Departure Diction: Words of Advice Before Takeoff

Light and concise—those are the words I used to convey my desired packing style to Mom. Light meant I couldn’t bring more than one medium-size suitcase. Concise rejected my hammock, paperback books and bulky sweater.

I’ve dedicated this past week to packing. Since everything can’t go with me abroad, I have had to think methodically, roll a lot of clothes and brainstorm possible flight necessities. Now the suitcase is packed and after a trip to Walmart, my backpack will also be ready to go.

Preparing for an internship in Sydney, Australia has required almost ten months of planning, meeting with various school officials and sending follow-up email after follow-up email. However, the time has finally come.

Tonight I leave the Unites States of America and begin my 20 plus hour trek to the “Land Down Under.”

For those of you interested in traveling abroad, I have several tips to help you prepare with precision and have a less-awful flight experience.

1.     Pack light and concise. Minimal luggage means less hassle in the airport and easy transportation to your after-flight destination.

2.     Create an on-flight to-do list. One of my friends who frequently traveled to Australia told me to write a to-do list when I get on the plane. The list can include books to read, movies to watch, etc. He also said not to check the flight duration time. Staying busy prevents boredom and anxiety.

3.     Prepare a flight survival kit. The kit should contain eye drops, lotion, face wipes, snacks, various forms of entertainment, battery-chargers, basic toiletries and an extra change of clothes. Also be sure to make copies of your important documents.

4.     Don’t forget your neck pillow! Sleep is important on long, international flights. Prepare accordingly—wear comfortable clothes on the plane, bring socks, eye mask, earplugs and anything else that might make sleeping easier.

5.     Sleeping pills? I’m opting out on the tranquilizers. However, another friend said he often aided sleep with Dramamine on flights to Australia. This is an option you might want to consider if you have a hard time sleeping on airplanes.

These methods are still in the theory phase since I’ve yet to test them. Tonight and tomorrow, I’ll know for sure whether or not they’re effective.

Studying and working in Australia will be life-changing experiences. I love not-knowing what the next six to seven weeks hold, the adventures I’ll have, the people I’ll meet. Personal transformation occurs in unfamiliar environments—I’m excited to grow and step into my post-Australia identity.

Brief information overview . . .

-        I’ll be interning with Hillsong Church,

-        Living in Sydney,

-        Taking classes with Arcadia Global University,

-        Managing the release of my latest book, The Vestige, while overseas,

-        And doing a handful of other projects.

Due to the insanity of my situation, I’ll be posting frequently on social media and this blog. Subscribe to my mailing list to get updates, pictures of Australia and book release info.

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