The suitcase is out, lists are being made and I'm preparing for next week's kickoff to 2012 Travels, but first I thought I'd avoid responsibility a little longer to share the joy of the small things associated with traveling.
I love the fear that comes before a trip. Preparing to leave home for any place, no matter how great or small, requires one to have this impossible foreknowledge of everything needed to address any situation that could arise. Some journeys allow you to rely on the tried-and-true "If I forget anything I'll buy it there"...the good ones don't offer that comfort. So instead I calculate the number of bug bites I could get, the number of pain killers I could safely ingest before I get home, and how many times I'm likely to spill on myself at dinner. I ponder whether I'll really get through three books on the flight...whether I'll suddenly learn to crave Snickers bars halfway through the vacation...where I put the multiple inflatable neck pillows I buy on every big trip and put in "a safe place" when I get home. But mostly, I panic about my travel documents. I check every five minutes to be sure my passport hasn't walked away.
I love the travel sizes of things. Never mind that the $1 charge for that tiny bottle of shampoo equates to a 150% markup over buying the whole bottle of the same kind of shampoo...I love those little bottles that symbolize freedom and rootlessness. That's not a 150% markup, that's an investment in my sense of SELF.
I love the possibilities. As I'm packing my suitcase, I don't know any of the downsides to my journey (despite my attempt to dream them all up, of course). I don't know that my travel companions might get boring, I don't know about the rainstorm that will keep me inside, I don't know about the frustrations or missed connections or changed plans. All I know is the possibility.
Ok so there you have my romanticized view of the world as I prep for adventures. Now I have to put away the poetic soul and figure out how on EARTH I'm supposed to fit everything I need into one small suitcase that doesn't exceed the weight limit.