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Confessions of a Reluctant Unpacker

SmarterTravel

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive home after a trip? For me, it’s usually catching up on e-mail, downloading photos off my camera or taking a shower to wash away all those hours on a plane. But one thing it isn’t is unpacking.

Some travelers are fanatical about unloading their suitcases as soon as they arrive home. “I can’t relax until I’ve put everything away,” says fellow IndependentTraveler.com blogger Jodi Thompson. “I do it immediately.” Meanwhile, I might leave my own bag sitting on my bedroom floor for a week or more, pulling out an item or two at a time as I need them.

My partner, who generally unpacks within a few days, has accused me of being a slob. And, well, it’s a fair accusation. (I have a similar problem putting away my newly clean duds on laundry day, or putting junk mail in the recycling bin instead of leaving it strewn across the kitchen counter.) But I don’t think that’s the whole story.

For me, it’s always a little depressing to come home from a trip, and unpacking is the final sign that my vacation has reached the end of the road. Refusing to unpack is my subconscious way, however futile, of pretending that my trip isn’t truly over.

Or maybe I’m just a slob.

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