Packing, Expectations for South Africa

PackingBy Anna Concannon — “Packing is an existential process.”

These are the wise words of my dad, who is a packing expert. He’s a collector of travel sized shampoo, the master of laundry, and the wearer of two pairs of shoes.

For me, on the other hand, packing for a three-week trip is not easy. This is because I’d like to take lots of clothes, shoes, books, large bottles of body wash, and small things I probably won’t even need while I am in South Africa.

Getting ready for this trip reminds me of packing and moving into my first college dorm. In both situations, basically everything I own is piled high in my room, ready to be packed up to go. But, I can’t take everything in my suitcase. In the end, only the important items can go with me.

This “existential process” requires a lot of reflection and evaluation of the necessary things I will need while I study abroad. This is difficult because I’m not exactly sure what I’ll need yet.

As I write this, I am getting ready to go. However, by the time my readers see this post, I’ll be in Cape Town. I can’t say what I’ll be doing at that time. I don’t fully know what to expect! Of course, I know what the weather is going to be like, where I’ll be staying, what I’ll be studying, and that I’ll be doing service of some kind. However, I don’t know what living there will actually be like until I get there.

Going across the world is thrilling. At the same time, I have some fears. I cannot say whether bad things will happen or if everything will go perfectly. I can’t predict that, but I also can’t let my fears get in the way of having an amazing time. When my trip begins, I’ll be cautious while also going into everything with high expectations.

Someone gave me the advice of letting every great experience wash over me without thinking too much about how it will impact my life.  Just let it happen. While in the moment, I’ll do that; but, reflection is what this blog is for.

1 Response to “Packing, Expectations for South Africa”

  1. 1 Peggy Concannon June 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I carried that existentially packed suitcase….woof!
    Let your Cape Town adventure begin! With 49 pounds of stuff!


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