Friday, November 25, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holidays. One of my favorite times of the year. I love the incessant singing, the pies, the Winter Forest candles from The Gap. This year, I will be away from my family during Christmas for the first time ever. Hopefully not a new pattern, but definitely a necessity this year in order to wring every last little bit of employment out of December before I leave the country absolutely unfettered.
Holiday Visual Show on Grote Markt in Brussels, Belgium

And I’ll say it. I love the gifting tradition. Both sides of it. I love shopping for my loved ones. I love being the person that finds that discontinued Commodore 64 game that you loved so much or finding out when your favorite comedian is coming to town and pre-ordering tickets. I love finding your best-loved childhood book or writing a letter to your favorite director on your behalf.

But this year, as people have begun to assemble their own shopping lists I get the same question over and over: “What do you need for your trip?” And the answer, I’m afraid, is rather un-sexy.

All right, it’s true.

Yes, I’ve been saving for four years. Yes, I haven’t spent a penny of a tax return since college. Yes, I’m lucky to have some magical fairy godmother friends and family who have helped to set me up with some truly sweet living solutions (who am I kidding, you’re all family at this point). But what do I still need for this trip?

Well, what I need is the cash-money.

Money for silly things like the necessities: food, utilities, and transportation. Money to keep things rolling back in the states while I’m gone like pet insurance for my cat, but also a whole host of other things that keep occurring to me as I get closer and closer to my departure date. Yes, I’ve saved, but some cushion here would be nice.

Here’s a list of some of those things that I’m still trying to make room for in the budget as they occur to me:

  • Monthly Skype Account (cause I can call y’all for cheap with that, even though I’ve cancelled my mobile phone while I’m away )
  • Travel costs to Wales and Gibraltar in order to not violate my Schengen visa
  • Birth Control for five months… all at once (S’right. ‘Cause I’m a responsible lady.)
  • The cost of checking my bags through twice (home and then internationally)
  • The terrifying, unforeseeable medical emergencies (This one’s for you mom – I’m sorry I’m not getting the traveler’s insurance.)
  • And – this is an important one – getting to the premiere of The Hunger Games – wherever I may be on March 23rd.
Anyways, in no way should you feel any need to contribute. Send me a card now and then while I’m out of town. Or maybe just an email. But if you were one of those folks who wanted to contribute to my self-generated writer’s retreat as part of your yuletide giving, well, here is a button to make donations to my Paypal account.

Or you can simply Send money through paypal to

And we’re not talking a lot, if you wanted to drop in five bucks, that means that I get to have coffee and a croissant for breakfast. Thank you so much for that gift of flaky, pastry goodness.

And if you think of other incidentals that I should consider as I’m packing up, please feel free to mention them. Adding to the list is a very helpful thing these days when I’m really trying to head off that list at the pass. What’s keeping you up at night?

1 comment:

  1. Done and done. Hopefully the exchange rate isn't too noxious at the moment. Keep the wonderful and mouth-wateringly descriptive blog posts coming!