Thursday, December 26, 2013

TJ1: Packing Up

Welcome to TJ1: the first "official" entry in my travel journal for Dr. Tuttle's MS685 class, which just happens to center around a two-week excursion through several of the lands described in the Bible -- Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. Since MS685 is also my final class at Asbury Theological Seminary, I definitely want to complete all my assignments on time and with excellence; therefore, I will be posting daily journal updates for an entire month.
SIDE NOTE: For those of you who think this might be an invitation for you to burgle my apartment in my absence, let me state that I feel especially sorry for you, since the only thing of value in said apartment is my Mac laptop, which I will be bringing with me on this trip. (Furthermore, my next-door neighbor is not only a police officer but also the security guard for the entire complex, and my landlord lives right upstairs. Both of them know that I'm leaving town, and both of them will be only too happy to make your acquaintance if you try to break into my apartment while I'm away fulfilling the dream of a lifetime.)
Carry-on, checked bag, and "personal item" tagged and
ready to go! All I have to do is add this laptop.
As you can see from the photo, I am currently in the process of packing for my trip. To be completely truthful, I have been packing for several weeks now. This made holiday travel a bit of a challenge, since most of my clothing and toiletries are already packed and I didn't want to risk unpacking them and forgetting to repack them. My mother and I have a holiday tradition, which is that I forget half of my things at her house and don't get them back until my next visit (usually Spring Break). So to make sure I could honor this tradition and still brush my teeth in Israel, I went out a few weeks ago and bought "back-ups" of everything.

I also bought several things that will make me a more amiable roommate, since I will be sharing a room with a woman I have yet to meet. Breathe-Right Nasal Strips are imperative in such situations (in case I snore) as is Lunesta (in case she snores). These imperative items -- along with three days' worth of clothing and a Bible -- are packed in my carry-on bag because the careful traveler always assumes the airline will lose her luggage. Then there are the things that I will carry in my "personal item" for use during the trans-Atlantic flight: laptop, earphones, Kindle, wallet, and Poo-pourri (travel-size).

Clothing presents a bit of a challenge, since it is so dependent on weather conditions. It turns out that Egypt and Israel will both be a bit colder than Florida (who knew?) so I had to go out and buy some more long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Layering is the key, or so I've been told, so instead of a thick winter coat I have a sweater and raincoat combo (yes, I am from Florida). I'm just wondering what to do with those extra layers while I'm sitting on the plane. Guess I'll find out somewhere between New York and Frankfurt.

I've read the "travel tips" posted on the EO website at least a dozen times and have sought additional advice from friends who are more experienced travelers than I am. My quart-sized clear ziploc bag is filled with smaller-than-3-ounce bottles of shampoo, body wash, deodorant, and toothpaste. My passport and other photo i.d. are up-to-date and easily accessible. I have sufficient cash for "love offerings" (a.k.a. tips for the guides) and a Visa card for lunch and souvenirs....
About now, I'm thinking that this journal is probably not what the professor has in mind, since it is so devoid of references to prayer and theology and stuff. What can I say? Maslow's Hierarchy is clear that human beings simply can't think about higher, spiritual matters until their basic physical needs are squared away. Right now I am so excited about leaving the USA for the first time in my life that I can't think beyond basics like "will I have enough underwear for two weeks abroad?" (I'm probably not supposed to mention underwear in my journal either, but that's how I roll.) Tell you what -- tomorrow I will talk about the spiritual stuff, okay?

1 comment:

  1. As a wannabe avid traveler and light packer, let me tell you all about the joys of quick-drying synthetic materials and washing clothes and underwear in the sink/shower. :) I am so excited for you!