As I write this, it’s the 12th April, 2019. I’ve been at home in the UK for 3 and a half months, the longest time in two years. My friends, who are usually used to me coming and going, keep saying that they’ve got so used to me being around that it’s going to be weird when I leave, and I feel the same.
I’ve created a routine here in Manchester. I’ll wake up, drink coffee and spend the afternoon working on my blog, or some other projects. At night, I might go for £1 Taco Tuesdays at a local bar with my girls, or to see stand-up comedy at the Frog & Bucket Comedy Club. Every Friday without fail, I meet my friend Leanne for £2 pints in Sinclairs, where the bar staff know exactly when to expect us, exactly what we drink, and that we’re on hugging terms with the bouncer. At least one night every week I’ll go to my friend Becky’s house and watch her eat some healthy meal while I drink peppermint tea and we’ll gossip for hours. Every Saturday is my mum’s night, and the two of us will get drunk, eat Chinese takeaway and watch documentaries about serial killers.
It’s a good routine. I like it. It’s safe, it’s predictable, and it’s comfortable.
But, as much as I love it, I do have itchy feet, and the rush I got when booking my dorm bed in Ukraine for this coming Monday reminded me why I need to be on the road.
I live for travel. When I’m not doing it, I’m thinking about it, or planning it. I pore over Google Maps for hours, planning my dream trips and deliberating over which countries I’ll be able to visit in the near future.
That said, I never feel prepared for a big trip, and I always get sad knowing that tonight will be my last trip to Sinclairs for months, and tomorrow will be my last Chinese takeaway, and this afternoon may well be the last time I have a solid amount of time to sit down and write.
So, here’s every single thing that goes through my mind before a big trip!
- I definitely don’t have enough room in my new backpack for all of the clothes I wanna pack
- But I mean…I don’t know that for sure because I don’t know what clothes I wanna pack
- I probably should have a look in my wardrobe at some point before Sunday (my last day)
- Lol who am I kidding, I’m going to leave my packing until Sunday and get stressed and cry about it
- I wanna take some books to read but they weigh too much
- I suppose I have my Kindle but it’s all chicklit and I want crime
- Wait, do I have enough pages in my passport for all of the stamps I’m going to get?
- Better not think about that because it’s too late to do anything about it
- I’m not sure what time my flight is on Monday. I know it’s early, but I don’t know HOW early. Probably should check.
- Ughh, that means I’ll have to pay £30 for a taxi to the airport.
- Speaking of airports, I have no idea how to get from Kyiv airport to my hostel. Is my hostel even in the centre?!
- I have to sort out meeting places with 2 tour companies in Ukraine.
- I hope I have time to blog while I’m away, but JESUS CHRIST I hate that portable keyboard so much. Should have bought a MacBook.
- Need to find my camera.
- Need to charge my camera. And my tablet. And my keyboard. I don’t know where any of these things are.
- I’m gonna be an anxious wreck all weekend because it’s my last one here for a while so I want it to be THE BEST EVER but I know that I’m gonna put pressure on it and ruin it for myself.
- That reminds me, probably should pick up my prescription from the doctors before I leave.
- SUNCREAM. I DON’T HAVE SUNCREAM. God damnit, it’s always so expensive abroad.
- Hm, I have a hospital appointment in July but I also have a month-long date with Portugal in July – that can be a problem for future Dani.
- I really hope I don’t get scammed in Odessa.
- I really hope I don’t get scammed in Transnistria.
- How do I get to Transnistria?! Okay, problem for future Dani.
- Okay, my flight is 7.30am. That means I have to wake up at 4. Oh god. That’s not good.
- How many pairs of jeans do I take?!?
- I’m excited for this travel blogging conference.
- I’m very unprepared for this travel blogging conference.
- Who the hell goes to a blogging conference without a laptop?! This gal.
- I hope I make friends in my hostel.
- I hope I’ve not forgotten how to make friends in a hostel.
- My last trip was so easy, a group of us just travelled through Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia together. I’m not going to luck out like that again. I’m just gonna be on my own for 6 weeks. No biggie.
- Should I just book an Airbnb for 6 weeks and hide from everyone?!
- No Dani, shut up. You’ll make friends.
- TRAVEL INSURANCE. I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE.
- I’m not going to remember to keep up with social media (damn you Pinterest) while I’m gone. My blog traffic is going to nosedive.
- Do I want to spend £100 on a trip to Chernobyl? Ehhhh.
- I really should think about packing.
- Do I take a proper coat? Maybe I’ll just take a denim jacket. But what if it gets really cold?!
- 1 or 2 pairs of flipflops?
- I should really figure out how to use these packing cubes.
- Am I really organised enough to use packing cubes though?
- Should add some songs to my Spotify playlists.
- I definitely don’t use Spotify enough to warrant paying for it.
- I should be more stressed about the fact that I’ve not packed and idk how to get from Kyiv airport to my hostel and I haven’t got travel insurance yet but all that’s really on my mind is what to wear to the pub tonight.
- I wanna wear leather pants but it’s always so hot, and I don’t wanna be like Ross from Friends in his leather pants. Nightmare.
- I have some Ukrainian money somewhere. Dunno if it’s worth looking for or if it’s the equivalent of 40p.
- To be fair, that can go a long way in Ukraine. Better get searching.
- Okay, I don’t THINK anything else is going through my mind about this trip. Better go and do some of the things I thought about doing earlier in this post.
Travel insurance: simple & flexible
I NEVER leave home without travel insurance, and my go-to is always World Nomads. You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 130 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
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