A dear friend of mine, who lives in a most idyllic village by the Rideau Canals in Ontario, married last weekend. I decided to make a mini-holiday of it – so went for a few days. No matter whether you are going away for a week or a weekend, there is always a lot to do – before you even leave town. It would be my first long trip driving alone in a car – on the dreaded 401. I took a mini-cooler which sat beside me in the car – filled with freshly cut oranges and my lunch, and a can of sparkling lemonade. I packed lightly but still allowed for all weather conditions – which all happened.
It was the most beautiful wedding; joyful, moving and romantic. On my last day, there was a mixture of torrential downpours and incredible humidity. I was climbing down a hill at Jones Falls during one of the downpours and decided to fully embrace getting wet as once the rain stopped I would be drenched from the humidity anyway. So it was a very care-free, fun-filled wet and soggy day. By 4.30 pm I was back in my car ready to drive back to Toronto. What a perfect weekend it had been.
As I surveyed everything I had brought – most of it looking very soggy and limp – I thought “hmmm, I won’t be getting in until late this evening. This is going to be a nightmare to unpack”. So what I decided to do was pack everything by where it needed to be when I got home. Everything that had to go in the laundry – in a bag. Clothes I had not worn and toiletries – in my suitcase. Food that could still be eaten on route was beside me in the car. Food that would be put away when I got home – in another container in the trunk. I put anything I did not need on the drive home in the trunk – because I did not want to be rooting around the car looking for anything in the dark. Everything was packed in what looked like a lot of bags but it was fantastic. Because when I got home it was so easy and quick to deal with everything. I didn’t have to do any sorting or rummaging.
It really is wonderful to get away but it’s when you come back that the mess happens. I see it quite often with friends and clients – it can take months sometimes to completely “put away” a vacation. And when you have had such a wonderful time away the last thing you want to do is sort through it all when you get home late, tired and very relaxed. So next time you go away, bring some extra bags in your luggage and do your sorting before you return.