The Great Shedding

What separates Homo Sapiens from all others is our ability to synthesize data, project into the future based on that data, and adapt accordingly.  I am tickled to state that my wife has, once again, reconfirmed her standing among h.sapiens.  And she did it with little prompting from rarely-sapiens like me.

Those who have followed the 6explorers through the preparation phase might be surprised to learn that we have actually packed too much stuff. Our bags looked small in the pictures and Dana’s demure pile pictured on one of her early posts drew gasps and incredulous admiration from legions of mostly-women who could not possibly visualize a year of having just that. But those pictures and that post belied the real truth: at the last minute lots of other stuff got thrown in out of anxiety and because “we have the space.”  The old admonition about work expanding to fit the time allowed is also true of stuff and space.  This fact became evident as we loaded and unloaded our faithful Land Rover Defender in Iceland; no way could we lug all this stuff to 29 more countries.  No way.

At the core of the miscalculation lay redundancy. Two fleeces are surely better than one, four tank tops better than 2, a 40 day supply of Nyquil gel tabs is surely safer than a 15 day supply, and carrying lots of sutures and scalpels, syringes and surgical supplies made me feel important, brave and well-educated even though I am barely any of those and would almost surely never use one — let alone 20 — of those things.

The clincher came when we arrived in Stockholm at Diane and Dave’s house and proceeded to disgorge all of this chattel on their dining room floor for laundry. Dana did 5 European-washer-sized loads. Now the Swedish washer’s capacity was a Downy cap compared to the washing cavern we have back home, but home was a lot of loads away.  The data synthesis and ensuing implication was clear: more stuff = more usage and more usage = more laundry. And that was an equation that inspired my dear wife into a jihad against redundancy. Hallelujah.

The picture above shows Dana with the piles of things that didn’t make the travel team and is heading home, heads bowed, like so many French soccer players.

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8 Responses to “The Great Shedding”

  1. You could always save some more space and go commando…

  2. My children call me the packing Nazi – carry on only! I don’t know what that makes Dana, but I am in awe.

  3. Feinzig Family (Wellesley) 12. Jul, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Love reading the posts! Hope you keep the list of what was really needed for prospective exploring families like mine. Can we assume you kept the lacrosse sticks??? Best wishes on the trip. 🙂

  4. We did the EXACT same thing in London. When the heck did I think I was going to use 5 pairs of yoga pants??? Am taking Dana’s lead and sending a big box back with Steve. Here’s to the death of redundancy. Again – love the blog. xx

  5. Greg’s blog has me concerned — “At the core of the miscalculation lay redundancy.” Dana, I assume you are handling the analytic aspects of this trip….much love guys, Phil

  6. I have said it many times before…Dana – YOU are a rockstar!

  7. Interesting words Greg. Can we see more pictures of Dana?

  8. It is amazing how little you can survive with and how much without. That is part of what you will learn on this trip. You only need one of most things.

    As a total aside, I hope you don’t wear tank tops when you are traveling through Africa and Asia … how offensive to local culture. And please tell me you aren’t wearing shorts. Again – equally as offensive. Observe local customs – you’ll garner more respect.