Tag Archives: lists

Hello there…

I am an adventurous person who enjoys seeing as much of this big, beautiful world as I can.

I keep thinking about my upcoming travel plans. I vacillate between wanting to speed up time so I can be there already and savoring the build up that makes traveling so much more enjoyable when you actually get to go.

I wish I could be more motivated. Lately I’ve been slacking on things that I know I should do and those I want to do.

I love spending time alone and with others, listening to music that stirs my soul, eating delicious food, making plans and being spontaneous, traveling to new locations and revisiting places I’ve been before.

I dance when there’s a beat I can’t resist. I might not have much rhythm, but I bop along anyway.

I sing often when listening to my favorite playlists, but most of the time I lip sync, since I’m usually listening at the gym, while walking, or when riding on the back of a Go-Jek.

I think often about where I see myself in the next few years. I have some ideas, but I’m not really sure. Part of that scares me and part of it excites me.

I really wish I had one more day this weekend. Finding the balance of relaxing and catching up on work/getting ahead is something I struggle with often.

I need to clean out my inbox. If I don’t stay on top of it, it becomes so unruly that I don’t know where to start (like now!).

I should get to the gym more often. My goal is four times per week, but lately I’ve only made it three times a week. I’m going to go today!

I can be silly or serious, sarcastic or straightforward. It all depends on my mood, the situation, and my relationship with the person to whom I’m talking.

I make playlists to match my moods, pancakes on the weekend, plans and lists.

I always request the window seat, pack too much, have lots of snacks, and bring my iPad filled with music, movies and books when I go on a flight.

I really like this format for a slice, especially when I’m not really sure what to write about (like today). This is my fourth attempt at Hello There (see versions one, two, and three), and I like how they are all different, yet contain some of the same themes.

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My Favorite Things

I got this idea from another slicer to make lists of my favorite things (the number for each list, 11 in this case, is the number of the date). I had so much fun the last time I did it, I thought it was time to do it again! 🙂

Everyday Things I Wouldn’t Want to Live Without:

  1. Books
  2. Internet
  3. My favorite water cup
  4. Go-Jek
  5. Music
  6. Good quality lip gloss
  7. Glasses
  8. Toothbrush/toothpaste
  9. A good quality writer’s notebook
  10. House plants
  11. Flipflops

Adventures to Have Before I Die:

  1. Another week in Nepal at the Little House in the Rice Fields, where I can connect with nature, relax, write, read, and rest.
  2. Visit Antarctica and South America before I’m 40
  3. A month in Inle Lake, Myanmar, riding my bike all around, taking boat trips out on the lake, eating my weight in Burmese tea leaf salad, volunteering at a local school, and getting regular massages
  4. Stay in a villa above the water in The Maldives
  5. Eat my way through India, traveling around to all the different areas to try all the flavors they have to offer
  6. At least a month in Bali, focusing on my health, eating smoothie bowls for breakfast and vegan food for lunch and dinner, swimming and exercising every day
  7. Learn how to skydive on my own
  8. Live in a small town in Italy, learning how to cook pasta, pizza, and desserts from scratch
  9. Fall in love again
  10. Scuba diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
  11. Ride the Trans-Siberian train

Pasttimes I Never Tire Of:

  1. Traveling
  2. Slicing
  3. Reading
  4. Trying out new restaurants
  5. Photography
  6. Jigsaw puzzles
  7. Cooking for others
  8. Spending time in the sun
  9. Dreaming about where I’ll travel to next
  10. Listening to music
  11. Learning new things

Treats I Could Eat/Drink Every Day:

  1. English Breakfast Tea
  2. Goat cheese (on almost anything!)
  3. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
  4. Smoothie bowls
  5. Bagel sandwiches
  6. Mango sticky rice
  7. Pavlova with fresh cream, passionfruit sauce, and luscious, ripe berries
  8. Freshly cut fruit
  9. Berries, yogurt, and granola
  10. Fresh lime or mango juice
  11. Pappadum with mango chutney and tamarind sauce

