, I was not surprised at what he was packing. (Filipinos, when travelling, have a tendency to pack, in addition to necessities like clothes and toiletries, gifts we call pasalubong for relatives, and those things can range from toys for the kids to candies for the women... and my dad used to get tons of cartons of cigarettes for his brothers who were moderate to heavy smokers.) He had even asked me to do some last-minute shopping for him.

When we finally loaded his suitcase into the car, I had the feeling his suitcase would be grossly overweight. It took two of us to load it into his car.

When we got to the airport, I had dropped him off at the departures area while I went off to park the car. I joined him in the ticketing area and noticed he had his bags opened, and he was taking things out of the very heavy bag and trying to stuff it into the second bag. I couldn't help but smirk. Apparently, no matter if you're travelling domestic or international, you still have the same weight limit for bags: 50 lbs / 23 kg. He had significantly exceeded that. In the end, he chose to pay extra to have up to 70 lbs / 32 kg in the bag. Whatever he couldn't fit in, I ended up taking with me back to his place.

I wonder if his stress could have been reduced had he actually planned what he was going to pack and how in advance. I was shocked when he rang me up last night and said he hadn't started packing yet. How can you not be all packed up and ready to go less than 12 hours before you're scheduled to step on that plane to spend a little over 3 weeks abroad?

The last time we did this, it was more or less the same process. He really has a tendency to overpack. He ended up leaving me with an entire box of chocolate... which, I'll admit, I still have floating around someplace.

I'll be travelling across the country myself in less than a week. I know I definitely will start packing way earlier than he did. I'll have to. Once I start playing the Christmas Eve services, I should have been packed and ready to go. I know I won't have any time (or energy) to pack after I finish all services. And yes, I'm travelling on Christmas day. At least I'll be home in time for Christmas dinner with the family.

No comments: