At first glance this just seems to be a bit of sensible advice. I speak from experience- you don’t want to spend frantic late night hours on a layover in Hanoi looking for an open optician that stocks your hard to find -7.5 prescription because you have forgotten to pack glasses or back up lenses for a week long island vacation (which you spend in dirty gym clothes- the only thing you did bring).
Sure, you could end up expanding your horizons like I did with a nice new pair of Halloween green contact lenses and Hello Kitty flip flops, but for the most part, “Pack Sober” is a sound approach to trip preparation.
I am reminded of the 2 of Wands tarot card. The image is of a man on a castle between two wands, symbolizing what he has already achieved. He holds a globe in his hand and seems to be considering his future. The card denotes a desire for travel, a new outlook and high ideals. He is planning his next moves with intent. He is mentally packing sober- this is a card of preparing to step outside the comfort zone and head out to the big unknown to materialize dreams and ambitions. At times no amount of foresight and preparation will guarantee that those plans will come to fruition.
I packed with a clear head when I left my home town of Portland, Oregon for a 2 year contract in Abu Dhabi. Life took twists and turns I did not anticipate in the 9 weeks I was there, and now I find myself in Krakow with a closet full of clothes for the desert and the earliest recorded snowfall on record in Poland. As the Robert Burns quote says, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”
Pack Sober, friends, and when your life is redirected adapt, reorganize, and plan again.