One week from today, I will have landed in a very foreign country after 14 hours trapped in a plane, 7 hours of layovers, and 8 hours of time changes during which I will completely skip over June 3rd. For those of you who will be experiencing June 3rd, have a lovely day. My 365 day calendar will not be completely out of whack though, since I will be living the day of June 30th from sunrise to sunset once in Israel and once in the States.
But before any of that can happen, I first have to pack.
I wish I had some cute little tips to give about “how to pack a suitcase” or “how to make the most of the limited space/weight you have” but really my methods are usually this:
- Pile all the crap on the floor
- Put some crap in ziplock bags
- Fail to put any crap in the suitcase
- Panic at the last minute and throw everything in haphazardly
The only thing I ever really have together is my outfits. I could spend weeks putting together every single outfit that I’m going to wear each day of the trip and finding accessories and taking pictures so I don’t forget what earrings go with which shirt. Of course, once I actually get there I end up wearing the same jeans and tshirt over and over and over again. And even though I totally acknowledge this bad habit, I will continue to do it regardless because I want to be fashionable, goshdarnit.
And yes, my sandals did come and they do fit and I love them. I’ve been wearing them around on walks and it feels like I am walking on mostly-solid clouds. My foot is healing from my unfortunate bicycle accident. I hate telling people that I was in a bicycle accident because it makes me sound like such a dweeb but everyone always asks because I have to wear that silly footwrap to keep the bruises protected and compressed. And you can go ahead and laugh at me because I’m a dweeb and a wrecked my bike, but I am just happy that I still have a foot. It will definitely make my trip interesting, though.
My power things also came in the mail, but I didn’t realize until like, yesterday that I completely forgot I’m traveling to two countries and not just Israel, so I had to look up power things for Jordan, too. I’m hoping the charger I bought last minute at Target will work just fine, but if not, you may not hear from me for a while. Begrudgingly, I also bought one of those dumb security wallets.
These things are probably the most unattractive things in the whole world. Do they come in handy? Yes. Are they fashionable? No. If you’ve never encountered one of these monstrosities, be grateful. In my previous travels abroad I managed to avoid them, but I know I can only count on my luck for so long and at some point I am going to be pickpocketed. Basically you can put all your money and credit cards in this thing and hide it in your pants. Yes, you stuff this little pouch into your pants like a sexually deviant kangaroo. Every time you need to pay for something you have to reach down into your pants and search around for your credit card, and by that point if the salesperson is still standing in front of you then they deserve a round of applause because I know I wouldn’t stick around to find out what was going on down there. Does it keep pickpockets from taking your money? Yes. Do you want to stick your hand in your pants every time you need money? I guess that depends on your character.
So, there it is. The main parts of my month-long trip mapped out in a very rough map. Because while there are only about a dozen points plotted out here, there are over 60 places listed on our itinerary. It’s going to be a very exhausting and fast paced month, but I couldn’t be more excited. I’m more than a little nervous though because Near Eastern history and culture is not really something taught in American public schools and I know surprisingly very little about the area. I suppose if I had paid more attention in Sunday school and actually ever read the Bible I might be in better shape than I am now, so I’ve been reading the Old Testament on Sparknotes (it’s okay, you can laugh) and getting books from the library, in addition to all the assigned reading to get credit for the trip.
I hope I can get everything done and packed in a week, but I’ll probably be panicking the night before the trip trying desperately to get through 16 chapters of my library book so I can return it before I leave. Wish me luck for this week of craziness, and I’ll see you on the other side of the Atlantic.