I leave for Europe on Saturday. The one that’s the day after tomorrow. Everyone says it’ll hit me when I get there, but don’t worry – it’s already hit me. It presents as a brick in my stomach most of the time. Occasionally a black hole in my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited. Just also totally afraid I’m going to be unprepared. Last Saturday, I had a dream that I was leaving that day and forgot half my stuff. I was up for a few hours in the middle of the night, naturally, convincing myself that I really did have the dates right and still had a week left. It was a good time.
So, even though it’s a bit premature (that is, I have no idea if this is a sufficient list), I thought I’d compile a list of all the things I’ve been doing to get ready to go in an effort to, I don’t know, help anyone else who happens to be traveling far away for any period of time. It’s really just me thinking out loud about my to-do list.
And if you’ve already traveled for an extended period of time… let me know if I missed anything. Preferably by Friday. Love you.
Make a massive Amazon order
I ordered all my books, some plug adapters, some supplements, and a blanket. All stuff that theoretically exists in Europe, but will be much easier to have on hand before I’m there. Less stress = better trip.
See your people
In the last month or so, I’ve caught up with all my (local) friends and family. Lunches, dinners, and our usual group chats and emergency talk sessions have all taken place. While I’m 100% sure I’ll still miss them, the extra face time sure was nice.
Stock up on supplements
Much like the other Amazon orders, most of the supplements I take are probably find-able overseas, but I was advised that the formulas could differ and therefore not be what I’m expecting. I made a trip to Whole Foods and Target, and while it feels a tad crazy to lug three months’ worth of supplies along with me, better safe than sorry.
Indulge your Netflix obsession
Given that I’ve watched more TV this summer than probably the last three years combined, I really shouldn’t need more. However, I’m pretty sure that I won’t want to spend a ton of my relatively short travel time curled up with Netflix. And that means squeezing in as much as possible right this second. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll plow all the way through Gossip Girl… but maybe the last bit can keep me occupied on the trains and stuff?
Tie up loose ends
I’ve had so many little UChicago emails asking for travel confirmation and phone information and blah blah BLAH. Also, asking me to fill out a random survey. Also, I just didn’t have all my travel stuff or cell phone situated. I avoided all that stuff until literally yesterday. Three days prior to leaving. You know how these things go. I discovered yesterday that there was also a bit of a mess with my bank in Chicago and my address and my debit card, but I think that’ll all be straightened out by today.
Look, all I’m saying is that you should deal with that sort of thing when you’re at home in comfy clothes in front of your computer and as calm as you can be, rather than trying to enjoy the views of places you’ve never been. Less stress = better trip.
Wrap up your wardrobe
Even though I’m in Europe well into normal Chicago winter, the Paris weather is basically Chicago fall. I’m not mad about it. I have sweaters and dresses and jeans, a few light jackets, boots, and a plethora of workout clothes all bundled up in these space-saving thingamajigs.
When I figure out if I packed the right stuff or overpacked and prepared the right way or missed something, I’ll let you know. Till then, here’s hoping I’m doing alright.
Have you ever packed for extended travel?
What’s your favorite city?