As a parent it is impossible to travel light. Each time we go away I think I am going to take less…we won’t REALLY need it all…and then this happens…
Now, it would be easy to blame the children wouldn’t it? You have children, you have more ‘stuff’ simple right? The thing is, that whilst that is true, I don’t think I have ever been able to pack light. I just can’t do it. I’m one of these people who thinks about every eventuality.
As a child I used to try and smuggle more soft toys into the car when my dad wasn’t looking, even though he’d limited me to two…”but they will be lonely without me” I used to say.
At the end of my first year of university myself and four other girls set out on an exciting five week adventure to Japan. We spent time studying at the University in Kyoto, we did lots of sightseeing and we even lived with Japanese families for part of our trip.
It was an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget. People who I knew reasonably well before that trip became life-long friends after that experience and those girls remain some of the most special in my life today.
Overwhelmed by the culture and the whole experience, we also did rather a lot of shopping, not really considering our weight allowance on the return to the UK. Weight allowance…what weight allowance, no one really cares do they? It’s not like we were bringing home kilos of green tea powder or anything!
We checked in…
“That will be *&^%$££%^& Yen please”
“What is that in Sterling?” I asked
“£900 please, each”
OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!
I think we both nearly peed ourselves right there on the spot. That was followed by white faces of utter shock and goosebumps all over.
Normally fairly cool and practical in situations of stress, I went to pieces. My lovely friend, now a bad ass lawyer (she was in training back then clearly) took over. She tilted her head slightly, lifted her sunglasses and looked the young man right in the eye…”we’re students” she said, “It’s all books, we are just trying to get home to our families to finish our studies in the UK”.
It was like she’d cast a spell over him…
Within two minutes, we’d got our boarding cards and we were on our way with our four suitcases checked in and still carrying six hand luggage bags between us.
I attribute our success largely to my friends calm voice and long legs! She’s the kind of friend everyone needs!
So, you see, I can’t solely blame having four children on my inability to travel light.