Thursday, June 20, 2013

Explore? Check. Dream? Always. Discover? You bet.

Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before– Dalai Lama

I was recently in the camping store around the corner from my house and as I got lost in the backpacking section–dreaming of far away places–I overheard one of the employees say to another employee “If you really are a backpacker your bag is always packed. She said that it was going to take her a few days to figure out what to bring, but if you ask me, I am ready. I am always packed and ready to go. Tell me when we are leaving and I will grab my bag and be out the door.”

I am in the midst of packing. Everyone packs differently. Some people make long lists, packing weeks in advance, while others pack the day of and throw everything into whatever is near by. Some people bring outfits, while others bring only what they have on and are lucky if they remember a toothbrush. I know both kinds of packers and I have done both. This past weekend, in a desperate attempt to get out of the city, I grabbed a clean t-shirt, my swimsuit and a toothbrush and caught the first train out of town.

With the world whizzing by outside my window, I felt the change of scenery reflect off my face and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of freedom and open space that you can only feel from getting away. A friend recently told me that the best thing you can do is change your view–be it your mindset, or what is outside your window–for me–I needed both. My train took me to open sky, green space and good company.

This week I am packing for a much bigger adventure. I sit surrounded by stacks and piles of what may or may not come with me. I ponder my packing list, adding and tossing as I go and in some ways, I wish I could just throw my hair up, stuff a clean shirt in my pocket and head out the door. I envy the guy in the backpacking section and I almost wish he was here to help me realize I don’t need any of these things at all–just my journal and my head. 

Packing Essentials for an Adventure

Passport (complete with extra pages)
Sunscreen (healthy skin is in)
Earl Grey (kick start to the day and reminds me of home)
Hoodie (an airplane essential–never be afraid to layer)
Scarf (helps perk up an outfit, becomes a makeshift blanket)
Toothbrush (duh!)
Journal (for all the cards, watercolors, sketches, and treasures you collect along the way)
Pocket sized camera (say cheese!)
Comfy walking shoes (because blisters can wreck a perfectly good day)
A good book (to remind you to sit down and relax!)
Postcards (for friends and loved ones) and don’t forget addresses!
Face wipes (to clear the airplane/street grime from your face)
A zip lock baggie filled with NYC (to remind me of what I am missing)
A zip lock baggie filled with Portland (to remind me of home)

This cup is for Eli & Dave–Don’t worry about what to pack, just be sure to make memories that will last a lifetime... and to the (pre)travel butterflies...I feel you. 

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