The Things She Carried

January 17, 2010

in life changes, moving abroad, packing, reflection, trip planning

Everyone keeps asking me what I’m bringing to Australia. The answer: mostly clothes, along with the usual girly stuff of shoes, purses and jewelry, some books and DVDs, medicine and a First-Aid kit and some electronics. I’m a person of small means, and I figure that whatever I don’t bring that I need over there, I’ll just buy or borrow. 

But I wouldn’t be slightly sentimental me without taking one other thing. It’s a photo album given to me by my dear buddy, the Pink Helmet. It’s a very pretty book in which I know she meant for me to store photos of my adventures down under.

But instead, I’ve filled it with memories of my life here: photos of my family and friends; good-bye cards and letters; my racing numbers from the two 5Ks I ran last year; the invoice from my first major magazine article; postcard pictures of the Beats and Truman Capote, some of my writing influences; a St. Anthony’s card (he’s the patron saint of travelers); an angel pin and a picture of a rainbow drawn by my friend’s 7-year-old daughter who I used to babysit.

To anyone who asks how I’m going to cope if I get lonely or discouraged over there, that’s your answer.

I am so completely excited and ready to go to Sydney, physically, mentally and emotionally. The time flew, but I am prepared.
I am pumped for so many reasons, but one of them has to do with being in a place where no one knows you. While others may find that scary, I find it liberating. It makes complete sense to me. How else am I supposed to see what I’m made of and keep growing into the person I’m supposed to be without being away from everything and everyone I’ve known? I realize not a lot of people get to experience that, but I feel like for me, it’s necessary.
This will be my last post from the States. I wish you all a good rest of the month, and I’ll be back when I get settled into my new surroundings.

6 Comments - Add Yours!

  1. Abby

    Good for you! I've moved several times, to places where I didn't know a soul. It's liberating. And sometimes, it's just what you need 🙂

  2. KT

    I can't believe you're leaving next weekend!!! I'm sad that you're leaving me in the States, but so happy and proud of you for doing this. I hope it's everything you hoped it would be, and much, much more!

    Please keep in touch with me!!!!

    Email –


  3. the pink helmet

    I'm so happy the photo album is serving a home for all of your memories–it doesn't matter that they are tokens from your life here. 🙂

    Enjoy every single minute of your Australian adventure, 'dear buddy.' We are all cheering for you and can't wait to hear from you down under.

  4. Daisy

    How exciting!!! I totally agree with you about needing to get away from everything to find yourself. That's part of the reason I moved to Australia as well. I – unfortunately – often find myself giving into social pressure and finding myself being a person I'm not sure I really am. Living away from it all allows you to really just BE and LIVE and discover who you are, what you want – and gives you the courage and independence to STAY that way even after you find yourself back in the world of social pressure.

    Can't wait to hear about your first days in Australia!!!!


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