People I’d Be Lost Without:

  1. Mom & Dad
  2. Randi & Logan
  3. Michelle
  4. Linner
  5. Shaggers
  6. Callie
  7. Lisa
  8. Wayne
  9. Miriam
  10. Nicole
  11. Kathy

Places I Want to Visit:

  1. Perth, Australia
  2. The Maldives
  3. Topas Ecolodge in northern Vietman
  4. Luang Prabang, Laos
  5. Iceland to see the Northern Lights
  6. Barcelona, Spain
  7. Cape Town, South Africa
  8. Lisbon, Portugal
  9. Chile- Santiago, Easter Island, and the national parks
  10. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  11. Calgary, Canada to see Shaggers, Jeezy, and Marlowe

Words I Believe Hold Magic:

  1. Hope
  2. Serendipity
  3. Joy
  4. Wanderlust
  5. Wonder
  6. Love
  7. Authenticity
  8. Gratitude
  9. Enough
  10. Adventure
  11. Vulnerability

Gestures that Make Me Smile:

  1. Unexpected gifts, like a plant or a book they know I’ll love
  2. A thoughtful thank you note, preferably handwritten
  3. An invitation to dinner at someone’s house
  4. A hug when I most need it
  5. An offer of help when I’m sick or not feeling well
  6. An invitation to go on a spontaneous adventure in my city
  7. Being tagged in a funny meme
  8. A conversation where no one looks at their phone
  9. Spending quality time together
  10. A well-timed joke
  11. A text to say they’re thinking of me

Favorite Songs (as of this publication):

Click here to listen to my favorite songs

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37 Things That Make Me Happy

While most of the world is focused on the royal wedding today, I’m quietly celebrating my 37th birthday. Rather than having a huge party, I’m keeping it low-key. Due to the fact that Ramadan has just started, parties are frowned upon, at least ones that include loud music and any alcohol. Despite the fact that it doesn’t really feel like my birthday, I am looking forward to spending the weekend in Puncak at a nature retreat and spa about an hour outside of Jakarta with Miriam and Michelle. The plan is to go for a walk, lounge by the pool, read, get massages, and eat yummy food. Sounds pretty good to me!

It’s pretty crazy to think that I’ve celebrated my birthday in a different country the past four years! This year it’s Indonesia, last year was Thailand, before that was Albania, and before that was China. Hopefully I’ll be in Indonesia for the next few! As per a tradition I started a couple of years ago (35 things and 36 things), I like to reflect on things that make me happy on my birthday. In random order, here are 37 things that make me happy.

  1. Country music…lately I’ve been listening to it, which is out of the ordinary for me, but I’m loving it!
  2. Taking my niece Randi and nephew Logan on dates
  3. Bagel sandwiches, toasted with garlic cream cheese, loads of veggies, white cheddar, and a touch of mustard…mmm
  4. Getting lost in a good book
  5. Completing my to-do list, especially when I didn’t think I would
  6. The look on their face when I give the perfect gift
  7. Mango sticky rice…I had a bunch last weekend in Thailand, and it did not disappoint!
  8. No-agenda days
  9. Ice-cold coconut water
  10. Traveling to new places and filling my passport with stamps and visas
  11. Revisiting favorite destinations, stopping by the spots I remember and finding new places to love
  12. Making people laugh
  13. Sunny Shanghai weekends…man, do I miss that place! (Lucky for me I’m visiting again next month!)
  14. Spending time with family and friends
  15. Solving a problem
  16. A clean, organized home or office
  17. Smoothie bowls…Alchemy in Ubud has the best ones, hands down!
  18. Getting to see my former students…last week in Thailand warmed my heart so much when I got to love on my little babes!
  19. A nice-smelling candle
  20. Go-Massages…or massages in general
  21. Feeling strong
  22. Green plants around my home
  23. Teaching others
  24. Nice, colorful pens
  25. Making a difference in the work I do
  26. Pavlova…can’t wait to eat this a bunch in NZ this summer!
  27. FaceTime dates
  28. Participating in the Slice of Life Challenge each year
  29. Iced sweet tea
  30. Watching a movie in the theatre with a big bag of hot, buttered popcorn
  31. My new home…I’ve made it my own oasis, and I love it!
  32. Photography…getting that perfect shot is the best!
  33. Saturday mornings, when I get to do whatever I want…sleep later than normal, FaceTime with friends, catch up on my shows, drink hot English Breakfast Tea, and make breakfast
  34. Comfy leggings to travel in are a must-have!
  35. Buying a new, quirky pair of glasses
  36. Reconnecting with a friend…getting to catch up with Josh last weekend did my soul some good 🙂
  37. Friends who become your family
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Last year at this time I was celebrating my 36th with Julie, Lauren, and Kyleigh in Bangkok. 🙂

