We had two full-sized backpacks, plus one smaller daypack, but when packing for a year that space fills quickly. Too quickly. We had big plans: dog-sledding in the Arctic, safari in Tanzania, clubbing in Europe, and trekking in Nepal and New Zealand for starters. Our two and a half backpacks paled in comparison to the mountain of gear piled beside them.
It was 3am and crucial last-minute decisions were meted out. Umbrella? No. Frisbee? Yes. Cleats? No. Shaving cream? No.
Mandy’s final cuts were more agonizing. Dresses? Only one. High heels? No way. Face cream? Forget it. The pile of rejected items grew at her feet until the symbolic moment when we tightened the drawcords and snapped the lids of our packs closed on 60 liters of essential items. Our task completed, we laid down for one last night of sleep in our own bed. Tomorrow, the adventure begins.