Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

In about ten days, DD#1 and I will be jetting to Europe to join up with her Girl Scout troop for four weeks of tromping the English countryside, scaling Swiss hillsides (not the real mountains. I don't do mountains), and overall fun with Scouts from around the world. With the amount of going back and forth between venues, it was strongly suggested that we pack lightly. The hard part? Figuring out what I absolutely need for a four week trip.

For starters, I am not a clothes hound, so that part is easy. A few of my favorite pairs of pants (though my absolute faves may be too heavy for summer in warmer climates. Might work in Switzerland...hmmmm...), t-shirts, underfrillies, socks. A pair of hikers I love love love, a pair of casual shoes and *maybe* tennies, if I have room. A jacket and some light-weight rain gear, just in case.

I'm also not one for needing lots of product for face or hair. I don't wear makeup, though I'm sure some would say I should : ) My only concession is a bottle of Oil of Olay. I love the stuff, and it reminds me of my grandmother. She kept a bottle of it on her dresser and had lovely skin, so there you go. A tube of cleanser will probably find its way into my ditty bag as well.

As for hair, I recently got a "goo and go" cut, specifically for this trip. Yes, it's short. Very short. But all I have to do is wash it, towel it dry to a degree, goo it and brush it back. Bam. Done. Normally, at home, even when it's short I'd take a hairdryer to it. But I don't want to waste luggage space on a hairdryer.

I won't have my laptop either. Which means (a) no internet, (b) no ebooks, and (c) no access to the manuscripts I'm working on. The lack of internet may be solved by cafes or such along the way, so I might be able to shoot an email to hubby and friends, but I'm not counting on access. I don't have too many ebooks, but they are convenient when I am traveling with the laptop. No reader, either, so I'll have to choose a few paperbacks.

The inability to twiddle with my work might seem like it's much tougher to deal with, but not really. I have 4 weeks to put aside and "forget" one manuscript that is being revised. When I get back, I can see if I like what I've done. As for the WIP, 4 weeks of not going back to what I've already written to tweak or avoid tackling the newest scenes and finish the darn thing is good. I'll have my notebook and several pens. If I find myself with relative quiet time (on planes, trains, or any time 20-odd teenage girls are out of the room) I will write. By hand. The old-fashioned way. Why? Because while I can easily give up my hairdryer for a month, there is no way on this earth I can give up writing.

What are your essentials for a trip?

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At 7:21 AM, Blogger Writer and Cat said...

Unfortunately my essential for a trip is getting to be a gigantic body pillow. Not Europe friendly!

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Probably not, W&C, but I think I may need one when we get back : )

At 1:46 PM, Blogger LVLM said...

Oh.. this sounds like fun!

Europe is quite warm during the summer months. I'd say just a very light jacket or thin sweater will be fine, even in Switzerland. I lived there for 2 years and don't remember it being any cooler than anywhere else in summer.

Hair dryer is a bit hard due to voltage and socket differences, although adapters are easy to get and cheap. I have mini hairdryer I use for such occasions, but maybe where you stay will have one. Can you find that out online?

That's too bad about the writing. In those instances, having a mini notebook would be a godsend.

I just traveled without my computer, but my sister and partner are techies and have an over abundance of laptops and smart phones, which meant I could get on line 24/7, including when we were driving. I spent half the drive time twittering and online as we drove from state to state. Love technology.

But it's good to break away.

I can imagine though, that you will not have any quiet time except for on the plane.

Have fun though, it sounds exciting!

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Thanks, LVLM. I'm sure we'll have a ball. And thanks for the insight on weather. We sort of have to prepare for anything since we'll be tent camping the last third of the trip.

Still, no need for a hair dryer : ) Between the voltage thingie and lack of space, I'm adamant about doing without it.

If I had a smaller laptop (a Notebook or some such), I would have been more tempted to take it with me because yes, I'm sure there would be sufficient wi-fi while traveling. Technology is amazing : ) But in a way I'm looking forward to being unplugged for a bit. We'll see how bad the DTs get ; )


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