how do you pack for home?

Packing for a trip is sometimes the hardest thing, other than, well, everything. Travel is not easy. It is interesting, eye-opening, educational, engaging, but not really fun, at least for me. You can have amazingly fun experiences, but the process?

Car trips are fine. You can take what you want and that usually works out, except for the schlepping in and out of the car to wherever you’re staying. But better safe than sorry, right?

I know; we are very very spoiled. We have a lot of stuff. We even have machines that wash things for us, except when the power goes out. But then it goes back on and we resume. Unless they stop because you can’t figure out if you’ve put it on Cycle C or D or J…

But how do we maximize comfort while away from the comforts of home? What is on your list?

My extreme need to unpack stemmed actually from not finding my sleep mask on the plane. I really really could have used it; not that I would have slept, but at least it would have been more likely. So I really wanted to put my hands on what I had brought with me. Was that too much to ask?

I have tried to learn from the experience of others (thus the title of the blog!), if not just from my own mistakes. I have tried to find things that seasoned travelers use, either through personal advice I’ve been given by those who I trust, or by Amazon and its reviewers, and other sites. I’ve been steered right and I’ve been steered crooked. I wouldn’t say wrong because it’s so very subjective. Which travel pillow is best? Which one will not fall apart? Do I really need a back support? Melatonin? Tylenol PM (Oh that really doesn’t work for me!!)? What’s the best route to travel? Time to travel? Basically, how do you make travel really work, and not make it travail.

So where was my sleep mask? Exactly where I put it. But on the plane, I just couldn’t put my hands on it and so it stayed in the outer pocket on my carry-on until I unpacked in our Jerusalem apartment.

But the irony of packing is that you know what you have, even if things are hiding (like the sock that was under the bed here in Efrat that escaped from my dirty laundry bag). Your search for your items will be limited to the places that you stay.

So, D#2 had to spend a very large amount of time searching her whole place for a memory stick with some very important documents on it. Of course, it’s very small and the place is not enormous, but large enough for it to have multiple places to hide.

And after washing that sock, I realized it wasn’t mine at all. Why is it that socks so often prefer to go solo?

And then there was some smell in the Jerusalem apartment; we thought maybe it was the gas line, but it was more likely the water. So now the plumber had to come, and we had to wait.

It was the washing machine. It had no siphon. Of course. That was corrected and all should be fine.

But of course, it still smells.

There’s no place like home. The smells are yours and not inherited.

Of course, when it’s cold, you can’t smell as much. Because then the heat wasn’t working and it was cold. In Israel, the buildings are made from stone. That’s great in the summer, because heat dissipates, but oh in the winter…so what do you need to stay warm? To stay comfortable?

What are your basic requirements to be comfortable enough to go outside of yourself?

So travelling helps you realize things about the world and about yourself. I know I need to know where things are. I am a physical learner.

I need things to hit me in the face before I get it.

Figuratively, of course.

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