There is something to be said for being able to consistently being able to pack for a trip. Trips are long, anywhere from four to six weeks. Which is a long time to be away from all the creature comforts that you may have at home. But when you pack you also can’t bring everything with you, it would just be too much of an inconvenience, and there simply isn’t enough room on board ship for it.
At the moment I’ve been able to whittle all my essentials down to a duffle bag and a backpack. I’m sure I could make it less, but then I wouldn’t have my laptop (good for gaming, writing, and watching movies), or my 3-4 books and Kobo to satisfy my voracious appetite for reading. In addition, I have clothes to workout in, which is something not everyone brings, my camera, a small french press, and a humidifier because it can get so unbelievably dry on ship.
Then of course I have all my basic clothes packed, toiletries, sneakers, and any other little odds and ends. This also includes any leftover food I can bring and snack on on ship from my month off. No point in letting that go to waste, unless you forget it in the fridge, which is unfortunate and also a true story from when I left last week (damnit).
And that is what I’ve got for 4 weeks.
When I first graduated I found I was overpacking quite a bit. Usually in clothes. But the more I sailed the more I realized that I wore my uniform during the day, then changed into my sweat pants and a Tshirt at night. There was no reason to be bringing a bunch of extra shirts and pants because they never got worn anyway. The only thing I tend to bring and excess of is socks. Doing laundry after a 12 hour shift is just the worst, so I bring enough socks that I only have to do laundry once a week. And since my uniform gets washed separately because it is usually covered in oil and grease, this works perfectly. It has also now become part of my count down ritual until crew change.
4 loads to go….3 loads to go…..2 loads to go……1 load to go……time to go home!