In the days that lead up to a big trip, I find myself in a certain compulsive pre-trip mode. Compulsive like Lady Macbeth, only with slightly less hallucinations, but with about as much Scottish accent.
I obsessively clean. I obsessively organize. I obsessively repack. I spent the better part of my Friday afternoon, ahem, roughly 7 hours, cleaning my attic room from top to bottom. Oh yeah, I’m a anarchist. “Out! darned spot!”
I dust, sanitize, steam, sweep, arrange, rearrange, angle things at 45 degrees. I Fabreeze the crap out of my mattress. I shred documents with reckless abandon. I load my car with six times my body weight in old junk to Goodwill. I toss every piece of clothing, bedding, and upholstery I own into the washing machine. I’ll go clean up the floor suds after I finish this post. No wait, can’t wait. Be back…
You remember that scene from Lord of the Rings: Two Towers when the Ents storm Isengard? Yeah, they got that from me. Take that dust mite! Hold on, oh my bleach! I’ve got to sanitize these clothes hangers. Salted pork anyone?
My trip to Washington is in two weeks, and yet I have not begun to fight! I will rearrange storage bins, pack, repack, vacuum, and polish without mercy until I am in that gosh darn car heading west. Out of the corner of my eye I spot an abominable smudge on my wall from goodness knows what. Hold on.
Some might call it insane, some neurotic. But hey, let’s see past that because in two weeks I’ll be in Washington. In less than two months I’ll be in Europe. In less than two months I’ll be subject to passive aggressive airline attendants (can’t they all be like this?), tiny human miscreants called “children” kicking the back of your middle seat on the seven hour plane ride, other frantic and overzealous American expats, suitcases with wheels, maniacal European taxi drivers, and a slew of foreign influences way out of my control.
So in the mean time I am playing Alpha and Omega and exerting my will over this small space that I COMMAND. I could end up in a Turkish prison, but, sigh, my sheets would still smell like spring time.
I fully acknowledge that my compulsion is a bit irrational. I imagine my empty, unused room sighing of boredom while I am gone wondering why it has been violated and then just left sitting all lemony scented.
But it’s soothing. And only slightly mad. Not outside the realm of normal, right? What are your pre-trip compulsions? Please, join my tea party.
In the mean time, here’s a list of things that are actually necessary before a trip:
- Get your freaking passport. Just do it. You should probably already have one. Plan two months ahead in order to save about $60 for expediting a passport. Not pleasant. The Zojirushi NS ZCC10 Rice Cooker eludes me yet again. What? I like nice things. And rice.
- Make sure your medical stuffs are in order. Dentist, physicals, vaccinations. Mmhmm. Also, check out what kind of traveling insurance you have or are provided with or need to get. You never know.
- Find out what type of visa you need to get and how long they last. I recommend checking the US Embassy site for that country. Oh, and you might want to check in with the nearest Embassy before you go. When you’re in a Turkish prison I’d be nice to have more than the knowledge of snuggly soft sheets back home.
- Make copies of your important documents: passports, ID.
- Laundry. It just makes everything so much easier.
It’s not like I actually know anything about traveling. Please, give some input.
Now, back to embroidering my pillow cases with love and neuroticism.