I am a drama packer

Backpack travelling

I have done two extended backpacking adventures – one for four months and one for almost six. On top of that I have undertaken various other trips – month-long adventures to Europe and Africa, two week sojourns round Australia and Asia, overnighters, weekends away, and everything in between.

So I should be a pro at packing, right?


I am a complete drama-packer.

What is a drama packer, you ask? Well, it’s someone who has a complete melt-down when packing, every time they go away.

If I have the option, I will over-pack every single time. If we’re taking the car I can fill that car up with all the useless stuff in the world I will never need. I am the classic wears one pair of pants and top for an entire week kind of girl. But somehow when I go away for the weekend suddenly I’ve packed 7 single tops and 6 pairs of shoes!

I remember when I first arrived in Austria and had very limited belongings. When we went away in that first year, I simply surveyed my sparse wardrobe, and took what stood out. But a few years down the line, my wardrobe has expanded, and so have my packing dramas.

Now, I love a good list – and I also tend to keep my packing lists. I have an entire folder full of packing lists. This is super helpful when I’m packing because I can just look back on a similar list, and know I haven’t forgotten anything. Christmas in Australia? I have a list. London for work? I have a list. European getaway? I have a list. Overnight for the Christmas party? I even have a list for that. You would think that this makes things easier, and it does, but it doesn’t stop the drama packer in me coming out!

Drama packer
Who needs all this stuff?

A few years back my colleagues and I headed to Croatia for a girls weekend away… I took a medium sized suitcase (for two nights, people, what is wrong with me??) and I stuffed it full of all kinds of random clothes and shoes. And when I arrived, I opened my case to change into something light for the beautiful sunny weather, and realized I had not bought one skirt or pair of shorts that wasn’t for exercising. I literally (except for the evenings), wore exercise gear the whole weekend because naturally I had plenty of that!

Now, I know all the rules about packing – I had no problem travelling with my limited belongings on my extended vacations – I just, for whatever reason, refuse to adhere to them. If I have more space… and I don’t have to carry my bag, why not throw in two bottles of wine… because you never know!

The amount of time I spend packing is also ridiculous. I have worked out that allocating a packing time of half an hour, and allocating half a day, does nothing to the quality of the packing, it just means more time for painful deliberations. So these days I have a system. I write my list out a week or two before (so I can purchase anything that might be needed), and then I allocate a set hour to pack it all the day before. This works ok, but I still retain the tendency to overpack if I can, and to dramatize the entire event!

I’m heading back to Croatia in a few weeks, and I’d like to say things will be different, but let’s be honest, they probably won’t… ah well, what can you do?

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