On Packing (T-5 days)

So, when I set off for New Haven, I promised myself that I was not going to touch the bag that I had packed for Jordan, because it was packed PERFECTLY and I didn’t want to mess it up. But then I got lazy and didn’t want to do laundry, so I did. (Incidentally, I think I break more promises that I make to myself than I do promises made to other people. Remind me to like myself more, or something.)

Though I am sort of frustrated that I need to rewash all of the things that I had planned on bringing, I’m actually fairly confident that my packing will still be a success. Because I have mastered the art of packing for the way I like to travel.

PACKING LIST for two months in the Middle East:
1 LL Bean backpack
1 very large purse
* 1 money belt (+ money and passport, obvs)
1 laptop (Macbook Pro 13-inch) + charger
2 textbooks (Well, al-Kitaab and a course packet.)
1 legal pad with all of my notes from New Haven
1 camera + rechargeable batteries
1 adaptor (bought last summer for 1.25 JD)
1 water bottle
1 host family gift (not yet purchased–probably a nice mug, which I can stuff other things into for travel)
1 sheet, sewed in half like a sleeping bag (for cleanliness)
1 towel (a crappy one which I can throw away before boarding for home)
1 iPod NaNo + charger
1 cell phone (non-roaming, will rot in the bottom of my bag until I need to call my dad to pick me up in New York on August 12)
1 soap holder + bar of soap (if I don’t need to shove something else in the soap holder)
enough “feminine hygiene products” that I won’t need to buy any there

1 pair of sandals (might drop this)
* 1 pair of sneakers
* 6 pairs socks (all tucked inside of each other)
* 6 pairs underwear (laid on top of each other and rolled)
* 2 pairs of pants (1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of cargo pants–may add another, nicer pair)
2 pairs of pajama pants (laid on top of the other pants and rolled)
* 3 button-up shirts (placed inside of each other and rolled)
* 1 lightweight jacket
* 1 scarf (for mosque visits and as a make-shift blanket–I love this thing)

(*All of the starred items are things that I will be wearing one set of to the airport, opening up more space in the bag.)

I list these things not just as a reminder to myself to pack them, but because this is essentially all I’m going to be living with for the next two months. Obviously I’ll be buying other things as needed when I get there (like, for instance, shampoo. And a local cell phone.). But I’m essentially going to be living out of the my school backpack. I chose to do this for mobility purposes, and because I have an irrational hatred of checked baggage, but it actually is going to be pretty difficult. I don’t really like to think of myself as an uber-materialist, but I like having things that remind me of home. I like not having to worry that I’ve forgotten some clearly essential item in my zeal for efficiency. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a bit in this, and it actually is a little more frightening than I like to let on.

But! It’s also exciting. Because I’ve been dreaming about doing this for a long time, and it’s finally about to happen. Five more days in America, then it’s مع سلامة and off on my adventures.

[PS: Update on visa issues: all are resolved, after a few panicked calls to the embassy. Passport currently in the hands of my father, who will bring it to me when he picks me up to bring me to the airport.]

~ by putthisinyourrecord on 13 June 2010.

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