There’s something adventurous about packing a bag, don’t you think? The intrepid cyclist, Dervla Murphy, packed spare underwear, sixty-five pounds in cash and an automatic pistol when she embarked on a six-month cycle ride from her home in Lismore, Ireland, to Delhi. Richard Branson goes nowhere without his English tea. Even our fairy-tale heroes like Dick Whittington set off on their travels packing a knapsack with apples, bread and necessities.
Packing is bound up with anticipation. We pack for what ‘might’ happen. We try to imagine all the eventualities we might face. Sometimes, particularly when travelling, we pack for the unknown. Whether a business meeting or mountain trek there is always some corner of the case given over to those ‘just-in-case’ items one might need: fountain pen, spare notebook, Kendal Mint Cake or torch, for example. It is comforting, it seems, to have everything to hand. It engenders a sense of self-sufficiency, carrying all we need on our back, so to speak, ready for anything.