Well, the time has arrived: today packing for Africa must actually happen. It’s officially the day before I am headed to Africa, which means all bets are off and it’s actually time to pack. Before this moment, my trip was a distant future activity and now, well, it’s basically here.
Packing for this trip has not been an easy feat. I have had to replace my beloved carry-on rolling bag with a backpack, but there were problems with that stage of the packing process.
Just last week, I realized that my backpack was too large, so I headed to REI the other day to replace it with something smaller. Not only is this my first time packing in a backpack, but I just went from a 75L to a 40L bag. This is a huge difference in size. Luckily, I am used to packing in a carry-on, but I panicked upon realizing that for this trip, I’d also need my sleeping bag. However, this bag has straps at the bottom, so I can strap my sleeping bag to the bottom and appear to be a true backpacker, not the flashpacker I usually describe myself as.
Now that I had that settled, another problem arose in realizing that it’s winter in Africa. Now this is something I knew, but I’m not sure I realized just how cold it can get. Thanks to Melissa at The Mellyboo Project, who had just done a similar route, and Ness at Dessert Addicts Anonymous, who did the exact tour I’m going on, I was able to get some tips on clothes to pack. Now, after yet another shopping trip, I finally feel prepared.
While this week has felt like an endless trip to the mall to pick up last minute items, I actually feel like I am getting there. I have no choice to be honest, so maybe that’s why. Most of the items I picked up, I should have had months ago, but what can I say, I’m a last minute kind of girl, and I work best under pressure.
All of my items lined up on my bed, waiting to make their way into my bag, now it’s just up to me to actually pack them, a task I usually dread. But, I am packing very light: few t-shirts, thermals, a hoodie, sweaters, capris, pants, shorts, rain jacket, hiking sneakers, TOMS, flip flops, a water bottle, a netbook, my camera, and toiletries – including biodegradable wipes and toilet paper, so this process shouldn’t take very long.
I am sure there are items that I’m missing, or ones that I won’t need or use, but I will find that out along my journey, and make due along the way. I’m trying my best to keep stress away and enjoy each and every moment, whether it be a challenge or an opportunity, because visiting Africa is something I’ve always dreamed of, and tomorrow that dream is actually coming true.