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.