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Lessons in Packing: Part Deux (Condé Nast Traveller)

It wasn’t too long after I had sprogged our second child that we decided to expose the older one to the charms of Italy. Because frescoes and collapsing buildings is what every infant’s dreams are made of. (Here I would concur with Einstein that human stupidity and the universe are both infinite.) In my defence, however, I was in a hurry to introduce my children to the sublime world of art and architecture.

I was travelling after a long spell, what with being housebound by nursing duties towards the baby. The thought of packing for a four-week-long vacation for a toddler and a six-year-old was sending shivers down my spine. And so I procrastinated packing till a few hours before our flight, just as somebody in denial of death scripts their will minutes before being ordained to die.

You may think that this metaphor is inappropriate and packing is no life or death matter. But to me, not finding the right clothes when I dig into my luggage on a holiday is a near-death-experience (NDE). Hence, I preempt such NDEs by packing all options. When in doubt, don’t make a choice—throw it all in. This is the dictum I have lived and travelled. Until the husband crossed forty, that precarious age where slip discs from carrying wife’s luggage are the fate of a certain kind of man.

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