I was always told that with regards to travel that Daddy Jarvis said 「Take half as much stuff and twice as much money!」. Whilst muddling around our planet this is something I’ve tried to stick to and in almost all cases things have worked out well; there were two Christmas days in České Krumlov where I would have done anything for an additional pair of thermal trousers and a circle around Switzerland that started well but ended up with almost my own weight in wine and chocolates in my backpack (perhaps that is what twice as much money is for though?). I’m finding though that Grandfather’s motto should be applied travelling or otherwise, at least the 「half as much stuff」 aspect.

I’m leaving Bristol and the UK for at least a year, not to travel as such, but to enjoy a change of scenery, improve my Mandarin Chinese and to see all my dear friends in Taiwan - An adventure I seek ~

It’s now less than ten weeks before my escape and as I survey my two and two halves room flat I wonder where all the stuff came from? In fact I can identify the origin of nearly every item, so maybe the question should be 《Why do I have all these things?》 I’ve already given a wardrobe, large bookshelf, desk, desk chair and numerous small items away to friends and family, yet the flat is still full!

Quite definitely the soporific rate at which I’m clearing things is partly due to procrastination, the workload of my job, and largely due to my unwillingness to discard anything which still has life left in it: giving things away to friends, charity or otherwise recycling is my aim. However I have enough stationary to run a small school, enough kitchen utensils to run a restaurant, and enough suitcases to carry all of the aforementioned several times over. Is this the result of 「building a home」 or building a collection? The former, to an extent, I suppose is the case and some things were purchased with tenuous dreams of X, Y or Z in mind. The latter would imply a level of care for each item - Do I care for these things: no …did I once care for these things: no.

I have a small box, ready to go, with the things I treasure, the things that represent a person or memory that is important to me - the rest will have to go soon enough. Writing this is in itself an evasion of the job at hand, but I have resolved to try to be much less materialistic in future. Even things “needed” for a dream - if I’m not going to do it today, don’t buy it today. For those one off tasks, I hope I can borrow or rent any stuff I might need and otherwise try to proactively give away or recycle things as soon as they are no longer required…. no hoarding!

Not travelling light, Switzerland 2008