There always seems to be a lot of discussion about what 'luxury item' to take on an expedition, and it must be one of the most frequently asked questions to adventurers during interviews. As I've been planning what to take with me on my trip, it's inevitably been quite hard to separate what I really need from the things that I think would just be handy to have along. I've always been a bit of a hoarder; collecting things 'just in case'. I don't know where I got it from but I happily store things on the off chance they'll be useful one day (and to be honest, they never are, ever!)
It's been a quite cathartic experience so far whittling down my exisiting possessions as I've moved between houses in the build up to my departure. I say cathartic, I of course mean horrible. At least it was initially - having to give away or dump my precious belongings, but I can safely say I'm winning the battle with senimentality! It's amazing how little of what I owned I actually needed, and it feels very liberating to be (relatively) free of clutter. So that's another plus point for my expedition; it should teach me the value of moderation and efficiency, as well as the importance of wise decision-making.
With this in mind, I'll come back to the luxury item, and what I deem worthy as my one truely unnecessary, burdensom indulgence. Its not music - that doesn't count as luxury, it's essential for my sanity. Books are the same, I must be able to read in my tent at night (the only other option is spending even more time in my own company. and that's not good for either of us...)
So, the winning item is...a mandolin! Okay, so I cheated a bit, and a mandolin is certainly not a small luxury. But hey, it's me that's gotta carry it all, right?! As a guitarist it distressed me a bit that I wouldn't be able to play for my whole journey, but there seemed no way round it. Until my long-ignored mandolin in the corner obviously made it's way into my subconscious to the extent that, a few weeks back, I awoke at 3am from a deep sleep to hear myself say 'I could bring my mandolin on the bike trailer!' So this is what I'll do - who am I to argue with a vague, dream-induced suggestion? Hopefully it'll help to keep me amusing during long nights alone in my tent, and perhaps I can even busk along the way - there's gotta be a market for a bearded, unwashed, mandolin-wielding Irishman on a bike somewhere in the world, right?!
Any thoughts on my decision? Has anyone else got suggestions/stories from experience of their item of luxury? Feedback is encouraged!