I have never been so unorganised pre-trip in, I'm fairly sure, my entire life. Usually I am always packed a day in advanced or I have a number of lists of things that must be double checked. In fact making those lists is often half the fun. This time I am a gibbering wreck. I'm 99.9% sure I have forgotten something. I've given up on the luggage and am now trying to organise my hand-luggage, which to me is far more important. If I forget something in the main luggage, I can just use it as an excuse to shop, stuck in the air for 14 hours however, I need my things organised.
Now, for no particular reason as I doubt anyone truly cares, here is Jen's guide to her hand luggage:
1) iPod. If you are a traveller like me who generally detests human contact and wishes to be left completely alone, you will know the most important addition to your hand luggage is a fully charged and updated iPod. I usually compile a flight playlist to last the duration of the flight including every genre I could possibly have an inkling for and then proceed to significantly lower my long-term hearing quality over the 14 hour period. The iPod is also invaluable when waiting - for a ticket, to board, to clear customs etc. I managed to buy a decent pair of TDK headphones today, so I should be able to avoid that weird stage where your ears hurt cause you had the earphones in that long.
2) Notebook. If, again like me, you decide to leave your laptop at home and cannot write/edit to your hearts content, it is important to have back-up. (And let's face it, in-flight entertainment systems are not the most reliable things in the world.) So, I usually print out a bunch of things I may want to work on/edit and of course lug a notebook and succession of pens around. I do this most days anyway, but its vital in this instance.
3) Books. Self-explanatory. Narrowing down what I want to take with me on a trip is always the hardest choice I make. I have been meaning to read American Gods for over a year now so I've decided that now is the opportune moment. I am also taking a Sherlock Holmes short story collection as they are sometimes easier to digest.
4) Gum. I don't go anywhere without gum, but I definitely never ever fly without it. I still have horrific memories from when I was 8 and suffered an entire weekend with an earache post flight. I'm never risking that again. So obnoxious gum chewing it is and painless adjustment to air pressure is guaranteed.
5) Moisturizer. My skin dries out like you would not believe so I have to keep it hydrated. I try to apply it every hour or so, it makes a ginormous difference.
6) Sunglasses. I know what you're thinking, people who wear sunglasses indoors are idiots, but consider the previous point. This applies to my eyes as well. If I wasn't so adverse to the stuff, I'd get eyedrops - I always look like some bloodshot junkie when I emerge into the airports
glaring artificial light. My eyes are fairly sensitive at the best of times, but after a flight it's the worst. So yes indoors, yes it's obnoxious, no I'm not famous, but you don't understand. It hurts.
7) Spare t-shirt. I always have a spare shirt on hand to change into once in the air, mostly because we are required to fly smart casual. Usually I have button up 3/4 tops and that, which are not the most comfortable. I'm flying in my suit this time, and I am sure I will experience the same feeling of weirdness when standing in line behind people who appear to be flying in their PJs.
Ummmm yeah I've stopped caring, so let's leave it there. I'm just procrastinating and trying to make this blog longer than it ever needed to be. Pretty much all that needs to be said is that I will be in Jo'burg for the next week, I will have my phone if anyone needs me, and I'll try to check my email regularly but know better than to make any promises.
Have a lovely mid-February, I will be back with rambling blogs that lead nowhere on the 14th.
Music: If you wanna...I might - Hellogoodbye