What I Believe #sol18

This is my second attempt at a What I Believe poem. My first is here.

What I Believe

I believe kindness always wins.
I believe people change and grow– sometimes together, sometimes apart. Both are okay.
I believe we have to be our own biggest cheerleader.
I believe our words reveal who we are inside.
I believe everyone should travel to a new place alone– at least once in their lifetime.
I believe a home-cooked meal is love.
I believe we are all a little too hard on ourselves.
I believe everyone is a writer, but many of us just don’t know it yet.
I believe eating plants gives us energy.
I believe I wasn’t meant to live life in one place.
I believe in saying thank you.
I believe in finding someone who complements us rather than completes us– we need to be whole on our own.
I believe in hard work.
I believe disconnecting is good for the soul.
I believe in doing what makes your heart happy.
I believe in taking risks– we don’t grow in our comfort zones.
I believe in second chances.
I believe a beach, a good book, and no agenda make for a perfect day.
I believe we learn from kids more than they learn from us.
I believe in saying sorry when we mess up.
I believe everyone should keep a writer’s notebook to capture their thoughts– you’ll thank yourself one day.
I believe we all have slumps, but we can’t allow ourselves to stay there forever.
I believe listening– truly listening to someone– is a lost art, and if you find someone who does, you should hold onto them.
I believe smoothie bowls are life.
I believe in investing in your own health.
I believe how people react to situations says more about how they’re feeling than anything else.
I believe everyone is beautiful– it’s our job to find their beauty rather than their flaws.
I believe you don’t truly appreciate your family until you’re older.
I believe in making people laugh.
I believe telling our stories is how we share our lives with one another.

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Hello There…

Hello There…

I am learning to love me again, to embrace the very me-ness I possess inside, and express myself freely.

I keep secrets, a writer’s notebook, and memories of my travels.

I wish I could travel anywhere and everywhere for a year, with no regard for money (Who wants to sponsor me? haha).

I love mango sticky rice, iced chai tea lattes, pomelo, new books, blogging, sleeping in, goat cheese, dragonfruit, sharing stories, laughing, and filling my passport with stamps.

I dance ridiculously when I’m excited about something, usually making my friends laugh in the process.

I sing along with most songs, regardless of where I am and regardless of my mostly off-key voice. I have this innate gift of being able to pick up a song after hearing it a couple of times. I can’t promise you the lyrics are exactly right, but they’re close enough!

I think often about going back to school for another Master’s, possibly in school counseling or early childhood education. I’m in the research phase at the moment.

I really would like to be able to walk right now without the aide of crutches- hoping my ankle heals quickly!

I need less stuff than I thought I needed a year ago.

I should exercise more than I do, which is something I intend on starting once my ankle is healed.

I can teach preschool, despite thinking that it was something I could never do. And I’m actually pretty good at it, too.

I make a difference in the lives of my students, and they do in mine.

I always put others first; I’m working on that.

