Under a week ‘til the off and now the race is on to get my stuff together and tidy up my life in the UK so I don’t come back in a year to find a mess of my own (forgotten) making. Luckily, I have amazing friends on hand to provide me with the much-needed travel essentials that I’d forgotten to add to my spiralling packing list. Check out some of the neat little gifts that are intended to make my life easier/ help me remember my British roots…
Pass(port) the parcel
Are we nearly there yet? After even half of my twenty-something hour journey, I WILL be asking this question. At least when I land fuzzy headed after my flight, I’ll be able to see this bright red number in my bag, and it should raise a smile. Thank you Liz – in the event that I am unable to pack my South American travel essential (that’s you, by the way chica) this is a mood-lifter I’ll be keeping close to hand on long bus journeys! And just in case I forget my name after that epic journey, I will know it starts with an ‘A’ thanks to a neat little necklace from the awesome Pokey & Kabizzle.
The dual-purpose functional gift
New home abroad, I’ll be needing somewhere to live, so I’ll be needing some keys. This is what my mate Cazz thought. But, why stop there? New place, more need for celebration. Best way to celebrate? With a bottle of beer on the beach. Oh, but wait, how to open it? With this key-ring slash bottle opener slash declaration of my nationality, of course! Clever thinking, right?
The novelty (but actually useful) package
‘Here’s something to remind you of what you’re leaving behind,’ said my mate Bex as she handed me this, wrapped in sufficiently London-tastic paper. What more could a girl want than…*trumpet fanfare… a deck of Kate & Wills Playing Cards?! Well, although the Royal Wedding isn’t really that interesting to me right now, the cards ARE an awesome gift. I’m not sure how many hours I whiled away last year on bus journeys, in hostels, on the beach, waiting for transfers, pre-drinks playing Shithead or El Presidente. These will not be left in the box in the bottom of my backpack, even if they do result in some serious pisstaking as soon as I pull them out…
The thoughtfully streamlined presents
Don’t ever underestimate the classics: money and vouchers. One of my best mates, and ex-flatmate, Annie remembered how much I relied on, and became attached to my iPod while travelling last year, so she decided to load me up with some more music. In return, I promised that at least one of the downloads would be an embarrassing song choice to remind me of her (no names mentioned…). And finally, after trying to buy me a dress (which I would have loved but couldn’t pack) the thoughtful Char gave me some cash, dedicated to a ‘nice meal in the airport’ – woohoo! No need for Maccy Ds!
Now I’ve embarrassed them all with a show and tell, I guess my friends will be glad to send me packing. So I’m off to do just that…