the things you take with you

Packing for my trip to Guatemala, I started to realize I was packing ridiculous stuff. In my bag I have a box of kleenex, a box of Ritz crackers, iced tea drink mix, all six seasons and two movies of Sex in the City, seven books, a month’s supply of m&ms, and an amount of yarn not humanly possible to knit through in the next month. The yarn is understandable- I’m pretty sure all knitters overestimate their knitting productivity, and seriously, what if I was left without a project.
When I looked at the spare contacts I had packed I thought, “four spares are not enough, I better pack an extra box.” The silliness of this is that I have never had an instance in the 16 years that I’ve been wearing contacts that four contacts have ever failed on me in a month. Than comes the medicine- what if I get a headache, what if I get diarrhea, what if I get pink eye, what if I get... I must admit I’m already making a mental list of the things I’ll leave in Guatemala, not only to lighten my load, but also to make room for the cool things I hope to find while I’m there.
I’m going to Guatemala under the guise of solidifying the Spanish I learned in high school and college, but really I’m looking for an escape from my old life in Fredericksburg and a fresh start when I get home. I’ve dreamed for a while what it’ll be like to be with myself- oh, to be anonymous. I hope to bury things in Guatemala and to give up the ghost. I might not be totally free when I return but I’m aiming for as close to it as possible. I’m sad to be leaving behind my boyfriend and my cats, whom I love dearly and will miss while I’m gone. With all of the international travel that I’ve done this is my very first time out of the country on my own. I’m excited and nervous, but I know that I can do it. So I’m jumping.
As ridiculous as the things I brought with me seem (including carrying my pillow all the way from Virginia to Guatemala), when I unpacked it became apparent how these items will make me more comfortable here. They are all a reminder of what I get to come home to, esp. the photos that the man I love snuck into my bag.


  1. Michael Capshaw-TaylorMay 1, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    I like that you packed all the seasons of sex and the city, and the movies! Can't wait to hear how being solo over there is. You know you'll be hearing about my experience!! I just finished packing my back and it only weighs 25 lbs. i feel like i should put more in it! I love you and am so happy you are over there. Talk soon!!

  2. and I'm so incredibly pleased for both of you. It's wonderful to have international kids.

  3. good luck! things like this make life exciting! have fun on your adventure and really immerse yourself in the beautiful culture! i traveled alone this past december through eurupe, i was nervous but it was an exciting feeling to not really know where i was going. cuidate!


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