You know that feeling of thinking you forgot something at home? It’s the worst, and I consistently feel it right after I leave for a trip. No matter how many times I go over what I have packed, I always have that terrible feeling of leaving something behind.This is just one step of the packing, and the leaving process that has now become ordinary.
Stating off with the essentials I find my suitcase, wherever that may be, and clean it out. This usually takes longer than I think because I have to search through all of the junk left from my past travels, and remember how much fun they were. It’s almost like looking through an old yearbook. I finally get to packing, and I always play it safe and over pack. This being a short trip I know I can afford to over pack. An extra t-shirt and pair of jeans never go un used. Finishing up the packing I always make sure I have things that are easy to forget. Socks, toiletries, any medication, belts, and shoes believe it or not are the things I double check. When it comes down to it, all I make sure I have is my passport, and a toothbrush. After that I figure I can buy, or live without for a few days while I am in a foreign country. The unforeseen factor that always plays a part into my packing is that I could get stuck anywhere at anytime.
The beauty of flying non-rev (flying without a guaranteed ticket, and hope for an open seat) is that you never know if you are going to make it. You get to the airport as early as you can, and hope for the best. The early flights are usually around six in the morning, which usually means a four, or 4:30 AM departure from home due to the CTA simply being that slow. Being a night owl at heart this does not fair well with my sleeping habits. When two or three in the morning comes around I usually just give up on sleeping, and head to the airport early just to be safe. At this point I am way to excited to think about sleeping.
Towards the end of my packing I begin what I think it a little strange tradition that just started occurring. I clean my room. Over time I have realized how great a felling it is to come home to a clean room, and just crash on your bed. Call it cliché, but I like it. Also, it gives me a good reason to clean my room, and something to do when I am up late at night waiting for the next day to come.
After running the fifth check to make sure I have everything I need, it is finally time to leave. Even with my fatigue starting to set in, the thought of traveling over 4,000 miles today keeps me excited, and ready for anything. The waiting is over, and I finally get to begin my travel.
Philly tomorrow, Amsterdam the next.