Category Archives: Pre-trip planning

Pre-Trip Planning: Down to the wire

[1] I don’t really recommend waiting until the night before you leave for Florida to upload the entirety of your music collection into iTunes, order major appliances for your rental property, or back up the entire hard-drive of your laptop to an external storage device.

[2] I bought all new underwear and socks. That balances it all out right?

[3] My Mom is going to kill me when she realizes I have used of her ziploc bags, even the skanky ones. But they are just perfect for holding bottles of soap, listerine, powercords, battery packs, etc. I think I went a little overboard with the ziplocage.

[4] I have been rather self absorbed for the last few months and there are many friends and family members that I will not get the chance to see before I take off. Please know that I love you dearly and think of you often. I wish you could all come with me, but then there’d be no reason to blog right?

T-minus: 3 days and counting to Semester at Sea.

Don’t forget to check us out over at Gadling in the meantime for more geeky travel goodness.

Pre-Trip Planning: Reads for the Road

Uh, is it a problem if I have a whole ‘nother bag for my books? is in lurve with me right about now. Where I’m going to put all of these remains a mystery. Maybe I don’t need 14 pair of underwear…..

Top to bottom:

love walked in
the secret history**
girl’s guide to absolutely everything***
like life****
the power of one******
the digital photography book******
around the bloc
love & romance
why are all the black kids sitting together
what every american should know about the rest of the world**
the living bible (this is my favorite of my 4 bibles)
lisey’s story*

the world is flat
what every american should know about who’s really running world
the hidden cost of being african american
woman, an intimate geography*****
faces at the bottom of the well: on racism
frida: a biography
a short history of nearly everything
the kindness of strangers

*My Parents gift me a new Stephen King book every xmas/kwanzaa

**Personal Favorite

***Written by fellow Wahoo Melissa K

****Recommended by Melissa K

*****Recommended by Erica

******Recommended by Josh

T-minus: 4 days and counting to Semester at Sea.

Check us out over at Gadling for more gooey travel goodness!

Pre-Trip Planning: Murphy’s Law


Shizzle. I have stuff spread all over the FIB-C (Funchilde Int’l Base Camp) aka my parent’s living room. For somebody who doesn’t have a home, I sure do have a lot of stuff!

I just found out that one of the windows in the dupe (rental property) will cost $285 to replace. one.damn.window.

The dishwasher in Unit A decided to give up the ghost, another $400 after delivery, haul off and install. I should probably just replace the dishwasher in Unit B since that one will likely follow sometime soon.

Now I’m really glad I didn’t buy that D80 and the 55-200mm lens.

My credit card company wants me to call BACK on the day I leave to CONFIRM that I’ll be using my card internationally…uhm, that’s why I’m calling you NOW, take some notes, put it in my file. I’m an international woman of mystery, I have no time for these trivial matters (yeah right, i’ll be calling them Monday to double check).

T-minus: 5 days and counting. Can anyone come over and help me pack?

Pre-Trip Planning: Travel Gear Faves

*Note: If you click on the photo it will take you to flickr where you can see my notes on each item*

So what do you take on a RTW (round the world) trip? I have no idea so I’m taking my favorite stuff.

Things I Cannot Live Without:

-Aquafresh Toothpaste
-Lady Speedstick
-Various odd-a$$ sized batteries
-Orbit Gum
-Goody’s Headache Powder
-Gillette Venus Razor
-Ultra Mentha Lip Shine
-Tazo Tea & Splenda
-Ralph Lauren Sunglasses
-Camera (Nikon D50 & Coolpix S6)
-Women’s Ultra Mega Vitamins (GNC)
-Travel Alarm Clock
-Swiss army tool w/ penlight
-Hip Hop; R&B; Jazz Tunes
-Barnes & Noble Spiral Journals & Uniball Pens
-Toothbrush & Mouthwash
-Cold, Hard, Cash (US $ and Indian Rupees pictured)

What else should I take? What can’t you live without when you travel?

T-minus: 6 days and counting to Semester at Sea.

Check me out over at Gadling.

First stop: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl to Nassau, Bahamas.

