Travelling With Too Much Baggage

My name is Joy, and I am a dreadful overpacker. I think the scales at the airport, like credit cards, show a target not a limit.

I will take too many shoes, I will bring big bottles of shampoo instead of decanting it into those stupid travel bottles, I will take 5 "just in case" gadgets, and a spare. 

My bag is the big blue one, his was much smaller and he still found room to take my stuff that wouldn't fit. Whoops!

The worst thing? I don't mind. I have always done it and it doesn't really matter to me, my general rule of thumb is if I can't carry my bag myself then I cut stuff. If I can carry it, screw it.

There are things you wish I could leave behind, there are things I don't pack but I lug around with me anyway. I have depression, sometimes I struggle with anxiety, and I wish these were problems that went away at the airport but they don't. It's difficult enough when you're at home and can't face the prospect of opening the bedroom door to start the day, when you're supposed to on a once in a lifetime trip and find yourself wishing you weren't because you don't deserve it.

Depression lies, and the lies it tells live inside your head, they don't go away just because you take your head somewhere else. They don't go away just because you take up running or cycling or paragliding even though the endorphins do helps. They don't go away just because you go and see a doctor and collect a prescription for SSRIs that you can add to your over weight bag.

I don't know what cures depression, I don't know if I think it can be cured. I know that I have good days and bad, as well as days or weeks that are even worse. I wish fixing my mental health was as simple as booking a ticket to somewhere new, but it's not.

Adventure Shot
There are tricks I've picked up from travelling with depression that do help when I come home, if I'm busy, if I have a packed itinerary and know what I want to see or do then it's easier to get moving in the morning. I have to get out of bed because I want to make it to the Louvre before the queues get completely out of hand and I can't see the Venus de Milo for the selfie sticks. There are places at home that we think we know so well because we've walked past them a thousand times, when we go somewhere new we try to soak up every detail- do that at home, look up and all around and see the things you've only glanced at. 

Adventure Shot
Adventure is a state of mind, anyone who thinks they can't have an adventure just outside their own front door is doing it wrong (and should check out Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys). Yes, the sunsets I watched in Pammukale and the moon coming out over the Atlas mountains are burned into my memory, but I can see breath taking sunsets on my way home from work as well.

STILL an Adventure Shot.

If I can't carry it then I'll unpack something but we can't always do that. What we can do is share the load, right now I would love to be saving up for my next big adventure (I'm torn between setting my heart on Kyrgyzstan or doing some winter mountaineering up in Scotland) but instead I'm prioritising my metal health and seeing a private counsellor. It is helping, and in the mean time I'm enjoying what's on the doorstep, where there's no need to worry about baggage scales.

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