Monday, March 30, 2009

Packing myself into an early grave: Why travelling light is not an option

Apologies for the radio silence over the weekend: I think that is the longest that I've ever gone without blogging. Even my mother in England emailed to complain that there were no updates on here. The hiatus was caused by my frantically running all the errands and sorting out the admin I've been avoiding for months. Nothing like a deadline combined with leaving the state for six weeks to prod me into action.

Packing up all my possessions is taking forever: having constructed one large parcel from brown paper, salvaged cardboard & crossed fingers, filled it with my heaviest shoes, books & toiletries, & lugged it down from the fifth floor (no lift), and along the street for five blocks, I discovered that the sodding post office was closed.

This whole business was engendered by my lack of a second set of arms. Two suitcases means an impossible juggling act for a lone traveller who's also wielding a carry on and a handbag (and a coat & laptop etc etc). In addition, I discovered that Virgin America would charge me a larcenous $25 for a second hold bag.

The clever solution is care of the USPS: mailing 70lbs (20lbs more than the airline case limit) of my junk Priority Mail to San Francisco costs a grand total of $35. Not only is it a complete bargain, it means I can take the subway to the airport, there's no chance of my precious possessions getting lost in transit by the airline and, best of all, none of the inevitable tripping over my cases en route.

As it happens, it's a good thing the PO was shut, as my suitcase is overweight and I realised I hadn't packed anything suitable for horse riding or hiking. (As usual, my clothing thoughts were turned more towards cocktails, restaurants & a little light sightseeing of the art gallery variety.)

So, now that I've added sweatshirts and wicking socks and leggings and moleskin to the towering pile in my bedroom, I've had to completely give up on travelling light for this trip. It's impossible when I need to pack everything from a sleeping bag & hiking boots to YSL heels & cocktail dresses. I'm not solvent enough just to buy what I need out there and anyway it seems like an arrant waste of money when I already have everything I need here in New York.

I just hope it all fits in the rental car boot.