Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vacation Time!

Cowgirl and I are headin' off for some adventures tomorrow! We have been waiting ages for a true vacation that involves airplane rides, suitcases, and backpacks filled with essential travel goodies. We will be spending time with dear dear friends who we met via the internet on a forum for adoptive parents. A magical meeting as we quickly found out we were in the same travel group and our daughters are only 1 week apart in age. These are friends with whom we have made the commitment to see each other regularly, even though we live 8 hours apart. We say it is for the girls, but truth be told, it is for the 2 mommies who fall easily into deep, meaningful conversations, p#nty-wetting laughter (okay, I am paranoid about someone googling that phrase and peering in here) and wifely camaraderie. It is going to be a very nourishing week for all the girls (the boys are doing their own things.)

I love to travel and enjoy the change of scenery and break from my routine, but I am always so anxious in the days leading up to our departure. Why I do this, I do not know.

Part of me wants to believe I crave simplicity, spontaneity and the ability to carry my home like a tortoise's shell upon my back. The reality is, I am a creature of habit. Left to my own devices, I fall immediately into a routine. Even my pets settle quickly into set routines. I love variety which means I love all my stuff; and I believe in always being prepared which involves more stuff.

So packing for me is a nightmare. I stress over bringing too much, but on the other hand fear not having what I need. Rephrase that: not having what I want. Years ago I went on a week-long Outward Bound trip to Joshua Tree Park. It was an amazing experience with many empowering moments but what I vividly recall was the reaction of the group of grown women being told we could only pack 2 pairs of underwear. We were given a very bare bones list of items to bring; then we arrived and they slashed that list down to one t-shirt, 1 long sleeved shirt, 1 pair of pants & shorts, 2 pair socks and the said undies. And I still remember the glee when one of us declared "I think tomorrow will be the day I change my underpants!"

So I know I can be bare bones and survive but still ...

I mean, shoes alone? How does one decide? Add to this stress the fact I am packing for the Cowgirl who is less attached to her stuff but has some pretty fantastic things that need to be worn. Worn before they are too small. Bought because this mom cannot resist the yummy prints and designs available to those weighing less than 40 pounds.

So we've determined which stuffed animal buddies will be traveling and have narrowed down the necessary notebooks to pack. (Yes, she is my daughter ... telling me she needs her art and her exploring journals!) Toiletries still have to be tackled. A lot of lotions between the two of us.

Tell me, what is on your list of essential travel items? Does packing bring up similar angst and guilt about all your stuff? Or do I need a professional to help me on this matter? I am left wondering if all this anxiety is less about being prepared and more about wanting to maintain my individual identity, while also wanting to fit in. What I love about travel is it opens me up to new ideas and ways of being that I can then bring back home. But I want to blend in with the natives to really see how they live.

So, if you see a harried mom dragging a large suitcase around the airport with a backpack and camera bag slung over her shoulder, say "hi!" and hand her some chocolate.

above is Cowgirl watching her favorite movie Ghost Busters while I packed.


  1. Bon voyage! We're off on holidays today too so I'll look forward to checking in here when I get back to see how it all went. Plus, I loved your comment about the fairy letterbox at your house. You have to do a post about it one day - v. cute. See ya!

  2. At the other end. . . the fridge is stocked with many healthy and some not-so-healthy snacks like three different cheeses to go with the wine. The condo is as clean as it gets and the bedding is freshly washed. We are not stressed, just impatient for you to arrive. Tonight Ava said she is more excited than I am for the two of you to come. I don't think that's possible :) See you in the morning!!

  3. Enjoy your trip! Let's do dinner when you get back. I miss our time together!

  4. And what a lovely vacation it was. Love and miss you guys.