Preparing for the Unknown

How do you prepare for the unknown?

A packing list helps. So does Googling “Uganda street fashion” and “what to wear in India.” Actually, that does not help. I feel like I am not going to be able to dress myself in the clothes I normally wear because I am not going to be doing the things I normally do. I am going to be in three entirely different countries with different cultural norms. Not only that, I am going on an epic transformation, I will change, I might not even recognize myself. What makes me think I will want to wear that old cardigan during this “transformation?”

Getting ready to go on this trip is intimidating me, and I cannot quite figure out why. Last summer, I packed the night before my flight to Tel Aviv without much thought. But I have been studying my packing list for weeks now, picking up gear and clothes, making sure I am fully prepared.

As I look at my nearly packed suitcase, however, I realize that having the right shoes, shirts, and pants is not all that it takes to be prepared. Preparation is just as much emotional as it is physical. In an attempt to be as prepared as possible, here is my last-minute emotional packing list.