Tag Archives: packing

Goodbye Henna


Um, I just packed my bags. Holy crap. I depart my beloved Oudaya at 8:30am tomorrow. I’m pretty sure my 2 bags are overweight. Oh, well. It’s probably the 20,000 hand of Fatima keychains that I’m bringing home to throw at people like free candy from a parade.

As I packed, I had the startling realization that most of my friends from this program are sitting on airplanes right now. Then I finished packing, which took me less than an hour.

Yesterday, to celebrate our last days in Morocco, we gathered at Madiha’s for tea, henna, some last bites of millwi, and some tearful goodbyes. To avoid getting all sentimental, I’m going to show you what traditional Moroccan henna designs look like!



The henna you are looking at is black henna, which is not as scary as google makes it sound. This is natural henna with a dye mixed in it that makes it black, and it’s awesome. It stays on longer, which is SWEET.

Tomorrow, I fly to Washington D.C. Saturday morning, I attend my older brother’s graduation. Talk about a cultural shift!

Now, here’s another thing. Blog. I’m going to keep writing, about Morocco and about other things too, probably, even after my return; I have a feeling that retrospective Morocco stories will surface, as well as interesting tales of transition and What I’ve Missed in America. So, stay tuned, one and all!




I’ve almost started to think about starting to think about thinking about starting to pack!


Or, The Post Just After Katie Discovered The “All The Rage Faces” Website, Unfortunately For This Blog

…ALMOST! You see, we pull away from the Homestead at 9am on Wednesday, which is the day after tomorrow, tomorrow being Tuesday (today, as I’m sure you know, is Monday, Photocopy Day). We shall drive to San Francisco and eat Sourdough Bread Bowls (probably with Soup in them), then I shall get on an Airplane and then, at long last, this will be a Real Travel Blog.

Today, I assemble the Oh Shit Kit: the comprehensive collection of first-aid supplies (mostly pepto-bismol) and photocopies of Important Documents gathered together to prepare for any and all eventualities that might cause me to utter those fateful words, “oh, merde.” Come at me, travel emergencies! I’m ready. I’m ready, Freddy.

So a large part of almost starting to think about starting to think about thinking about starting to pack is the sudden birth of a zealous determination to be the best, most conscientious packer OF ALL TIME. I WILL PACK ALL THE THINGS!!!


I’ve been googling “what to pack for long trips” and many variations thereof, and thought that I could write a really funny blog post about stereotypical advice given to travelers and why I’m not following any of it, but then I realized that I’d been searching the wrong keywords. Most of those advice articles 10 tips and tricks for the beginning traveler and 15 things not to pack and 82 gadgets you should buy from an expensive retailer before you leave are geared toward moneyed thrill-seekers going to many places, not for a student going to stay in one place for a few months.

So then I googled “what to pack for study abroad” and came up with even better advice. So, no funny blog post about the good advice I’m taking from all the cool people who write cool blogs about all the cool places they’ve been and the cool things they’ve done. Nope. But I AM taking jeans, I don’t care what you say. YEAH. JEANS. WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

So anyway, with nothing else to occupy me (except a number of enjoyable things including books, cooking, running, and playing in the rain), I’ve been piling clothes, books, and toiletries in the middle of my bedroom and simply staring at them, as though they’ll stuff themselves into my backpack in the most logical way and, magically, I won’t have forgotten anything come the moment I buckle my seat belt on the Airplane. Mr. MacBook (emphasis on the second syllable, please, he hates it when people mispronounce his name) plays an endless loop of my favorite TV shows and movies in the background, as though I were trying to shove the next four months of would’ve-been-watching-Netflix into the last two days before my departure. Or maybe I’m just getting bored.

I’ve also been practicing my ukelele, thank you thank you Jessie! I can now play in more than just the key of C! Feel free to suggest songs I should learn and play for my host family, to share what I consider one of the U.S.’ greatest cultural triumphs (yes, despite everything we can still find things of which to be proud) with my host family: music.

Well, I was going to put more rage faces in here (like at least 9 more rage faces), but I’m tired, luckily for you. In closing, I would like to point out (since this is the post that followed my undoubtedly unfortunate discovery of the aforementioned rage faces website, and I also think that this is a funny joke) my reaction to tip #6, or 14, or 3 in any travel advice blog anywhere ever: