10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 …

The countdown has begun.  I finished my last assignment at Queen’s University a few days ago, and  swiftly delved into tackling the biggest and most difficult packing sesh I’ve ever faced.

This is just one of the hard parts of the last 2 weeks of exchange.

Admittedly, this is probably the most stressed I have been all year.  I’m tossing up the fact that I’m going travelling for 3 weeks with my sister so hostels and attractions are chasing each other in my head, and the trip overlaps with my dissertation proposal deadline, which adds the completion of my dissertation proposal before I go to the balance; I’m also trying to work out the cheapest way to send some of my belongings home, get rid of clutter, sell my furniture and books, and all the while make the most of my last 2 weeks in Canada by seeing my friends and saying goodbye to various people already setting off on their travels.  And, to top it all off, there’s also the speculation about whether anyone will get anywhere with the Volcanic Ash stopping all flights in Europe and spreading to Canada, which will also affect the sending of my stuff!

So, as you can imagine, these concerns whipped together makes one rather stressed individual.

It turns out it’s much more expensive than I thought to send stuff home and Canada Post seems to be the cheapest as it’s about $150 for a 10kg 50x50x50 box, which is the best I could find.  It’s surprisingly hard to choose between clothes, key rings, souvenir glasses and other memorabilia I seem to have accumulated over the past 8 months.  What’s strange is what you find yourself attached to, what you consider sentimental but will appear strange to your friends back home who will ask, “So, tell me, why have you got a decapitated children’s Snowman toy?”  Aaah, but look at facebook dear friend, it will explain all….

So my major predicament is that I now have a nice collection of winter clothes from the Canadian coldness which I would use back home, but there’s no room.  Not to fret, though, I’ve discovered the marvels of vacuum bags.  They’re awesome.  Shove your stuff in, sit on it and before you can say “Abominable Snowman”, it’s about ¼ of the size – marvellous!  Also exceedingly useful for my travels during which I’m sure I’m going to achieve an ultimate accumulation of utterly useless but fantastically fun stuff.

Ah, well.  I’ll manage and things will work out some way or another.  I’m getting there, it just takes time.  The trick is to start early, really, I mean, I sort of started a month ago, but I still don’t feel nearly packed enough – although I’m not sure how much that’s just me…being crap at packing…yup, that’s probably the case.  I fear my last week will be full of scales, cases whose contents are being carefully rolled and placed in the most space-saving way possible only to be yanked out again and tossed about the room as the case is exceeding its weight limit, trips to the charity shops with bags full of junk, travel documents and flight confirmation details being printed all over the place, vacuum bags being blown about the place in the attempt to cram more into them, as well as lazy picnics at the lake, frantic visits to places we’ve wanted to see in Kingston but left it all year thinking we’ll get around to it, snatching last opportunities to enjoy the Canadian clubbing scene, teary goodbyes and, most of all, happy memories.

Doesn’t sound half bad actually…eh?

Right, I’m off to do some more packing before enjoying ice cream in the beautiful Canadian sunshine  🙂


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