Pre-Trip Planning: Gear & Gadgets


[1] As a gift to myself for working like a dog, completing my grad school applications, and surviving the weather here at Dartmouth College, I bought myself that Nikon I had been lusting after. I agonize over these types of expenditures and excuse me while I go puke thinking about my credit card bill. Oh, and did I mention that I’m getting my next to last paycheck today? Double puke!

Enough with the puking already. This blog is so classy!

[2] I decided on the D50 over the D80 after listening to some photographers whose work I like. The D80 is $600 more than the D50 and that doesn’t include anything except the “body” of the camera. I also had a great offer for a 55-200mm lens, but it was another $700 and I was l like wait, last.paycheck.for.months and Blindian called and talked me off the $700 cliff. I went with the baby lens and used a very generous gift certificate that I received for Christmas. I am very happy. But still slightly puketastic.

[3] It has warmed up to 2 degrees here in New Hampshire-its a heatwave!

[4] Come check us out over at for more hilarious travel news.

T-minus: 11 days and counting to Semester at Sea.

First stop: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl to Nassau, Bahamas.

Pre-Trip Planning: What I Won’t Miss

Dartmouth Wonderland, originally uploaded by funchilde.

It was damn -10 degrees this morning.

I love yall Dartmouthians but I am

T-minus: 12 days and counting to Semester at Sea.

First stop: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl to Nassau, Bahamas.

Pre-Trip Planning: Courage & Inspiration


I’M No AnGeL But.., originally uploaded by ..Pu®e PoiSÇ’N...

So, I’ve been blogging for a year. My blogiversary was Saturday and this post was written more than a year ago as I worked up the courage to quit my lucrative career, pack everything up and rent out the house, give the nod to a relationship that the sun was setting on, and take a leap of faith. Let me know what you think, share your own story if you like.


The first Ellen was a junior high school classmate. Ellen B was closer to our mutual friend Monica than to me, but we were an affable group of 14 year olds who swore we had dozens of friends and fantastically cosmopolitan futures ahead of us. The second Ellen was a professor at the undergraduate business school that I attended. Ellen W was an Associate Dean by the time I reconnected with her in 2004. And though I had never had her as professor, she was happy to meet me for lunch, where we hunched over an index card as she helped me construct a metric to evaluate graduate programs. These two women were almost 20 years apart in age, and their successive deaths in 2005 still manage to astonish me.

Initially I thought that the two Ellens were pretty different from one another, one was black, the other white, one was younger and lived on the west coast, the other more mature (in years) and a long time east coaster. But after some scrutiny, I realized their similarities were remarkable. They were both single, neither had children and both had a deep, almost tangible faith in God. They were both kind, generous and carried themselves with a humility and openness that is hard to articulate, but easy to recognize. They both had what I call a “warm spirit”. They were the kind of people that even if you don’t believe in God, it would comfort you to know that you were in their prayers. Though I failed to find much dissimilarity in their lives, their deaths couldn’t have been more incongruous.

Ellen B died slowly, over the course of two years, battling daily to gain the upper hand over an aggressive disease. The last time I spoke to her, she sounded like she was winning. Ellen W died suddenly, over two days, succumbing to a merciless virus without warning, healthy on Friday, gone on Monday.

I was heartsick over Ellen B’s passing in that human way we all react when someone our own age dies. I wondered if she ever got the chance to fall in love? Did she travel to foreign lands and eat foods she couldn’t recognize? Did she dream about marriage or children? I wondered if she had ever been so happy, that time slowed down and she could feel the earth’s movement moment by moment for a split second, with a grin on her face and people she loved around her? I did not know these things because we fell out of touch after high school, I kept up with her through mutual friends, but our personal spheres never crossed until I called her when I learned that she was ill.

I was heartsick over Ellen W’s passing in that human way we all react when someone we have recently spent time with or laid eyes on dies. And I wondered about her life and loves too. I hope that both Ellens had the joy and heartbreak of a full life. That they were not strangers to love (people, places and things), and its inevitable companion: heartbreak.

