That One Time I Forgot How Much Time It Takes To Pack For Two Weeks
After meticulous research and countless hours of studying on the subject, I have decided that I am utterly terrible at packing for trips abroad. I can write an article on just about any subject within an hour or two, speak three languages (to an extent), and follow just about any recipe for cooking, but ask me to pack for a 15 day trip to Boston and Israel and I go blank.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when I came back to San Diego last Friday to pick up my suitcase from my mother’s house that I was basically schooled on all the things I was forgetting by my lovable, logical, and all-too sensible mother. She took one look at me as I pulled my suitcase from its box in the garage and started firing off so many questions that by the end of the day, I felt like an unprepared incompetent mess that, in all honesty, would be crying in the corner of Ben Gurion at 2:30am having just realized all the things I forgot had it not been for her.
“Do you know what converters you need?” she began as she sifted through her drawer of travel paraphernalia a few minutes later, “What about money? Have you thought about how many Sheqel you’ll want to convert? How many respectful outfits do you need? Do you want to use my travel bottles? Don’t forget to pack some Emergen-C, those planes are a breeding ground for germs.”
I stood there, dumbfounded, and trying to remember all the things that Arthur and Tye had told me on the phone call before our trip. Sure, I had listened intently to what they were saying, and I had read the FAQ they sent out a little less than a week ago, but for the last few weeks, the sound of Hadag Nachash’s song “Hine Ani Ba” has been drowning out any sensible noise. I was going to Israel again. I was too excited to think of anything else.
Being the sensible one in the family, my mom spent the rest of the weekend helping me prepare for my fast-approaching journey. I did enough laundry to clothe an entire army. I converted money. I gathered all the containers I’ll need for my trip. I researched the weather in the cities I’ll be staying in. Oh, and I got a rad new haircut.
While I’m not 100% ready for my trip, I feel a little bit better knowing that I probably won’t be having a mental breakdown in the early morning in Ben Gurion Airport. There’s no guaranteeing anything, though. Going 24 hours without coffee might be the end of me.
Rebecca Levin is a writer and editor living in Orange County, California. She recently graduated with a degree in English from the University of California, Irvine. Rebecca is a participant on A Wider Bridge’s October 2014 Israel trip.