Lately, I’ve felt a bit like a bag lady – always packing my life into a bag, or two, or living out of one, or two. Now, I’m once again squeezing everything into two suitcases. Roughly two years ago, I was doing the same thing, heading to Cameroon. This time, I’m doing it to move also across the pond, but to a more urban setting of London. I met Emma last week – a girl from St. Louis University, my alma mater, who will also head to Cameroon with the Peace Corps. What a small world! The strange thing is that she is leaving the day that I am off for London. Talking to her and passing on my knowledge & wisdom on PC Cameroon feels strange. Was it really two years ago that I was in her shoes?
At first, I thought that packing for London would be a breeze compare to prepping for life in an unknown area of Cameroon. After all, I’ve lived in that city. I know the city quite well and being the capital of the UK, there is virtually nothing that I can’t just buy. Now, here is the newsflash: the real world is complicated and has expectations out of wazoo!! I can’t wear the same outfit 3 days in a row, and they have to be clean, and fashionable. People WILL judge me, unlike village mamas. Being the RPCV (Returned PC Volunteer) & a poor student that I now am, I want to avoid re-buying everything. That situation combines with having little recollection of what is required to live in a modern society, I am backing my bags to the brim (or the stingy weight limit set by the evil airlines).
I am one of those really weird people who LOVES to pack. There is something about trying to fit everything tightly into a box/bag that is really fun for me – sort of like putting a puzzle together. That skill becomes extremely frustrating when the weight limit is at a mere 50lbs these days. Last night, I somehow managed to fit 70lbs of things into suitcase a and realized it’s a no go! ugh. I am also reaching an age where I’d like nice things to make my space mine, and having to leave artwork and other decors behind is making me rethink the prospect of uprooting my life every two years.
As much as I love to travel and globetrot, I am really not the type to backpack around the world and live out of a bag. They called me Posh Corps for a reason, and I’ve came to terms with that. To each its own, and for me, I’ve gotta somehow find a career that will support my Posh Corps ways.