Sunday, June 7, 2009


Time to departure: ~ 13 hours

EEEEEEE!!!!!!! I'm so excited!
I fear that no one is really reading these posts....YET. But that's ok, I'll soon pick up a following once I tell more people about this blog and start making it more visually appealing.
I will try to keep this short because I still have a bit more packing to do and have been running around trying to get everything together all day. I did, however, want to write a little about just that.
Getting ready for a big trip like this is always stressful. Even packing for my short trips can be hard, but leaving for a month takes it to a whole new dimension. I'm actually a very good packer and have a lot of experience. I've learned to pack light, no matter what, and haven't ever forgotten anything major.
For example, I studied abroad in Spain and managed to put everything in a medium/ suitcase and a backpack for the whole 6 months. When I arrived, everyone else on my program was shocked and thought maybe I had already left things in the hotel or I had a real suitcase in the other room, or something couldn't be right. They all had 1 or two large suitcases and duffel bags, etc etc. But why would you want to haul that around??

Knowing how I usually dress, I tend to wear the same 5 things over and over. And as far as my experience goes, I think most people at least do this on vacation, so there's no need to bring a million options "just in case". I promise there will not be too many unexpected special occasions that pop up while traveling. And no one will notice if the same tshirt is in 80% of your pictures. That's how mine always are and people haven't stopped being friends with me because of it. Cutting it down to the basics is the best way to go, a few layers, comfortable shoes. Taking note of what you actually wear is really good in general. I've taken advantage of this by throwing several things out while going through all my clothes.
Keep in mind where you'll be and what you'll be doing, what the weather will be like, and also take into account whether you might want to shop so you can leave space (ALWAYS leave space).

My trip starts out in Barcelona, goes through a few cities in s. France, and we end up in Menton, a small town between Nice and the Italian border for a little over 2 weeks, and we'll surely take a few day trips from there too. The weather will be in the 70's for the most part, and hopefully sunny, but I'll bring a small umbrella (note to self: put the umbrella in my backpack before I go to bed) So, I plan to wear jeans on the plane with a tshirt and a black zip up sweater because I'm always cold on airplanes and this way I'll have something a little warmer if I do need it while walking around at night or something later.
I've packed about 2 tank tops, 5 tshirts, mostly basic solid colors, and 2 light cardigans. This way I can layer, and if I really do feel the need to dress it up if we happen to go out, I have some nice jewelry or something. There are ways.
I have 2 shorts, 1 skirt, and a few breezy dresses for the beach and walking around in the heat because once we're in the beach town I know I'll be in my swim suit the majority of the time and it may be really hot walking around so I need something breathable and easy to wear over the suits. Plus I just love dresses :)
And of course I can't forget plenty of underwear, and a few pairs of socks for when I'm wearing my tennis shoes, though I think that will just be in Barcelona, then I'll switch to flip flops for the rest of the trip.

Moving on to other things- medicines, toiletries, etc.
I went and refilled all my prescriptions this week so they'd last me. I also realized I'm one sickly girl, yuck :\
I have waterproof spf 55 sunblock, a travel sized facewash, new toothbrush and floss. I'm going to rely on my family to provide the shampoos and toothpaste so I kind of luck out in that sense since we save space by sharing. I did buy a fancy leave in conditioner for my hair yesterday since several weeks on the beach is not good for hair. I picked up this bio- something brand olive oil leave in conditioner. I was kind of confused while picking one out because it was a brand that they had for shampoos and conditioners too but the leave in was in the section for african american hair, which I don't have, but I know olive oil is good for your hair and to be honest it just smelled really good so I got it. Then I was reading the back today and it is in fact for "relaxed" or dry course hair. I was obviously looking in the wrong section, but as it turns out, I really like it and maybe that's what I've needed all these years for my dry curly hair.
On the airplane, I'll take a backpack with my camera (extra batteries!) a few books, my ipod, and a notebook for writing and drawing. I will also pack lots of food.
About the food, this is a biggie for me!
In my suitcase I have a variety of bars, larabars, kashi, protein, and so on, and a container of mixed almond, cashew, and peanut butter. Obsessed? YES. But they don't really do nut butters in france and I would not like to live without it for a month. The bars are just good for in between meals and snacks in case my family does not want to eat as often as I do, as that frequently happens.
Our flight to Newark leaves at 11 so I've packed a lunch, and some snacks. I"ll probably buy something during our layover. Then the flight to Barcelona leaves around 7 so I've packed a dinner and many more things for snacking on that flight, and I'm making sure I have quite a lot since I can't sleep on airplanes. My backpack is always filled with tupperwares and various packaged foods and I always think the security people must be laughing at me after I walk away. Oh well, I bet they're just jealous because they don't have any. This has also been good for cleaning out my fridge today. I've been like a human garbage disposal all day trying to eat through anything perishable, I have sooo much left! Speaking of which I'm off to work on that a little more and finish the packing and get to sleep.

A few last important things to remember:
phone and charger (must remember this in the morning)
passport (dad has it)
games for the airplane (little brother)

Next time I post I'll be across the pond, yay!!!!!

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