Stuffing the suitcase

After one week of an intensive academic bootcamp, during which I have learned about editing, camera work, theology, and journalism, I am equal parts exhausted and eager. I have not done an eight hour school day since my high school years and after this week I have don’t know how I did it. Perhaps I am so tired because everything I am learning is so new and also so exciting. The knowledge I have gained in this boot camp is not only making the trip to Alaska seem more real- it is also making the program I have been dreaming about for over two years finally tangible.

Designer Diane von Furstenberg once said:

I get ideas about what’s essential when packing my suitcase.

So as I spend a quiet Friday night at home developing a Target list and figuring out what needs to fly with me to Alaska, I’m discovering what is essential to me. I will be bringing the following essentials:

  • A journal to write down everything I see, hear, and experience so that I am able to look back on this trip in the future
  • Layers, as the temperatures will be in the mid 50’s while our group is there. Here’s hoping plenty of sweatshirts fit!
  • My “Day by Day” prayer book so that I am reminded to take quiet time for myself to reflect upon and process internally the culture shock and stories I am being a witness to
  • Plenty of hats to hide my hair so that it isn’t apparent that we will only be showering ever three or four days due to limited natural resources in the region
  • An open heart and a willingness to be vulnerable in response to the hardships I will see and the inevitable internal change I will experience
  • A sense of adventure! A spirit which is sometimes hard to embody due to my Type-A personality, but if I push myself out of my comfort zone I know I can find it

    Me on the back of a donkey I spontaneously decided to ride with on vacation in Mexico a few years ago.
    Me on the back of a donkey I spontaneously decided to ride with on vacation in Mexico a few years ago.

It’s hard to believe that in only a few days I will begin my trek to Alaska but I could not think of a better time in my life to go or a better group to experience it with. Wish me luck with my packing, TSA interactions, and flying! The next time I post I will have feet on Alaskan ground!

1 thought on “Stuffing the suitcase

  1. Have a wonderful experience and keep shooting!! I’m sure you will learn many exciting things, and only wish I were there, too!

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