Last night I had my first goodbye with Jess. A bunch of us went to dinner at BW3 and since she won’t be in town this weekend for my going away party, we hugged and wished each other the best in the Bdubs parking lot. As I was walking to my car, Kevin asked me how it felt and all I said was “Fine.” The realization that I’m not going to see people for a very long amount of time is just now setting it. I’m scared of saying goodbye, I’m scared I will be left out or even forgotten, and I’m mostly scared of the homesickness that I, without a doubt, will experience. I already went through it once when I moved to Dallas and it was awful. It took about 3 weeks for it to set in and when it did, I cried every single night for a solid two months. If it hadn’t been for Kevin skyping me almost every night, my homesickness probably would have lasted even longer. I don’t want to feel that way again. It was one of the worst emotional experiences I’ve ever had to deal with. I know that this isn’t my first realization that I’m leaving nor is it my most emotional. I can’t explain how this one is different but it is affecting me a lot more…maybe it’s due to the fact that I only have 6 days left until departure…
On a brighter note; I am almost fully prepared for departure. I received my flu shot yesterday and packed up everything but my 2nd carry on which is a backpack that will contain my laptop, paperwork, and other electronics. After packing and repacking each bag at least 3 times, I have finally made it so my biggest carry-on is at 45lbs and has a lot of unused space for what I’ve heard is a mountain of various training guides, books, and items that the PC office gives you during training. The only forseeable issue is with my rolling carry-on. It is very densely packed and I hope I can find someone kind enough on the plane to lift it overhead for me. I tried lifting it overhead myself and it nearly gave me a concussion!
The black one on the left is the carry on of death that almost killed me today. It holds school supplies, GRE books, my jeans, some shirts, straightener, curling iron, and my change of clothes for the international flight along with my PJs. The black and green rolling duffel has my business casual clothing, dresses, and basic t-shirts for the most part and has a nice amount of room left over. The blue and gray one holds all of the heavy stuff such as shoes, more school supplies, and random hygienic products and comes in at around 35lbs. I’ll also have a carry on backpack that will hold my laptop, paperwork, and other random electronics. I thought that I was all set but now, listing everything that I am bringing, I am worried that I will end up forgetting something that I won’t be able to buy overseas.
Lastly; the weather makes me sad. It has been raining all day and will continue into the night. Danijela and I were supposed to go to the Cubs vs Padres game today but as of now that is postponed and will eventually be cancelled. I am happy to see the glorious weather that will be waiting for us at our training site in Targoviste! LOOK! It’s actually spring there!!!!
So I’ve slowly been buying all of the stuff that I’m going to need to take with me that I don’t have already. This is probably my favorite part of packing for any trip….it brings out my inner shopaholic! Here are the items that I’ve bought so far…
Deuter ACT lite 65+10
My new travel pack: I went to REI in Lincoln Park one day just to take a look around and get a feel for what type of pack I was going to need for the various things that I planned on doing with it. The amazing sales person spent about 2 hours with me trying on various packs. I am apparently an extremely hard fit because the women’s packs don’t sit right on my hips and ride up…go figure…I ended up getting a men’s pack which I knew was the one as soon as i put it on! It felt amazing and it’s incredible how these packs are designed to hold around 50lbs yet not let the wearer feel any weight on his/her shoulders!
Northface Women's Arctic Park
This next one was more of my mom’s idea than mine. I have a great winter jacket that I love. It is convertible and can be used as just a rain jacket, a light fleece jacket, or a warmer winter jacket with a hood. This apparently was not good enough for her because it did not go passed my butt and she wanted me to get something longer and “warmer”. I made her happy and got this bad boy. I’m not going to lie though, I am excited to wear it. When it came in the mail i just sat around in it and due to our wonderful Midwest Monster Snowmaggedon Storm of 2011 that occurred about 2 weeks ago, I have tested it out and it is EXTREMELY warm.
Northface Heckler Backpack
Yes…a second backpack. The above travel pack if obviously much bigger and mainly used for longer trips that I plan on using as one of my 2 pieces of checked luggage. I also wanted a smaller backpack that I can take along with me to school, a weekend trip, or whatever. I probably spent the most time searching for this pack. I wanted something that had a padded area for a laptop, bungee cables on the outside, and was around 40liters. I finally found this one from Northface and got to test it out this weekend. I drove down to Cincinnati to visit my old college roommate Sydney for the weekend and this pack had more room than I needed. Since I’m a recovering overpacker, I did my best to try to limit the amount of stuff I took but still ended up taking too much clothing solely because I had room in the pack and wanted to have a selection. I ended up fitting 2 pairs of jeans, 4 shirts, 5 pairs of undies, my makeup bag, a sweatshirt, 1 sweater, a belt, and 3 pairs of socks and ended up leaving the outer pocket empty. Yeah, I used about half of what i brought
Tech Toyz 7 in 1 Multi Tool
This one is probably the coolest. I ended up finding this multi tool at Office Max in the clearance department for around 4 bucks. I figure since it was so cheap, if it ends up breaking down on me, I won’t be too worried. I have so far used the flashlight, knife, saw, and screw driver (with changeable tips). It works really well and I mainly like the fact that the multi tool and flashlight are as one so it’ll save me some space during my packing.
The only things that are left to buy are school supplies like glue sticks and note cards, power adapters/surge protectors, and the hygiene stuff and I should be good to go!
Only 70 days left till departure!