packing the struggle...

I'm not one that you would consider a travel novice. But, (and this is a big 'but') I am the world's worst packer. I have tried packing lists, packing well in advance, packing the night before, packing three hours before my international flight departs, packing hardly anything and buying everything I need once I arrive at my destination, etc. 

I think it all comes down to being both indecisive and having the 'meh, it will work out' attitude about travel. I am quickly learning that it gives some friends anxiety that I don't have all my travel arrangements figured out. Like you know, hotels. I chuckle because they aren't even going to Scotland and they are freaked out that I'll be sleeping in my car, or in a peat bog instead of some cute bed and breakfast that will undoubtedly present itself when needed. 

This morning about 48 hours before I leave, I unpacked my suitcase from NYC so that I could repack (and I found that shirt I've been looking for since March...). I've got a smidge of laundry to do (this is the understatement of the century) so I thought it might be a wise idea to start that process. I also decided it would behoove the packing process to know what the weather is expected to be while there (in case you're curious, rain).  Much like packing for Australia in December, I'm not 100% sure what provisions I should bring. I challenge myself to always be as light of a packer as possible. And nine times out of ten, I fail miserably. 

I actually started jotting down what I need to pack. I started with my camera, and then got distracted because I couldn't find the lens cap (does 'lens' look misspelled to anyone else? I googled it, and apparently I've been spelling it lense my whole life...) and then decided I wanted to buy a lens that is better for closer shots. Do you see my dilemma? I'm a raccoon that is surrounded by shiny objects. 

In the end, I will undoubtedly begin packing Thursday morning, forget something trivial, like mascara and something important, like underwear.

I'm curious, what are your travel essentials? Is there something I absolutely could not even fathom traveling without?