How to Pack: When You Have No Idea T-1

You can google “how to pack” and you end up with a slew of possible methods: to roll, not to roll, the just-in-case-a-giant snake-attacks-me-in-the-middle-of-London…. I’ll bring everything safety net [hey, it happened in Harry Potter], the bare essentials that include either silk undergarments…. or the disposable type, and so on.

Now packing for Dakar this summer has entailed some interesting dilemmas: hot & humid, my shoulders to my knees must be clothed, I will be an intern and office and a student, and really, whenever people go out in Dakar, they define the word swanky. I mean, even before evening you see men dressed in perfectly tailored 3-piece suits just walking down the street with a swipe of rust coloured dust on their cuffs… this is the base line for nightlife in Dakar. Thus, I am in an interesting predicament. So here it is: the packing list, for well, everything?

Step 1: Start early, as in a week or two ahead. Remember when I bought the giant hat? Yes, that was the first step to packing. Write down your packing list during tea. This gives you an excuse to both mull and brew another pot [and we all know base levels of caffeine are shown to help ease off depression especially in women. See, no excuse].

Step 2: Now actually get the stuff together. Plus side? You see everything you don’t have… like said hat or the perfect knife for carving mangoes don’t worry, I have at least three that work well and are accompanying me.

Step 3: Best ‘step ever:’ Procrastinate [see examples below]. Yep- you know you’re going to do it anyways, so why not make it productive? The beauty of procrastinating after Steps 1 & 2 is that you feel like you deserve a break. Instead of having that little feeling at the nape of your neck that nags you with that feeling of packing fear, you get to actually enjoy your easy time. Additionally, said time allows one to realize all the things that you forgot.

Step 3 Exhibits: 

-Having a LAN wi-fi party with Ryan, Tyler, and fresh made oatmeal raisin cookies

The Great Gatsby trailer just came out!!!!!!!!! Christmas yes please. Side note: much of has a large obsession the 20’s, especially the fashions & old style prohibition gins. Alas, as Midnight in Paris has taught us, I much prefer at least more rights as a female than all my men in constant tuxes.

-A day long trip to DC, complete with amazing food, good company, and meeting Mrs. Ellie Sachse, the president of the JW Saxe Fund [she just happens to be one of those people, you know, the ones where you hang onto every word spoken].

the President, Ellie, and I on her porch in DC.

Step 4: Finish packing at least one day beforehand. Things to think about:

-Travel Steamer: Maybe I’m a sucker for clean lines, but for the past year this has been a perfect investment.

Something completely frivolous, but that makes you feel at home or fancy. This is particularly nice when in places that make you play the etch-a-sketch game in reverse: you get to make pictures in relief out of the dust on your skin! Bring some perfume, a six-pack of good ol’ American Sugar Free gum, whatever it may be.

-Make & begin The Playlist… by which I mean the official Summer playlist. Maybe this goes back to how I remember moments in music, but I still love how I can go back three summers and get the same euphoric sense of the windows down on the highway, hot summer night air rushing in, a strobe light frisbee whenever I listen to 2008’s Electric Feel. Let me know what you love, or to see what I’ve been building you can join my Summer 2012 Dropbox here.

-End on something sweet.  A hug or a croissant, your pick, but a way to see you’re here and ready to go. Tomorrow I have a row of meals, friends, phone calls, and goodbyes lined up. Cheers to one more day in the US, and I’ll be with you next a continent away. Cheers!


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