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9 Things on Day 9

As I was reading through some slices for some inspiration, I came across All Things Purple’s blog, where her slice was full of lists of her favorite things, 9 per list, in honor of the ninth day of slicing. I love lists, as anyone who follows my blog or knows me in real life knows, so this was right up my alley! 🙂

9 Everyday things I wouldn’t want to live without:

  1. Books! (actual books or ebooks)
  2. A device (laptop, iPad, or iPhone)
  3. Wifi connection
  4. Tea kettle
  5. Toothbrush/toothpaste
  6. Live plants
  7. Backpack
  8. Reusable water bottle (loving my Camelbak Eddy at the moment)
  9.  My writer’s notebook

9 Adventures I want to have before I die:

  1. Step on all 7 continents (before age 40!)…just 2 more (Antartica and South America)
  2. Take a year off and slow travel around the world
  3. Write a book…and publish it!
  4. Meet someone I want to share my life with
  5. See the Northern Lights and sleep in a glass igloo
  6. Spend at least one month living in Inle Lake, Myanmar, volunteering at a school or an orphanage, riding my bike every day
  7. Go on an African safari
  8. Take my parents to all my favorite places around the world
  9. Show up at the airport, buy a ticket, and fly some place I’ve never been, with absolutely no plans whatsoever

9 Pastimes I never tire of:

  1. Listening to music
  2. Writing
  3. Reading
  4. Talking about reading and writing
  5. Cooking
  6. Throwing parties
  7. Visiting new restaurants
  8. Planning for a new trip
  9. Talking to my friends and family

9 Treats I could eat everyday (if they weren’t unhealthy):

  1. Chai tea lattes, preferably iced and from Starbucks
  2. Goat cheese
  3. Mangos
  4. Homemade ravioli
  5. Brownies
  6. Chips & Queso
  7. Hot Shipley’s glazed donuts
  8. Mercato’s homemade ricotta and jam with buttery, toasted bread
  9. Pavlova

9 People I’d be lost without (Only 9?!?):

  1. My mom & dad (I know, this is more than one…)
  2. My brother, sister-in-law, niece, & nephew (this one, too…)
  3. Shaggers
  4. Michelle
  5. Linner
  6. Kathy
  7. Sarah
  8. Sally
  9. Callie

9 Places I want to visit:

  1. New Zealand
  2. South Africa
  3. India
  4. Russia
  5. The Maldives
  6. Iceland
  7. Spain
  8. Bhutan
  9. Chile

9 Words I believe hold magic:

  1. Savor
  2. Love
  3. Vulnerable
  4. Change
  5. Play
  6. Serendipity
  7. Authenticity
  8. Gratitude
  9. Delicious

9 Gestures that make me smile:

  1. Receiving a gift from someone who knows me well
  2. Hand-written notes
  3. People who go out of their way when you’re sick/injured
  4. Quality time
  5. Playing a board game with me
  6. Hilarious texts, particularly ones accompanied by poignant GIFs 🙂
  7. A good book recommendation
  8. An engaging conversation where no one looks at their phone
  9. Little kid hugs

9 Favorite songs (as of this blog post) (How can I pick just 9?!?):

Click here to listen to my favorite songs

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What are your favorite things?

Today I…

Today I had rich discussions about connections to our units of inquiry.
Today I got lots of hugs from smiley kindergarteners.
Today I skipped down the hall.
Today I answered about 147 questions.
Today I led 5 meetings.
Today I had dinner with a colleague and friend, bouncing around ideas about orientation.
Today I made someone’s day.
Today I listened to music while riding my bike.
Today I reflected on the POI review process thus far. We’re almost done! 🙂
Today I sent 31 emails.
Today I crossed off many things on my to do list. Sadly, the list is still a mile long.
Today I enjoyed the sunshine.
Today I wore a Frozen hair extension in my hair that a 4 year old gave me. And I rocked it!
Today I laughed. A lot.
Today I was pulled in a hundred different directions.
Today I was a multi-tasking master.
Today I worked hard, but was energized by it.

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35 Things that Make Me Happy!

