My Minimalist Winter Travel Packing List

Goodbye finals and hello winter break!

With the semester quickly coming to a close, I knew I was going to have a packing challenge on my hands for winter break.

Here’s the scenario: three college students, all of their luggage, a dog, a cat, and a box full of plants all packed into one mini van. Not too bad, but then imagine, for the trip back to school, all of the above factors but instead of a mini van, a small compact car, and add tons of groceries.

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Ingrid in MKE

Finally, summer! How long-awaited you are, summertime!

As much as I love school, there’s nothing quite like the rush of all of your responsibilities disappearing all at once. And after a particularly stressful semester, I was more than happy to bust out the front door of dormitory and never look back (until next fall, that is).

And even though I might not be finished recording my daring adventures in the Middle East from last summer (which yeah… I totally dropped the ball on that), life moves on and I’ve already picked up my roots and replanted myself somewhere new for the summer. Determined to get an internship in the field I’m hoping to go into, I applied to internships all over the country for and landed an opportunity in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Milwaukee!

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An Open Letter of Reflection

Long time no see, huh? What can I say, other than life caught up to me in ways I couldn’t escape? School and work have been rough lately, forcing me to take an unplanned and unwanted hiatus from this little project.

2014 is coming to a close soon, and as I look back on everything that’s happened this year, I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and the experiences that I’ve had. Travel, especially world travel, is one of those things that not very many people have the chance to experience. It’s a privilege that I’ve been granted due to the financial and emotional support of my friends and family, and I owe them so much. Travel is something that is very key to my person, something that helps me grow and learn in ways that are totally unique. I always thought the term wanderlust was clichè, but I find myself daydreaming about far-off places and looking up airplane tickets in my spare time. And I think this means I have the bug.

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The Work Begins

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June 10-11, 2014

The next morning was our first day at the dig site. We woke up promptly at 4:50 am and rolled out of bed, groaning with exhaustion. I packed up my bag and threw my hair into a ponytail before heading out to the bus. We watched the sun rise up over the rolling hills and splash brilliant color onto the lake, my eyes heavy with sleep and unwilling to stay open.

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The Jesus Boat and Jealousy

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Bethsaida

June 9, 2014

I rolled out of bed gracelessly after an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Today was our first day at the dig site, even if we weren’t digging, so everyone from from group wore their Bethsaida shirts. We had breakfast in the cafeteria and were bussed to the dig site, which was about 20 minutes away from where we were actually staying. The site is part of the Jordan River Park, in larger connection with the Israeli national park system, and the dig is directed by Dr. Rami Arav from University of Nebraska-Omaha.

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Border Crossing

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June 8, 2014

And thus began my final day in the beautiful country of Jordan. It was probably one of my favorite days but it started out with a lot of frantic last minute packing and trying to shove everything I had bought into my suitcase before the bus left me behind. We headed north, up to the ancient city of Jerash. I had spent all night last night filling out postcards for my friends and family, but now I realized how stupid it was of me to wait until the last minute to try and mail them. I told Sam that I needed to mail them before we left the country, but he assured me we would come across a post office in Jerash.

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Mosques and Mosaics

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June 7, 2014

The next morning started early because we had a lot of things on our itinerary and not much time to finish it all. Our first stop for the day was to a mosque in Amman. Sam had told us yesterday that on visits to mosques he preferred that women wear long skirts or jeans, even though they give you a long robe to wear when you visit.

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