I tried to pack strategically, planning out my outfits for the next two days and making sure they would be readily accessible if they ended up in my checked bags (which they did) and also trying to leave my toothbrush and other such items were also accessible. In theory, this was a simple idea. In reality, it was not. The packing process took almost three hours, thanks to my packing help (my family). Without them, it would have taken probably twice that. I was almost done with packing about half way in, when I looked around and decided that everything left would not fit in my carry-on bag, and that I simply had too much stuff. I didn’t think I had that much stuff, nor did I want to try to carry all that stuff on my own. So everything came back out of whatever bag it had been in, and it was pared down. Some clothes were left behind, some items were put aside to be brought or shipped later, and everything else fit inside two checked bags, a carry-on, and a personal item. Four bags is still a lot, but it didn’t feel as excessive to me so I went with it. One difficulty of having help packing is that I don’t remember where everything is, and I forgot how many things I actually use over the course of one day. I had to go back to my bag multiple times to look for face wash, pajamas, a hairbrush, toothpaste…you name it.
So I’ll hang out here in a hotel for a few more hours before I’m fully gone. It's the paradox of leaving - I’m sad to leave, but I’m so excited to go!