As I approach my 35th birthday later this week, I am struck by the fact that I don’t have any real feelings toward it. I’m not worried or sad about getting older, nor am I overly excited about it. I’m excited about my kick ass birthday party this weekend, but I love planning parties, so that’s no surprise! I think I find it odd because 25 really bothered me. Something about no longer being able to say I was in my early 20’s rubbed me the wrong way. No other birthday before or after 25 has bothered me.

For today’s slice, I thought I’d take a page from fellow blogger Michelle’s book and write a list of 35 things that make me happy. Here goes! (in no particular order)

  1. Goat cheese! (I had some with dinner tonight…yum!)
  2. Traveling! OMG I live for my next trip! (Coincidentally my next trip is Amsterdam in 9 days!)
  3. Slow mornings
  4. Organizing and planning
  5. My family (I get to see them in less than 2 months! EEEK!)
  6. Making lists…hehe
  7. Decorating my home
  8. Cooking
  9. A new journal
  10. Lip syncing! I equally love doing it and watching it.
  11. Soft pajamas
  12. English Breakfast Tea, Twinings to be exact
  13. Chai Tea Lattes…especially from Starbucks
  14. Teaching
  15. Sharing a story…in a book or from my life, it doesn’t matter to me
  16. Smiles
  17. Videos…inspirational, funny, informative
  18. My friends
  19. Blogging…so far I haven’t missed a Tuesday since the SOL Challenge ended!
  20. Biking around the city
  21. Making new friends
  22. Coming home to a clean apartment
  23. Spending time on the beach
  24. Glasses!
  25. Living abroad…it has shaped who I am today
  26. Theme parties
  27. Queso!!!
  28. Artwork that speaks to me
  29. Finding a new book
  30. Listening to music
  31. Sharing my joy with others…whatever it is that day!
  32. A good pen…I’m totally like my dad about this one.
  33. Massages
  34. Brunch
  35. Firsts…love trying something new! Here’s to more firsts this year! 🙂
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Michelle, Linner, and me on my birthday last year…man I miss these gals!

TBAs #sol16 25 of 31

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Reflecting is a part of life. Taking stock of what you have, what you’ve done, and what you’ll do next time is essential to living. All too often, my reflections are focused on ways to improve upon something, to be more efficient, effective, productive, or thoughtful. But sometimes it’s just good to reflect on the good things in my life. Today, that’s what I intend to do through TBAs, which stand for Truths, Beauties, and Appreciations.

Truths…

  • I have a magical, wonderful, little life!
  • My friends are some of the best friends a girl could ask for! Even when we are continents apart, we are always there to support one another and share in each others’ successes. I love them!
  • This year’s SOL challenge has been good for my soul. It’s gotten me out of my writing rut, and allowed me to reconnect with some of my old friends.
  • I’ve missed reading. Too many other things have taken my time lately, but I’ve gotten back into this week. I’ve been reading Nightingale, which I am loving.

Beauties…

  • Reina, Mel and T’s adorable baby girl, whose smile lights up a room and who can make me happy, even when I’m feeling sick and wiped out.
  • Shagger’s new baby Marlowe, who is just too cute for words! I cannot stand not being there to snuggle up with and love on her!
  • My passport, full of stamps from my travels around the world.
  • The bright, colorful, patterned fabric they have in Senegal. I’ve not seen anything like it before!

Appreciations…

  • Sally, my colleague and friend, who is always offering to help me out when I’m stressed. Even when her plate is full, too, she is always willing to lend a hand. What would I do without her on my team?
  • The love and care Mel, T, Sally, and Agnes have given me this week when I haven’t been well. It’s certainly not what I expected- to be sick while in Senegal- but I appreciate all the care I’ve received.
  • My FaceTime chat with Linner this morning. Oh how I have missed her! 🙂
  • The fact that I felt well enough to venture out today! Mel and I got to check out the local market. Now that was an experience! It’ll be tomorrow’s slice for sure! 😉

What do you know to be true, beautiful, or appreciate?

