Tomorrow I leave for my big adventure – 3:00am. First stop Tahiti. Deep breath. I’m both nervous and excited. All my dreams (well besides having Dioge by my side) are coming true. I’m getting to explore the world, write, and just let things happen. No deadlines or expectations to live up to, but the ones I set. And being an organized, control freak, it is a little challenging. I tend to make up scenarios in my head of all the possible outcomes and over prepare for everything. I just need to let go, breath, and let things happen. God has a plan.
First off, double checking my luggage. One backpack with all my stuff and another for some things I’ve bought for my first host. Check!
For my own gear, I’ve been packing and unpacking for months (might need this, don’t want this, this takes up too much space, this is too heavy). I’ve been adding things, taking things out, remembering things I forgot, losing things, adding things, taking things out – for months. You get it. It’s a process, but in the end, I usually have most of what I need.
I’ve added another duffle bag for my host and a couple more things for me I can’t put in carry-on luggage. Apparently, taxes on imported goods are high in Tahiti, so everything is very expensive. He had a blast ordering things from Amazon for me to bring. Being the helpful Workawayer and friend that I am, I’m more than happy to oblige. Also, because of this gentleman, my plans have changed a bit. He is a dreamy Frenchman living on a catamaran in Tahiti, I’ve been talking too for months. We use WhatsApp to communicate. It allows you to send messages, talk, and do video chats with someone abroad. All free of charge. So, because of this chance romance (they say it happens when your not looking) I’ve revamped my wardrobe slightly. Dress to impress.
He’s also inspired me to finally write my the memoir, I’ve wanted to write for years. Originally, the focus was going to be my accident and recovery, and be purely memoir. But, I may add a little fiction and my life experiences of dating (good and bad) along with my accident and recovery, since he has my romantic juices flowing. Follow to get the scoop.
First off, the forever long flight. I leave Detroit for Chicago at 7:45am, and have a 1 hour layover. Second flight to San Francisco is 4 1/2 hours with a 2 hour layover. Enough time to eat and wait :/ Then, third flight to Papeete (Tahiti), an 8 1/2 hour flight. With time changes, I leave at 7:45am from Detroit and arrive at 6:50pm Tahiti, it will be a total of about 17 hours (wearing a mask the whole time 🙁 ). Bringing along my writing books for the plane ride to get me started on my writing adventure. A very long day, but I’ve been promised a home cooked meal by my host on his catamaran. We were going to go out, but now with the new variant there are curfew laws in place. Plus, he contracted Covid, so I may be sleeping on the deck under the stars to avoid stale air. He is getting better and I’ve read you’re only contagious for 10 days after first symptoms, which will be about the time I arrive. But still, better safe than sorry and sleeping in the fresh Tahitian air won’t be so bad.
As far as packing goes, I’ll start with toiletries. My sister-in-law gave me a Birchbox subscription for Christmas and it’s fabulous. All the demo products you receive are just the right size for plane liquid restrictions. Each item can’t be over 3.4 ounces and they must all fit in a quart size bag in carry-on luggage. I’m only taking carry-on, as I don’t want to risk losing my luggage in transit. I also quit brushing, drying, or straightening my hair, so that saves me tons of room and time. Just a comb. I’ve realized my hair has a nice little natural curl/wave, so I let it alone. Adria (my hairdresser) will thank me when I see her a few days before I leave to get my final cut/color 🙂
For all destinations a waterproof cell phone cover. My cell phone is my everything after all. Sunblock, sunglasses, a sewing kit, laundry powder, flashlight, mini first aid kit, microfiber towel, pillow case and sheet, locks, pen, travel adapters, rain jacket, pj’s, jewelry, and mini-purse. Most importantly, of course, passport and now Covid vaccine card. Plus, puppy passport for may baby Affenpincher I may bring back from Milan 🙂 That is if I come back.
As far as clothing goes, I figure I need enough for 2 weeks. Plus dressy things for church, nights out and dancing 😉 I have slip on tanks in various colors that are thin and easy to hand wash and air dry quickly. Bikinis, bikinis, bikinis (I’ll be living in those in French Polynesia. A few shorts for work activities, as I prefer dresses for everything else. Workout clothes and tennis shoes for lifting, running, etc. Although, I will be surrounded my water, so swimming will be my new main source of calorie burn. Snorkeling Gear. Flip-flops, water shoes, sexy heels, and lots of cute sun dresses.
Then, Thailand for yoga teacher training. Same hot climate and working out daily. Maybe a bit of Muay Thai if time permits. I can’t be in the birthplace of my favorite pass time and not take part. But, in Thailand, I must quarantine for 2 weeks 🙁 It’s an open quarantine in Koh Samai, so it won’t be that bad, but it still puts a wrench in my plans.
Italy for Christmas (how magical). The slight climate change adds a little difficulty to my packing. It’s not Ohio winter chilly, but chilly enough that I can’t live in sun dresses and a bikini. I added a few light pants, a couple long sleeve tops, and a sweatshirt. I also have a special dress for all the Roman Catholic Churches I’ll be visiting. You must cover to your knees and to your elbows.
Egypt for a few weeks. Definitely, a sarong I can wrap around my waist to wear as a long skirt or use to cover my head and shoulders depending the surroundings and my other wear at the time. Maybe, a few pants and tops covering my shoulders, but I think I will buy a couple nice long, airy dresses there.
Then, Venice for Carnivale end of February and back to Rome to work my way down the coast. Ending with a month in Sicily, assuming I find a Workaway. That’s as far as my plans have led me so far.
I also have a few snacks for when I get hangry. Mostly nuts and protein bars. Protein is always good, because it keeps you satisfied for extended periods of time. And COFFEE – I need coffee. Some southern cornmeal to make cornbread for my host. I’ll get the rest when I settle in to my destination.
I think I’m finally satisfied with my backpack. The last few days have been pretty hectic – Covid test, hair, last visits to family, last training sessions with clients, and finally my full body waxing. Oh the joys of being a girl 🙂 My life changing adventure around the world begins August 24, 2021. Only God knows what’s in store. Can’t wait 🙂