Pack it up, Pack it in

January 12, 2018

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin…

 

Today is January 12th. I left Brooklyn almost a month ago, traveled out to California to hang out with my family for the holidays, flew to Detroit to visit Lindsey’s family, and landed in D.C. December 30th. It has been a whirlwind, but I could not be more grateful for the time that I was able to spend with all my family and friends before embarking on my Fulbright journey.

 

So let’s take a little walk down memory lane, and then pack you right up into my suitcase, along with all my rain gear!

Goodbye to it all

I have been preparing the logistics of leaving New York since I received the Fulbright. However, with the very real day-to-day grind of teaching, I only started emotionally preparing to leave New York in November. After school, sitting in my classroom, my eyes would fill with tears thinking about the enormous change of packing up my life, saying goodbye my students, and leaving my Brooklyn family. On my last day at Achievement First, one of the most reticent students in the 11th grade created a biology/sports themed poster and had other students and staff sign it. I’ve tucked the poster away into a folder with my birth certificate, undergraduate transcripts, and other important documents to take with me to The Netherlands.

 

Check out cartoon me! Won’t be able to make it through customs with those guns.

 

I left Brooklyn and the magical home that I’ve had for the past three years. We referred to our cozy apartment as “The Womb”. Not only because it had hardly any natural light, but also because it was filled with a badass group of women. Also, being “wombmates” is so much more intimate than just roommates.

 

Leaving the womb is just as painful as it was 29 years ago. 

 

In stereotypical lesbian fashion, I put on my nicest flannel, packed up my Uhaul and drove down south with my small dog.

 

The Holidays

The first stop for my west coast travels was San Diego. I spent three days setting up my blog and relaxing on the beach with my high school friend Amanda. 

 

Beach & Burritos...why don’t I live here again?

 

On the 21st, we left Southern California and headed up the coast to the Bay Area. Spending time with my family in Sunnyvale means lots of cooking. Jessica (my sister) and I embarked on the feat of the Christmas crab. 

 

 Garlic, the not so secret ingredient of Italian cooking.

 

Time for the Sea-Feast

 

Having five siblings makes it incredibly difficult to coordinate everyone’s schedules during the holidays. This time around we all made Christmas Eve dinner, with the exception of my sister Dianna who is currently pregnant and lives in Wyoming. We also had the chance this year to pull out some beautifully coordinated outfits that we once wore for a Christmas photoshoot when we were less than 10 years old.

 

 Jake (my sister’s fiancé) had to step in as a Dianna replacement.

 

After California, I took a flight out to Detroit to visit Lindsey’s family. We had the chance to hang out with her nephew Charlie and watch the Red Wings beat the New York Rangers in the new Little Caesars Arena.

 

 Just figured out that Detroit’s jersey has a winged wheel on it...wheels are turning.

 

District of Surprises?

From Detroit, Lindsey and I flew into Washington D.C. where I would spend the rest of my time before leaving for the Fulbright on January 14th. Networking to find a job in D.C. when I return from Amsterdam, finalizing last minute logistics for the Fulbright, searching for housing aboard, and publishing this lovely website quickly became a full-time job. During the weekends we played hockey and had friends visit from out of town.

 

New Year’s Day morning also brought the best surprise. After working an overnight shift, Lindsey came home and proposed with a hockey-puck-shaped ring box. I could write an entire blog post with the details, but I will spare you the mush.

 

 She shoots, she scores

 

 Found my Tinderella

 

We celebrated our engagement with a sporting event with our favorite lesbians, a visit from my best friend Denise, and an enGAYgement party.

 

What? These aren’t golfing outfits?

 

The lovely D’nice and her unborn nugget all the way from Hotlanta

 

 A true Bride Tribe

 

Packing it all in!

After all the travels and excitement of the last four weeks, it is mind boggling to think that I will be leaving in less than three days. After five months working on my application, four months waiting to hear a decision, and nine months waiting to leave, I am now packed and as ready as I ever will be to move to The Netherlands.

 

So I told you how I have been preparing logistics since last April? Packing was no exception. My wombmate Carly once looked on in awe as I used my phone to create a spreadsheet of what I was planning to pack. Here are some of the highlights of my 120L of luggage.

 How many muscle tees does a lesbian need for 6 months? 5? 6?

 

 The holidays brought my sock game to a solid A

 

The traveling drawers

 

No one is raining on my parade

 

 Packing it all in

 

Not pictured: my hockey gear and sticks. Don’t worry, they are both coming along for the journey!

 

How did you spend the holidays? Any advice on things that I should take for the trip?

 

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