What’s in My Carry-On #sol16 18 of 31

Since I’m traveling today to Dakar, Senegal (my 30th country!), I figured I’d share what I pack in my carry-on. I’m always curious about what other people pack in their carry-ons, too, as it gives me insight into who they are as a traveler and I sometimes get new ideas.

As a frequent traveler, I have, through trial and error, perfected my carry-on packing. Here’s what I take with me for most trips, however, a few things change depending on where I’m going, the length of my flight/trip, and the weather.

My Carry-On Bags

I brought both of my carry-on bags for this trip, but sometimes I only take one or the other. I have a Samsonite Mightlight Spinner 30 rolling bag. What I love about it is that it is super lightweight (less than 6 lbs.), can expand to fit more stuff (for when I shop too much!), fits in the overhead bins (even on smaller planes), and has a front pocket for my laptop, which makes it so easy to go through security. I also have a Samsonite Mightlight Boarding Bag, which has a loop on the back so it fits on the handle of my rolling bag. I like the front pockets because they provide organizational pockets for things I need to find quickly and a small zipped pocket with easy access to my passport and phone. There’s a side pocket that’s open for a water bottle, which is very convenient. The back of the bag unzips on three sides, revealing a packing area that can hold a surprisingly large amount of stuff! It has straps inside, too, that can be used to pack clothes. The back flap also has a zippered pocket that is great for holding my iPad. Within these bags, I always have a smaller zipped bag to hold toiletries and other odds and ends.

Now onto the contents of my carry-on(s).

Essentials

  • Wallet: Duh! I take out all non-travel essentials before I go so that it’s less bulky.
  • Passport: I keep mine in a cute holder so it’s easy to find and is protected.
  • Pens: It’s always good to have a pen for filling out departure and arrival cards in many countries. Bring more than one and you can loan one to that seatmate who doesn’t have one. They’ll thank you for it.

Comfort

  • Tempurpedic neck pillow: Seriously the best thing ever! My friends generally make fun of me for bringing this, but it is essential for helping me sleep on planes, which is very important to me. Plus, I use it as my pillow in hotel rooms when the hotel looks a bit sketch. *I’ve tried many neck pillows (inflatable, the one with the pills in it, etc.) over the years, and this is by far the best.
  • Large scarf: This can obviously be used as a scarf in cold weather, but I always travel with one and use it as a blanket. Planes are usually very cold! Mine is from American Eagle (2015). It is soooo soft and warm, and it is long enough to reach my feet and still go up to my neck.
  • Eye mask: I cannot sleep when it’s light out, so I put on my eye mask to tune everything out and catch some zzz’s!
  • Sleepphones: Have you ever tried to fall asleep on a plane when there’s a crying baby or people around you who won’t stop talking? OMG! So annoying! I have to block out the noise somehow. I used to just wear ear buds, but even the most comfortable ear buds begin to hurt when you’re on a 12-hour flight. Sleepphones are headphones that don’t hurt your ears. Basically you wear a headband around your head, positioning the speakers over your ears, and voila! you can tune everything out while saving your ears!
  • Comfy socks: I love taking warm, fuzzy comfy socks to change into when you are on the plane. I hate wearing shoes when I’m seated, and my feet get cold. Plus, bare feet on an airplane is just gross!

Hydrate

  • Refillable water bottle: It’s so important to drink tons of water when you fly! The flight attendants will fill it up for you if you ask. It’s much easier to keep at your seat than the little water cups they give you. My favorites are Camelbak and S’well.
  • Face lotion: I apply anytime my face feels dry/tight. I keep mine in a contact lens case, as it provides just the right amount for airplane rides.
  • Lip balm/Chapstick: My favorite is Lucas’ Papaw ointment from Australia. I am in love with this stuff, and apply several times during the flight!
  • Eye drops: Airplanes seriously dry you out, but having eye drops really helps keep your eyes hydrated.
  • Hand cream: My hands are always dry, but an airplane brings a whole other level of dryness! I have to apply hand cream a few times during each flight. My favorite is Body Shop hand cream in Wild Argon Oil scent.

