19 hours and counting...

Trip Start Sep 28, 2006
Trip End May 04, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, September 28, 2006

I have been living and breathing this trip nonstop for at least a month now and pretty heavily since I bought my plane ticket in March, and yet it is 1:30 am the day of my departure and I am still packing...I decided to buy a relatively small backpack (the Gregory Deva 60L) and I've attempted three times in the past several days to pack it. Somehow it looked so much larger when I bought it than it does now! My first try late Monday night was a joke. I keep trying to eliminate items from my packing list, but I already feel like I'm not bringing anything. Half the space is taken up by the INSANE medical kit that my (doctor) parents are making me take. I practically have an entire pharmacy on my back. I have at least 6 different antibiotics, 2 types of malaria meds, tamiflu (even though there is no bird flu where I am going!), various first aid stuff including my very own suture kit, countless other pills, and of course a 4-page (highlighted, underlined, circled-in-red, laminated) explanation of how to use each item. For those who know my Dad, you know what I'm referring to...Not that I'm complaining though. I'm sure I'll be thankful for all of these things (especially Cipro) once I inevitably fall ill.

My parents have really been incredible these past 5 weeks, between putting up with my ever-growing mess that has plagued the house since my move from New York City and helping me prepare for this trip in every possible way you can think of (my Mom is sewing a secret pocket into my pants as I type). When I first told them about my plans to quit my job at Cravath, Swaine & Moore to do some extended traveling rather than go back to school or pursue another job, they weren't exactly enthusiastic, so their support has really meant a lot to me. My sister has been amazing too, coming down almost every weekend to keep me company and calling all the time to calm me down if (okay when) I'm freaking out. I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by such a strong support system right now.

Speaking of my sister, she took a pretty funny video documenting my packing disaster. I certainly look quite fabulous in it, being that it was around 8 pm and I still hadn't changed out of my pajamas or showered, and am completely surrounded by all of my labeled zip lock bags of clothes and various other items. (By the way, ziplock bags are brilliant for organizing your pack and protecting your stuff! Everyone kept making fun of me, but seriously they are the best.) I don't know why I am sharing this video, as it is quite embarrassing, and for some reason I sound like I have a lisp (not true!). Oh well, here it is. I'm sure I will find it particularly entertaining when I return in the spring.

I can't wait until I'm finally out the door with my pack on my back and no more opportunities to obsess over trivial decisions like which colored tank top to bring or if I should really bother bringing mascara. Yes, that was in fact an ongoing debate in my mind. Right now, I'm still surrounded by tons of zip lock bags that eventually need to be packed, and I have several more things to do, so it's going to be a long night...then again, it's not like I'll be getting any sleep anyway so I may as well keep busy! I'm very anxious as you can imagine, but incredibly excited too. I have no clue what to expect---what's going to happen, how I'm going to react to this type of travel etc...but I guess that's as much of a good as it is a scary thing.
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