I do admit to hoping that both found work that they were passionate about and utilized their gifts and talents. I hope that they both had many moments of heart-bursting joy, to temper the inevitable pain of a human existence. But mostly I hope, for my own selfish reasons, that neither died alone. That each was comforted by both earthly and heavenly creatures. That on one side of the divide of time, there were warm hands pressed into theirs, soft skin stroking foreheads and whispers of psalms and peace. And I hope that on the other, there were unmistakable celebrations of divine welcome and promises of harmony and rest.

I of course recognize that I wish these things not only for them, but also for myself and for all of us who have yet to make the final journey home. And it gives me a comfort that I cannot name, to think that when my time on this earth has come to an end, that I will be greeted by two warm spirits that seem at once familiar and breathtaking, but happy to see me. I wish this for all of us. And so I go, because time truly waits for no (wo)man.

Let’s get this party started.

Pre-Trip Planning: But Kind of Not


[1] Do you think Gadling knew what they got themselves into when they asked me to write for them? I don’t think so either. Check out my initial blog post and my official introduction, then stick around and take a spin through the archives. The site is hella fun, chock-full of info for all things travel, and we don’t mind if you leave us comments (Thanks Blindian! You know who you are!).

[2] PhD application status: 5 down, 1 to go. After all the blood, sweat and tears I have put into this journey, if somebody doesn’t let me up into those ivory towers, I’m gonna burn ’em down. But don’t tell them I said that because I think that’s “pre-meditated” and right now I’m just “under-medicated.”

[3] Remember my nephew? The one who is 10 going on 50? I forgot to mention that this fool is in a BOWLING LEAGUE! I swear he’s got a smoking jacket and tobacco pipe hidden somewhere. I asked him what he’d do if he had a million dollars. He said: “Probably exacly what I’m doing now!” and proceeded to make himself a PB&J – so I guess that is evidence of a well lived life, even at 10 years old.

[4] Travel update: I’m burried under paperwork right now, invoicing clients, updating travel insurance, the whole nine. I have to wrap up my project here at Dartmouth and figure out how to get my shots without paying a damn fortune. Nothing sexy going on over here…but stay tuned.

T-minus: 19 days and counting to Semester at Sea.

First stop: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl to Nassau, Bahamas.

Pre-Trip Planning: Paging Dr. McSteamy


The Funchilde International Base Camp (FIB-C) is rather a mess these days. And by mess I mean I have commandeered my parent’s dining room with my paperwork, printer, files and various electronics. This week I will concentrate on finalizing my vaccinations (International Yellow Card pictured) and avoiding filling my anti-malarial prescription (if you’ve ever taken anti-malarials you’ll sympathize).

If you’re planning your own adventures outside of the US, check out the State Department’s updated travel/health advisory(ies).

T-minus: 22 days and counting to

First stop: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl to Nassau, Bahamas.


Pre-Trip Planning: Carnival…Here I Come!


My passport arrived with the Brazilian, Chinese and Indian visa pages/stamps. And in typical girl fashion my first thought was: “ooh, look at the pretty colors!” But the Brazilian stamp has my first name as Brian (not my first name), so we shall see what hilarity ensues as I try to get my Carnival on! Anybody want to contribute to my “ the Br.azi.lian po.lice” fund?

I signed up for 3 nights of Carnival parade in Salvador. A bunch of people are going to fly from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro, but it was over $1200US and that wasn’t all expenses included! I had to drop close to $600US to sign up to march with three of the troops (a different group each night), but I think it will be once in a lifetime opportunity, and I can always go sit myself down somewhere if things get out of hand. I don’t do well in large crowds so we shall see how this goes, Carnival in Salvador is billed as the largest street party on earth, so you can see why I’m all over that yet a little wary. I figure if I can lean out of a small boat and pet a 16 meter whale, I can ease on down the road with a feather boa and a mardis gras mask on. Plus I was inspired by Adrienne’s pics from her trip to Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival (where she met up with Karen of!

So, travel blogging has resumed…more Pre-Trip Planning & gear pics to follow. I’m sure those of you who have been tolerating my general blogging in hopes that I’d get back to the foolishness I seem to get into on the road are breathing a sigh of relief. Thanks for sticking around. Having yall with me is half the fun.

T-minus: 24 days and counting to