Technology/Entertainment

  • iPhone
  • Laptop and charger
  • iPad and charger
  • Ear buds
  • Camera and lenses, accessories, charger, etc.: I have a Canon Rebel XS and a Go Pro. Sometimes I take both; sometimes I take one or the other. It really just depends on where I’m going and what I’m doing.
  • Book: I don’t always take an actual book, although it is nice to have. Sometimes I just read on my iPad to save room and weight in my luggage.
  • Writer’s notebook: I sometimes take my writer’s notebook to jot down my observations or thoughts while traveling. Other times I use my laptop or other device to record my thoughts.

Toiletries

  • Colgate Wisps (disposable toothbrushes): These are great for when you want to freshen up while at your seat. Did you just eat something garlicky? How about drinking a Coke or juice? Before taking a snooze, freshen your teeth and breath!
  • Travel toothbrush and toothpaste: I collect those free ones that many airlines give out, since they are small and compact. This is great for those long-haul flights (8+ hours) when you need to fully brush your teeth or for when you land at your destination (or layover) and want to freshen up.
  • It’s Potent Eye Cream by Benefit: This is a great product to dab under your eyes after a long flight. It helps brighten you up and makes you look more awake than you really are. I store this in the other half of the contact lens case.
  • Assorted medicine: You never know if you will get sick when you are traveling or on a plane, and finding meds in a new country can prove to be difficult, so I always take a few pills that I might need. If I end up getting really sick, these few pills will tide me over until I can find a pharmacy. You’ll always find Tylenol, allergy pills, Pepto Bismol pills, Oscillococcinum, and Melatonin in my bag.
  • Basic make-up: I usually have mascara, tinted moisturizer, blush, and lip gloss with me so I can freshen up when I arrive at my destination.
  • Face wipes: It’s always great to have a couple face wipes on hand to clean up the gunk around your eyes after your nap. I don’t usually travel with make-up on, but if you do, these are great for removing make-up, too.
  • Roll-on perfume: These things are great! Not only can you travel with your favorite scent(s) and save on luggage weight, you can use it to freshen up or sniff when someone/something around you is stinky.
  • Hand sanitizer: Airplanes breed germs! Sanitizer helps. That is all.
  • Sanitizing wipes: Again, germs! These are great for wiping down your tray or washing your hands after eating.
  • A few tampons: Because you never know when you (or a friend) might need them.

Snacks

I don’t really like airplane food, and I’m a vegetarian, so I choose to bring my own food to snack on during the flight(s). Here’s what I brought today:

  • strawberries
  • apples and peanut butter
  • almonds
  • dried apple rings
  • chocolate-covered rice cakes
  • tea bags
  • gum
  • mints
  • I also bought a pasta salad in Paris for the long flight to Dakar.

Random Things

  • Hair ties: I keep these in several locations just in case.
  • Foldable travel brush: Helps tame my wild hair, especially after I’ve napped.
  • Travel-sized Kleenex: There’s nothing worse than needing to blow your nose and not having a tissue or napkin. They are also great if you need toilet paper and they don’t have any (a must in Asia).
  • Sunglasses: Getting off a plane and stepping into the sun when you’ve just been cooped up in the dark for hours can seriously hurt my eyes, so I always pack my sunnies just in case.
  • An empty quart-sized plastic baggie: Because you never know when you might need it.
  • Facemask: As a past resident of China, where the air was polluted and you occasionally needed to wear a mask, I got used to taking one with me when I traveled to and from China. I find that they are really useful when you are sitting near a smelly person or something suddenly doesn’t smell right (you get the idea). I know I might look weird with it on, but I don’t care! What’s really funny is when I’m wearing my facemask, eye mask, and sleep phones at once. You pretty much can’t see my face…haha!

What must-have item do you have in your carry-on?

**Because I wrote this on the plane, and just arrived in Senegal, I’ll have to post pictures of my carry-on items tomorrow.**