FROM ABOVE

over new york

The view from above looking down onto the sunset tonight was amazing. The colours were intense, so much so they did not seem real. I was glad I had my camera with me as it is the most important item whilst traveling anywhere. That and my passport.

As I ran around the house this morning trying to get out the door by the time the shuttle came for me, I realised I underestimated the time to accomplish all which needed to be done. By a lot. When we have too much time on our hands we tend to waste it. I had even pushed out the time of departure on the online form as I felt leaving for the airport three hours before the flight was too long. Once at the airport, I told myself next time I will leave later as I still sat at the gate for an hour.

The call came shortly before eleven. I was glad it was a real person and not an automated system announcing the time of the driver’s arrival. ‘I’m not ready’, I pleaded with him as I stood there in nothing but my bra and underwear, my hair still wet from the shower. I asked him to come at the end of the 15-minute window. He agreed. I could not believe how unprepared I was this time as I dashed up and down the stairs grabbing anything I thought about taking with me. Thinking was my problem.

river new york

‘Just get it done’, I kept telling myself. I kept checking my sling camera bag for my passport. Anything I forgot I could buy. Almost anything. I struggled with opening the box of packaged pistachios I bought the day before. I figured the already packaged snack size portion were easier to carry as well as being less tempting to eat the entire 450-gram bag. They are an addiction. I tossed a few packages in my bags then later realised I should have taken more.

I wondered what else I had time to grab and reached for four of the quart-size Ziploc bags filled with spices for cooking and baking. The small container of baking powder and new box of baking soda made it in my checked-in bag as well. I knew there were more things I wanted to take for my time in the UK but I figured I would have to seek out shops once I get there. The books I ordered I did not pack. Instead I selected three books I thought I might read at some point in time during my stay.

The driver arrived at 11,20h and I still was closing bags. I took one of my warm jackets, put on my waterproof boots, and closed the door as I took my place in the shuttle with one other passenger. As I sat in the back wiping sweat off my forehead I tried not to think about what I could have forgotten. Five minutes later I realised I forgot all of the facial cleansing products I bought two days before which were sitting by the door as I exited. A duty-free shop at the airport solved that issue but I knew I needed to be better organised for both travel and in general.

The essentials made it into my bags. Passport, camera, laptop, running gear, warm clothes, iPod shuffle, and spices. Somehow all of the anxieties leading up to the day of travel subsided as I sat there in silence observing the world from above.

sun setting