Send Me Packing

As I maaaay have mentioned once or twice (or eighty times, but who’s counting?), I recently traveled with a group of friends to Liberia, West Africa. This carefully choreographed undertaking involved months of preparation and a packing list as long as my arm.

“Don’t overpack,” our leader Andy said, “but take everything you might need because lots of things aren’t available where we’re going.” For instance, we took toilet paper to use during our stay at the BESTWA headquarters. More seriously, each participant had to get a prescription and bring a full course of antibiotics. That way if any of us got sick or an injury became infected, we wouldn’t die.

Andy also advised keeping a change of clothes and other essentials in our carryons, just in case of lost or delayed luggage. We put photocopies of our passports in every piece of luggage and split the donated supplies we were bringing for the BESTWA staff between two or more bags.

Without quite realizing it, I was operating in crisis mode.

Two weeks after our return, I packed for a trip to visit our son and his family in the Olympia, Washington area.

In my efforts to streamline, I wanted to bring only my laptop bag as a carryon. The bag has extra room because I now use a tablet as my travel “computer,” but I nearly went crazy trying to fit in my retainers, my prescription, spare clothes, emergency this and essential that…

Then it dawned on me that I’d never been this stressed over previous trips to Washington.

(Ponders why…)

“Hey Brent,” I said to my longsuffering husband, “the airlines never lose our luggage, do they?”


“And even if they did, I could pick up a few things at Target, couldn’t I?”


“Oh.” (Starts pulling non-flight-required items from bag, stowing them in a Ziplock, and stashing it in the suitcase.)

“You’ll be fine,” Brent assured me.

And that’s how Brent helped me stop freaking out over a simple domestic flight.

Your turn: Do you ever overthink a routine event? Succumb to crisis mentality? Make things way harder than they need to be? I’d love to hear about it! You’re welcome to comment in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

Thanks for reading,

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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6 Responses to Send Me Packing

  1. Steve Miller says:

    Welcome to part of my world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can see how a little readjustment might be needed after preparing for such critical flight to a less-developed area. Thankfully, Washington is much more first-world than third-world. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. DONNA PRICE says:

    My suitcase was lost on a trip to Michigan to see our daughter a few years ago. I am very careful what I put in my carry-on now. It took about 2 days to retrieve my suitcase and wearing the same clothes got old.


  4. I usually pack for domestic flights in such a way that I have everything I need in a carry on, but I almost always count on having that carry on checked to my destination for free when everyone else fills up the overhead bins. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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