New Zealand – Packing, Hopes, and Fears

I’m not sure why but lately when I think about my upcoming trip to New Zealand, I’ve been feeling a sense of panic. It’s not the adrenaline buzz of excitement, but a tight sensation that starts in my shoulders and tingles into my arms that causes my mind to race about all the things I need to remember to bring or do prior. Or maybe it’s because the past week I haven’t been training for my half-marathon and lately, I need to run to shake off anxiety.

Gym course happened to have a run trail of Auckland and Wellington. How perfect.

Gym course happened to have a run trail of Auckland and Wellington. How perfect.

Oddly enough while I keep ruminating over the list of to-dos in a frenzy, I also keep avoiding completing them. The major thing that would help me feel less nervous, I am procrastinating. Packing. I just… don’t… wanna… *whine* But I know I need to, as the weather forecasted cold spring wetness and being unprepared will mean freezing.

Talking to friends they tell me things like “Gosh Jessica, what do you even need to plan? Just go. And if you forget something, buy all of it there!” This is the mode in most of my trips, but I’m not sure why this time it feels different. For Singapore and Hong Kong a couple years ago, I just packed up a bag with only flights booked. For Paris prior to that was the similar except we had an Airbnb. Back in 2007 I went to Finland/Germany for 4 weeks with nothing but a deck of Finnish translation cards and my American Winter clothing (which was no match for the elements) and work had booked me into staying at a seedy hotel (long story for another time).

In all cases I had friends/coworkers waiting on the other side. In this case it’s the same. So that shouldn’t be an issue.

Back in April I booked this trip at 4am on a restless night after seeing a deal on Facebook, I was tired of waiting to go on this adventure. I want to see the world while I still am able really enjoy it and visit a place I have desperately been wanting to go to. What I really needed, since I was feeling blue about things at the time, was something to look forward to.

New Zealand had been on my bucket list since 2001 when The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released. I remember combing over the extended cut edition and fantasizing about running across the landscapes with elven ears, while a helicopter filmed an aerial wide angle pan of the view. Yes guys, these are the types of things my fantasies are made of. Beautiful places and silly geeking-out ideas. Back in college, when I was geeking out so hard on LOTRs, Steve had given me a full sized cardboard cut out of Legolas. I adored this cardboard man, and would make my friends take photos with it whenever they visited my parents house, since obviously Rivendell is located in Fremont. Contemplated bringing Legolas (yes I still have him), to take along this journey and take snaps with him at all the locations I visited, but um, he’s a collectors item now, I can’t ruin that which I can ebay later.

I digress. Maybe that’s the fear, when you’ve had your hopes up for so long. What if those hopes don’t live up to the expectations? Maybe it’s just easier to go to places you’ve never fantasized about, because then there’s no chance of disappointment and everything is new and wonderful. So many maybes swirling around this morning.

“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

My reality is coming, and it’s coming in like a freight train.

This morning, I cleaned up the house as I don’t like coming home to a messy space. Tidied up the guest room, since I’ve had several guests recently. Moved furniture around to suit the space better, since I gave Ted my old dresser. Updated my travel map art with the gold stickers I ordered. Cleaned 2 of the 4 bathrooms. Oh toilet pumice stone, you are kind of the best. Then finally at 2pm, packing commences.

The other night, the girls came over to keep me company packing, whereby way more cackling occurred than actual packing. At the end of the night even when my pack was full, it seemed as if I hadn’t brought anything at all. Then repacking happened this morning. Laurie gifted me packing cubes for my birthday, along with Haribo Golden Bears. These are trip necessities in my book. They made stuffing my pack a breeze and saved me a trip to the store this morning.

Bring all the things

Bring all the things

For clothing this trip I was bringing:

  • Gregory Deva, Small – I didn’t want to wheel around a bag in case I needed to get off anywhere and walk around. Would prefer to have an actual backpacking backpack
  • 4 pairs of shoes – Hiking Ahnus, Nike Frees, Converse, Sanuk Flip Flops
  • 13 pairs of underwear
  • 5 bras
  • 10 pairs of woolen or athletic socks
  • 3 pairs of regular pants – REI convertible pants, Black & Blue AG Jeans
  • 5 pairs running of tights – I have recently become obsessed with running tights because of their compression in the calves feels so good, also they make my booty look fantastic.
  • 3 athletic tanks
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 rain shell
  • 1 light atheletic jacket
  • 1 Northface tri-climate snowboarding jacket
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 7 uniqlo long sleeve shirts
  • 1 yoga towel – I bought this for bikram years ago which I hated so much, but this towel is super absorbent and dries fast, perfect for staying in hostels.

For tech:

  • iPad mini
  • Nikon D7100, 2 battery packs
  • Macbook Air
  • iPhone
  • Olloclip for iPhone 6 – Jen got me this for my bday and I LOVE it
  • Anker 4 charge battery pack
  • NZ Power Converter
  • Portable power brick

For food *cough* candy:

  • Haribo
  • Justin’s organic dark chocolate peanut butter cups

I probably overpacked but oh whatevers. Ate as much of the food I had left in my fridge and threw out the perishables. Luckily N-yvo would be coming in to toss stuff, watch the house, and check the mail for me while I’m out.

Either way despite all this apprehension, I’m feeling the warm fuzzies from others. Had a great day celebrating with friends on Friday and tonight will be having dinner with the besties at the customary pre-travel XLB restaurant, before seeing me off to this adventure. One of my favorite things is being taken to and picked up by friends at the airport. Their love helps transition the beginning and ends of journeys, if that makes any sense at all. Because I love it so much, I return this favorite whenever I have the opportunity. Anyhoo…

Handwritten cards are the best. Along with gifting oneself a vacation.

Handwritten cards are the best. Along with gifting oneself a vacation.

Anxiety, fear, hope, adventure, pretty things… let come what may.

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