A few months ago while looking for some old correspondence in my Gmail account, I came across some emails that lead me to my old blog. I had completely forgotten that I had started one before and it had gotten misplaced in my head somewhere in the last 3 continents.

Before moving to Vitoria, Brazil, I was a mental wreck. I had a huge loft to myself filled with clothing (I was a girly girl back then, the Imelda Marcos kind of absurdity) and hundreds of books – not to mention art supplies, darkroom photography supplies, and archives.

In the midst of the disaster, somewhere between crying and calling Goodwill (or was it Salvation Army?), I sat down and found humor in my misery …

The 5 Stages of Packing

(First published February 28th, 2006)

Whilst packing for what seems like the 45th time in the year, I had come to realise that packing follows the same 5 stages as grief. I will emphasize:


– Denial that the baggage limitations have changed
– Denial that suitcases are really made just those sizes


– One starts to bargain one item for another (”this top would be more practical since it goes with more pants than this top …”)
– ”But, but, I could really, really use 5 pairs of flip flops while I’m there”, ”We could be trapped in a monsoon!!!”


– One starts to be angry with themselves for not being able to live without such unnecessary items
– One starts to be angry with inanimate objects who just don’t seem to shrink or fold as much as one would like to
– One becomes angry with the airlines for putting such ridiculously small baggage limits
– One starts to stop, push, punch and use other forms of violence in order to make more space in the luggage


– One feels pain for having to leave so many things behind
– One feels a sense of deep loss for said objects
– One becomes anguished with this loss


– One accepts that need is more important than want and has to choose items based on this fact
– One bids farewell to excess baggage (and in this case, literally)
– One consoles oneself that ”hey, if I miss something, at least I will have an excuse to shop”

❤ Help keep my dream of travelling and photographing the world alive ❤