My last day in Connecticut was a strange science fiction novel in which nothing seemed real and time was not consistent. I was practically waking up into the surreal realm of Salvador Dali with melting clocks on my bedroom walls. I did not know if I had packed well enough, if I had remembered to bring socks, or sunscreen, or if I needed anything I had packed in the first place. I had wanted to fold my self like a collar shirt and slide right into my carry-on. But I do not think I went well with the 3-1-1 rule.

I joke that I am prepared enough for two women. In my purse is always a clutter of “well what if it rains,” “what if I need to change,” and my personal favorite “I might need these coupons.” Kind of like a modern Mary Poppins carpet bag. But packing for different countries always leaves me dumbfounded. I am not familiar with the weather, social norms, or latest fashions. All I can do is pack two of everything I’m not sure I might need. This I’m hoping will work for me, despite the fact that I was advised to pack lightly, especially since flight details make me nervous and my luggage could weigh me down.

So I did what I am sometimes afraid to do: ask for help, and I got it from good friend named Frank. He helped me without trying much. “I’ll miss you” he said, then it suddenly occurred to me that I was going to be thrown into an entirely different country, without anyone that I knew enough to say I’ll miss you too. This made me get my act together immediately.

So this post is for you Frank. The great guy who declared bringing an umbrella was stupid if I was also bringing a rain jacket, and the same man who frequently chanted “FOR GOD SAKES IT’S ONLY TWO WEEKS, PUT THAT BACK”.