Monday, June 1, 2009
Packing for a Trip
I am leaving next Sunday for Swaziland, South Africa, and London. I started gathering things I want to bring with me today. You would think I'd have the art of packing perfected, but it seems more difficult every trip I take. This time, I am determined to pack as light as possible forgoing fashion and extras luxuries. I hope I succeed. (My running shoes will make the cut...I can't lose everything I've worked for after 26.2! Besides the Bix and the Rock 'n' Roll Half Chicago are waiting for me.)
I called the hotel I booked for the first night to arrange airport transportation this morning. When a woman answered, I realized that none of my extra languages will work in South Africa. I quickly remembered to slow down my English to communicate with her. In the end, she told me that she had my reservation and to call back tomorrow to give someone the details of my arrival. As native English speakers, we are lucky. Many people in other countries do have some English ability. We call these countries assuming someone can help us in our own language. But, can others assume that about our country and their language?
Other preparations include buying extra health insurance and sharing my emergency contact information with the friends I am traveling with. My friend Amy brought these things to my attention. She looks at travel differently now that she has a career in a study abroad program for a university. We never thought about these things throughout all our Asian escapades.
I am getting excited for our plans to visit a game park, go diving/snorkeling on the coast, and learn about African culture in general. I hope to post updates and photos here when I have internet access. Thanks for reading!