Life in Boxes
Sparx once said to me an ideal present for him would come in a box – an inference to a toolbox or tech gadget rather than silly little watchamacalits that have irregular or soft edges. This is day four of watching over the packers put all our belongings into boxes. As I sit on one of these boxes ticking off the numbers leaving our apartment to go into a long term storage, I’m having a giggle to myself that he can jolly well unpack all his perfectly wrapped presents in boxes that so far number 325.
It was somewhere in the middle of Wrangell St. Elias, Alaska, on our 10th anniversary treat, that we realised we both wanted the same thing and that it was time we did it. Perhaps it was being away for the first time from three constantly chattering monkeys, endless conference calls, the humdrum of daily life. Perhaps it was sitting on the beach with thousands of seals at Icy Bay and watching glaciers the size of cars crash into the waters beside us over lunch. Or flying over the most incredible landscapes in a tiny Super Cub single propeller plane. We saw beauty in new ways and experienced nature truly untouched. We were sold. Now what?
We have three kids and a wonderful life in Mexico City. Between Sparx and I, we have been away from our families in Sydney and Singapore for over 20 and four years respectively. Our youngest imp was born in Chile and we love living in Mexico. We decided that our next chapter will be to take a year’s sabbatical from work, and educate our kids while we travel around the world. At the end of the year, we will end up in either Sparx or my hometown. We will take the long way home. We are no strangers to change, but what we were proposing to do seemed almost absurd. Still, carpe diem, right? So on with it.
It is this attitude that got me stuck with 3 Bags Full. Sparx, being the strongest, gets saddled with the lion’s share of luggage handling. You will not believe the whinging that accompanies this task. One of the first arguments we had over our Big Trip (and there are plenty and counting) was the number of bags we would take. I started with the number six. I thought it was a great number – a bag for each and a spare. We are taking a year off after all. These bags will contain everything we need! What of the kids’ toys, and books and endless knickknacks that the girls seem to accumulate? Ash never goes anywhere without his backpack filled to the brim with his current obsession. Educating these kids will have to fit in somewhere along the way and that will surely take up half a bag?
I lost that fight and just got on with it. We seized the day and decided we will do it with 3 bags full.
Lesson learned: We can’t. We need 4. But the name stuck.