By Katie Jecha SCU 2018
When packing, things take up a lot more space in your luggage than you think.
The first step for packing was to create a packing list. I was able find some good ones for traveling to India on line. After that, it was time to gather things together. I was able to borrow some items from family. My grandmother had a travel purse that has a strap reinforced with metal that can’t be cut. My dad has an excellent travel suitcase and my mom loaned me her new day pack. They had plenty of advice too!
Then it was time to shop. Snacks like granola bars are necessary for the plane ride or on the trip. There is also purchasing stuff like shampoo. It is surprising how so many personal hygiene items I use on a daily basis. There is lotion, shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste, deodorant, body wash, and face wash. So the shopping was mostly for mini sized versions so that they could all fit in my bag. I also bought a mini version of my frizz control spray. It will probably be necessary with the humidity in India.
Of course I needed to think of meds too. I needed the basics like Tylenol and ibuprofen, but for this trip, I needed a few others. My mom recommended that I start taking Culturelle, a probiotic, to help keep my gut healthy and maybe decrease the possibility of getting sick. I also had to start taking anti-malaria pills . Finally my doctor gave me antibiotics for “just in case”.
Finding culturally appropriate clothing for traveling in India took some thought. For clothing, we were told to pack pieces that will be easy to mix and match. The clothes also need to be fairly modest: no super low necklines, super tight pants, or short shorts, and also skirts should be at least knee length. I received a few new items for Christmas for the trip, which was helpful. I also bought some new tops. The weather during the trip could drop into the 50’s some days and it will be good to just have a cardigan to toss on, so I packed two I already own. As recommended, I packed two large scarves that can be used for style and warmth, but will also add modesty. I realized while I was getting ready to pack that unfortunately my clothes are going to get wrinkled in the luggage. But I guess that is just part of traveling.
Once I had all my stuff together, I had to figure out how to figure out how to get it all packed. For some reason, I originally wanted to bring five books to read. However, I realized that was ridiculous. I am not going to be able to focus only on reading for the whole plan ride and there was not enough room in my travel backpack. Included for the time on the air plane are snacks, my journal, a sketch book, 2 books, a coloring book, a travel pillow, as well as many other small items. The back pack is pretty full. My suit case is also really full after being packed like a puzzle. Luckily, I have a fold-able duffel bag packed to use as a carry on on the way home.
I am relieved that I chose to get all my packing done 2 days ahead of time. If I had waited, I might have forgotten a few things (such a sketch book and colored pencils!). The process gave me the realization of how soon the trip will finally start. I am really excited for this experience.