This week I'm going to a conference out of town. I'm just going to be gone 3 nights and returning the 4th day. Packing is not a simple task for me because I'm a worrywart and need to pack for every situation that has happened to me in the past and caught me unprepared.
For example, a few years ago, a group of us traveled to Oklahoma to mist net with Country Girl's parents, who ran their own banding station. As we all know, it is difficult to eat decent on a road trip as there are more places off the highway offering fried foods, than better-for-you fresh foods. If I'm not mistaken, we had breakfast at McDonald's and lunch at Burger King and when we arrived at Country Girl's parents house, we ate yet more fried and fast food. I was fine for the mist netting and the rest of the day, but later that night, all the junk food eating caught up with my sensitive stomach. I spent most of the night in the bathroom with things...ahem...coming out the "south end" if you catch my meaning. We left for home the following morning and it was a miserable ride home.
Another time, Danno and I went to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon for vacation and one morning I ate a breakfast item that contained a great deal of dairy, which is a no-no for someone like me, who is lactose intolerant. I didn't have my Lact-aid pills on me, which helps me digest the lactose in dairy products, but I figured I would be ok, since I had not consumed any dairy on the trip. Boy I could not have been more wrong in my assumption. Of course that was the morning we decided to drive into Sedona and went up and down several narrow windy roads. I thought for sure I was going to hurl during that drive, but I somehow managed to hold it together.
Zantac, Pepto-Bismol and Lact-aid now go into the suitcase with every trip and once I'm at my destination, I will take Zantac daily, whether I need it or not. There's nothing more miserable than GI problems on a trip.
Other maladies I've experienced and now pack for are headaches, backaches, blisters and sleeplessness. In go the Tylenol, Tylenol-PM, Moleskin and bandaids. I pack extra pants, socks, underwear and a raincoat to boot when I'm traveling.
I just finished packing here is a summary of the thoughts that flew through my mind at the speed of sound all the while running back and forth, up and down the stairs and under the bed, throwing things in the suitcase.
"Let's see, I've got my nice clothes packed for the conference days. I don't want to look like a slob. But what if everyone goes out to dinner afterwards? The itinerary said dinner optional. Does that mean I need to change? Good grief that means 2 changes of clothes for each day!"
Then I'm combing through my closet looking for dresses and skirts and then looking at the space left in my suitcase.
"Screw it. I'm still going to look nice enough for dinner. It's not the end of the world if these people see me in the same clothes for dinner. I may not even want to be social after 8 hours of workshops."
Then I begin to worry about the "driving day" clothes. The clothes that are comfortable for the hours long drive to and from the conference. No one but my bird friends are going to see me in my dress downs and since they've already seen me sweaty, muddy with bird poop on my shirt (and sometimes pants) I'm not too concerned with my appearance. This time I'll actually be clean and NOT smell! Two t-shirts and a pair of jeans are tossed in the suitcase.
Then I worry about entertainment for myself during the down time.
"Do I take my nook or one of the books Wewa sent me for my birthday? Hmm. I could take both. What if I don't like the book I pick? At least I'll have something else to read in case that happens and there are several books stored in the nook."
"Ohh I should take a crossword puzzle book and my ipod. Crap where is the charger for my nook? And my phone? And my camera batteries? And pencils. I'll need to take pencils and pens with me."
For the next few minutes I run around in search of my ipod, phone and camera battery chargers which are all found and placed in my camera bag. Pencils, pens and pencil sharpener are located and dropped in the bag as well.
"Hm, what am I forgetting? Oh! Notebook to take notes and my travel journal. I can't forget those."
I'm all over the place with packing because the next thing I'm worrying about is hats and hair accessories and how to pack my tube of shaving cream, which won't fit in either my travel case or in a ziplock sandwich bag. Ball cap, headband and ponytail holders are found and packed. Shaving cream is placed in a sock at the bottom of the suitcase.
My thoughts return to the electronics. I double check to make sure the power cord is in with the laptop, verify that I have extra camera batteries and memory cards as well as the memory card adaptor for the laptop.
I've packed my extra pair of glasses, face cream, deodorant, and toothbrush but no toothpaste. Dang I knew there was something I was forgetting to pack.
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