“Should I bring a headlamp or a flashlight?”, “How many spare batteries should I bring? I’ve heard the power goes off a lot over there..”, “Oh my God, that building is so AMAZING! I MUST see that!!”, “I wonder if I should get rid of that miso paste in the refrigerator…it might go bad….”, “what if there is another FRANKENSTORM while I am away? how will I know everyone is OK?”, “I’m going to miss Autumn in New York”, “thank goodness for Skin So Soft bug repellent” “I wonder if that place will have Wellingtons. I should write and ask them…”, “where should I put my BAM next wave tickets so I remember where they are when I get back?”, “I’m really going to miss almond croissants and my pilates class–in that order” , “aw, these people will be parents by the time I am back home…they’re going to be such great parents…”, “is there a chance in hell that an absentee ballot will come in the next few days? Probably not.”, “What should my new password be for my work computer? I want it to be something really triumphant and great so the moment I sign back in is so nice…” this is what my utterly frenetic interior clamor sounds like as I ready myself to leave town for a few months. I have become my own nagging spouse. I annoy even myself. There are so many details and have been so many details for so many months, that I just want to get on with it already! I think there comes a point where pre-long trip neurosis offers a diminishing return, and my friends, I am reaching that point.

Typhoid; Hep A; Hep B; Japanese Influenza; Malaria meds, no not malaria meds, thank you very much! I’ll do something else instead;  visas, Visas, and MORE VISAs; late night calls and early morning calls and not much sleep in between; Lonely Planet guides with hundreds of post-its sticking out all over; stalking hashtags on Instagram for more time than I’d like to admit; and getting lost in reverie in travel books and YouTube clips.

Last minute well wishes and advice are trickling in…anywhere from “hand sanitizer and tissues are a girl’s best friend” to “you can write me anytime and with anything. it can be totally crazy and we’ll never have to talk about it again if you don’t want to or we can talk about it a lot, just let me know. whatever you want.” to “TURN ON NPR RIGHT NOW, the woman on Leonard Lopate is so pertinent to you right now!”….and it’s all really lovely and wonderful and I am reminded of what a great community I have here and I smile for a second and the prattle goes away,

and then it starts back up, and, well,

I am leaving for a sabbatical to Bangladesh on Sunday.

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