As we woke up and began packing our bags for Bangkok, we tried to be as silent as possible so as to not wake our four other bunkmates. The drill has become routine; roll up the shirts and shorts, stuff them in on the sides, layer all of the gifts in the middle, put a pair of pants on top as padding and zip it up. We’ve found ourselves becoming more and more efficient at packing our bags throughout the trip, taking out only what we need and prioritizing what goes where when
we arrive at each place we stay. The process of repacking is usually rushed, and compressed into 5 minutes when it used to take 30. We don’t really think about the decrepit things beyond the trouble they cause us while traveling and where we store them in each new city. But our bags have somewhat become reflections of ourselves. The travel-worn bags are tried and true at this point, standing up to our daily abuse on this long trip. They’re pretty low maintenance and efficient bags, not caring much about a stain or two but rather just getting our clothes from point A to B. Most of all, they carry with them a treasury of gifts and trinkets from all of the places we have been. Each came with only clothing and will soon be leaving with a sea of stories of items to share. Much the same, I cannot help but reflect on the finality of our trip as we fly to our second to last county. As we pack our things for one of the final times though, the sight of a bag rich with memories keeps me positive; I can’t wait to bring these gifts back to share.
– Alex Yeagle