Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

  • Behavioral Therapist
  • MA Developmental Psychology, Columbia
  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

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Sunday, July 02, 2006  
You don't fully realize how chronically neurotic you are until you find yourself preparing for a trip, long or otherwise. You also begin to realize not only how much crap you think you need, but how much crap you do actually need. Something as simple and exciting as taking a trip to Europe is transformed into an all-out ordeal complete with panic attacks, hyperventilations and a perverse symbiote of excitement and anxiety. As I'm writing this, I'm secretly (well not a secret anymore) hoping that I'm not the only one who turns into a toddler when they have to do something like prepare for a trip. I cannot fathom how anyone can be cool when preparing for a month-long trip. A week or weekend trip, it's easy to be laid back. You don't have to really put that much thought into packing. But over a month? Oh man. If they need a torture technique at Abu Ghraib (for the males... the females probably enjoy it), have them pack suitcases for a month-long trip overseas and see what happens.

It's not only clothes we're talking about. It's a sufficient number of t-shirts and pants, underwear, socks, shoes, sandals, dress shoes (screw that), a coat (because it apparently rains in places outside of L.A.), an umbrella to go with it, a bathing suit just in case there is some sort of swimming event and, as my mom helpfully informed me recently, a spare t-shirt and underwear in your carry-on just in case your suitcase is lost. Just in case. I have transported my Los Angelian life into a duffel bag... but I've got a t-shirt and a pair of boxers to take its place... just in case. And then there's the toilletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth (it says in the brochure that they don't provide washcloths), razor, shaving cream, nail clippers, deoderant, shampoo/conditioner (they don't have that either), whatever pills these quack doctors have said to take and the... male... necessities, for those eventful nights. Speaking of which, do you know how unbelievably awkward it is for your mother to remind you to take... male... necessities with you. Jeezaloo.

In addition to the forty-one chargers for the various Ipods, digital cameras, camcorders, portable toasters, portable DVD players, laptops....and the damn European transformers so they work in the circly plugs they've got over there, the French department emails you telling you what textbooks and course readers you need. And then the last day before you leave, you realize you need a dictionary because the one from AP French in highschool was mysteriously set on fire. And then there's the guidebooks and the city maps and the metro maps and the walking places maps... and you of course have to take a copy of your credit card and passport in case a thief steals your wallet and the safe in your hotel room and change dollars for Euros. Oh and of course you need an International Student ID at the nominal fee of $22 because a Bruincard is meaningless outside of this country.... oh and health insurance in case you die. You also need at least twelve magazines and a couple novels because those plane rides can last a lifetime. God knows your face will be glued to some form of writing for 10 hours.... that is until another masterpiece of a Reese Witherspoon movie starts playing in the "cabin."

But after all the mayhem is done with, you finally get to relax and focus on the amazing trip you're about to take, outside of the place you've labeled "home." Even though you tend to miss your home once you're away from it, you also realize that there is a world that exists outside of it. In exile, you long for your space of comfort but you appreciate the place that has extracted you from the worries and conveniences of your comfort zone. Lord knows they're going to be there upon your return, so why not enjoy your time in exile while you can, because home is gonna slap you in the face the moment you step off that plane again.

Bon voyage.

12:37 AM


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