What Not to Do When Preparing to Travel


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July 28th 2011
Published: July 27th 2011
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Stress KillsStress KillsStress Kills

Don't shorten your lifespan with unwarranted worrying. Quit stress today.
I suppose over time I've started to fancy myself a seasoned traveller, with "gravel in my gut and spit in my eye." It seems I've loosened up a bit and let out a bit of slack on the travel prep, since I managed to surprise even myself with my utter packing failure tonight.

It was a comedy of errors. I left the office psyched for my Tokyo trip and spent the evening bouncing and flouncing around my apartment picking out clothes and shoes to bring along. I very cleverly put my work files on a thumb drive and gave myself a pat on the back for remembering power adapters for Japan.

Midnight rolled around. I finished my midnight snack, got into pajamas. And then was hit with the mistake that I consistently make - business cards. Where were the business cards? I searched my wallet - nothing. The drawer by my front door - nothing.

Where were the damn business cards??

The truth was I'd forgotten them, and I couldn't very well go on a business trip to Japan without business cards. How sloppy would THAT look?

Tired but determined, I jumped in a cab (in my pajamas) and sped off to the office. We pulled up to find the front entrance closed, but I was expecting that. I planned to go through the secret nighttime garage entrance, but - oh no! - that was gated off, too.

My cab driver looked around and stated the obvious: "It's closed."

Defeated, I told him to drive me home. As soon as I arrived home and entered my apartment, my colleague informed me via SMS that there should be security guards at the building to let me in. Fidgety and unable to wait until morning, I went back out and hopped in a cab again. Tired and grumpy, I went BACK to the office for round two.

I found the security guards and they pulled up the garage gate. I put my hand on the gate to duck underneath, which deposited a healthy dose of black car grease onto my hand (which is still on my hand and refuses to be washed off). My mission to obtain business cards was successfully completed, and you'd think I'd have had enough for one night. But, I hailed a cab and began to relax only to find that my Blackberry was missing.

I started to run all possible scenarios through my mind - how would I check email throughout the days in Japan? How would I touch base with my teammates once I touched down at Narita? What if I worry too much about these small things? Are these small things? Will I worry myself into an early grave? I'd better not worry myself into an early grave. How could I forget my Blackberry? Do I need to pack a snack tomorrow for the plane?

And I entertained these thoughts until I set foot in my apartment and found my Blackberry sitting tranquilly on my bed. I went carefully through my OCD travel packing list with reminders for "what not to forget" in the morning, and decided - I need to chill out, because none of this will matter 2 weeks from now.

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27th July 2011

Oh girl. I forget how important business cards are in Asia. And you are hilarious and I wish I was there to help you keep your head straight (and vice versa). xxoo

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