Friday, 2 August 2013


When I was in my 20's my best friend decided she was going travelling. I had just bought a house but the thought of her going without me sent me into panic mode. I was going with her come hell or high water.

The year leading up to going travelling was one of the best years of my life. Permanent partying with my other best friend. Squeezing in as much as possible before I went away. Buying my backpack and travel items, packing and re-packing, knowing that this was all I was going to have for a year was exciting.

I packed up my house and rented it out and went back to live with my Dad for a few weeks. ONe minute his lounge is full of items for my new home, the next it is full of things from the house I wanted to keep but had nowhere to store. It was very liberating clearing things out that was for sure and having very little to live with, no clutter. It was lovely.

Out in Oz it was fantastic, no one care what you wore, I couldn't buy anything as it would mean carrying it. I had 3 of everything, one to wear, one in the wash and one drying. That included socks, pants and tops etc. I would get in the shower with my undies on and wash them and then they would be hanging up to dry on the end of my bunk.
I was in control of everything in the backpack. I packed it with precision, everything had a place. I collected letter and cards along the way and I would ship these home in a box for safekeeping.

When I came home the ritual of washing undies in the shower continued for a while and Dad would comment on having undies hanging up in the shower. But I didn't have enough clothing to make a full load at that time!! Now I am overwhelmed by pants, socks, clothes etc. Its suffocating the amount of crap I have in my house. When I'm going through my hippie phase I get rid of things and sell or recycle them. I'll dress in things with holes in and bleach stains and not care. When I'm going through my 'posh bird' phase I'll buy loads of new clothes and wear makeup everyday and care what people think of me. If I'm left to my own devices I'm usually a hippie and start looking up communes to live in, it's when I spend time with people who have nice clothes and makeup that I come unstuck and start to think of myself as a tramp.

The same applies to my house, left on my own it's reasonably clean and tidy and I don't care what it looks like. It's when I visit my super clean OCD friends that I start to think about my house and go home and frantically clean things that haven't been touched for years e.g the oven! It makes me anxious and I get no pleasure out of it at all but I am easily influenced by people and their habits.

Back to the backpack. I have a strong urge recently to pack a backpack and travel to far flung places. I'm missing a cycle ride in Cuba this year so I want to go there via Ecuador where a friend has emigrated too. I'm reading a book in which a girl goes and lives on a commune in Spain for the summer, I want to do that too and take my daughter with me. I still have my trusty backpack and feel like it's a best friend I've neglected for years.

Sadly, I won't be going anywhere any time soon but I haven't had any daydreams for a long time so daydreaming about my backpack, me and my daughter going to far flung places for a few weeks is a refreshing change.