look at this Amazonian goober! are these things even real? L to the o L. I want seven.
look at this Amazonian goober! are these things even real? L to the o L. I want seven.

I am leaving for the airport in less than four hours. I have had all day to pack for my trip to the Amazon. So I was obviously very productive and focused.

For starters, despite going to bed at 3am last night, I was up at 7:45. But then I took two naps. So that was nice. I listened to some podcasts and stared out the window. I went on a walk for 4.5 miles and desperately had to pee the whole time. I saw a baby capybara snuffling through some garbage and shooed it away from the garbage.

that historic artifact is a classic ipod and it's still 120gb of amazing, okay?!
that historic artifact is a classic ipod and it’s still 120gb of amazing, okay?!

I went to the gas station to get money from the ATM, and knowing I needed small bills for when I am in Manaus, I naturally bought some cerveja to help me pack.

I don’t know why this is my tradition, but every time I have to pack for something, I have a glass of wine or a beer, and eat really terrible but good food. I think the logic is that traveling can be dangerous, and I want what could possibly be my last meal on earth to be a good one. Or at least a memorable one. This is why I never refuse airplane food, no matter how weird. I feel like it’s always a good conversation topic. So my last meal tonight was cerveja, açai, and a chocolate chip cookie. Heaven.

do you think the sloths will appreciate my bow-bow headband? I sure hope so.
do you think the sloths will appreciate my bow-bow headband? I sure hope so.

What else did I do to prepare today…let’s see…well my mom always taught us to leave a clean house before you travel, because it’s best to come home to a clean house. So I did some cleaning and organizing, under the guise of packing. This of course led to the discovery of several knick knacks and items of clothings I had forgotten I owned, which led to a fashion show via selfie text to some friends. Good times.

I drank some body detoxing tea. I sometimes have trouble getting into the swing of things, so to speak, when I travel. Being regular is important to me, so I like to . . . um . . . start with a blank slate, if you will, by drinking some lemon or dandelion tea the day before a big trip.

I clipped my toenails. I sent audio texts to my little brother where we both pretended to be whales. I took out the garbage.

My typical packing process is something like this:

  • pour glass of wine
  • pinterest around for packing lists
  • pin a bunch of recipes and crafts i’ll never try
  • check facebook
  • get fired up about political junk on facebook

    detox tea! so important!
    detox tea! so important!
  • pull out bikinis and scarves and place in bag
  • wander around house and bother roommates
  • think of someone I haven’t talked to in a while
  • compose long email to friend
  • make playlist for trip
  • throw in some yoga pants
  • have solo dance party and congratulate self on impeccable taste in music
  • instagram pictures of how much I’m not packing
  • fall asleep scrolling through phone
  • wake up in panic
  • pack toothbrush and clothes
  • forget something really important

But this is the Amazon. It’s important. And the packing lists out there are actually terrible. So in case you’re wondering what’s actually going with me, here is the list. I plan on coming back to it when I return and updating what actually worked and what didn’t.

  • the things i need to fit into the bag...
    the things i need to fit into the bag…

    six work out dri-fit tank tops, two dri-fit shirts with sleeves (sleeves are the worst) (but one is Giants orange so I’m happy).

  • one long sleeve cotton shirt, one regular sleeve cotton shirt, two long sleeve dri-fit shirts (found for 5 bucks on amazon.com in awesome colors).
  • one super sexy button down SPF 50, bug repellin, mesh in your armpits, Carmen Sandiego (fashion icon of the traveling world) shirt that all your friends will make fun of you for.
  • four pairs dri-fit workout pants – two long, two capri. One is pink animal print, one is neon floral, duh.
  • six pairs regular socks, two pairs knee high socks (one is conversation hearts!) for the rain boots.
  • one bikini
  • shorts/tank top for jammies
  • five sports bras
  • one large travel towel, one small, one pillow case, one sleep sack.
  • one light scarf, one sarong that can be a scarf or coverup or towel.
  • rain shell
  • one fun dress to wear on the day I have in the city of Manaus. It’s $11 from Walmart and miraculously does not wrinkle. Perfect. And a tie-dye skirt for options.
  • one camelpack and one large waterbottle
  • one hat – happens to rep the home state!
  • several headbands of both athletic and decorative natures.
  • bandaids, Alka Seltzer and Midol (I find these things cure most things), anti-friction salve, medicine tape, bug spray, stick sunscreen, calming essential oils, qtips, floss, Emergen-C, baby wipes, Swiss army knives.
  • rainboots...or "galoshes" as my south africans probably call them. adorable.
    rainboots…or “galoshes” as my south africans probably call them. adorable.


  • Old tennis shoes I don’t care if they get ruined. Yellow rain boots.
  • nice camera
  • iphone with waterproof case with a handy necklace.
  • headlamp/flashlight
  • deck of cards
  • journal and fun pens
  • more bug spray
  • ziploc bags and trash bags
  • Kindle
  • iPod
  • various toiletries – shamp/conditioner, deodorant, lip gloss, saline solution, bobby pins, safety pins, hair ties, etc.
old faithful. she's pretty new. we're working on the old. very faithful so far.
old faithful. she’s pretty new. we’re working on the old. very faithful so far.

I will fit all this into compression sacks and put into my backpack and check that. And then I will carry on the immediate toiletries and all electronics. It’s a nonstop flight, and at 7am, so I’m pretty confident that my luggage will make it at the same time I do. If I had layovers I would do some redistributing of clothing items, because you just never know.

I’m excited for a week of adventure. A week with no electronics, of new people, of stories waiting to happen. I’m going with a good group of people.

Wish me luck! I wish you were all coming!

And in case you haven’t heard it, and you need to hear it today, I would totally smuggle a baby sloth home for me dangit for me oops for you.

i can't stop.
i can’t stop.