My history with writing + Costs preparing for India

Today i picked up Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and remembered that my major college application essay was about my love of writing. Funny how far back the seeds are seen to be sprouting.

One of the most significant moments in my movement towards liberation, self-transformation, and happiness was when we acquired some software affording me password-protection on my diary (7th grade, perhaps? 9th?). The one password i remember was the initials of a boy i fancied.

Earlier than that? I notice now that i was always writing letters. In seventh grade i published in the local paper, imploring my fellow citizens to “save the Earth and our future.” I’d had penpals from a very young age–partly because i was a lonely kid; partly because i was curious about the wider world. It is amazing to really feel into my memories of who i was and what my life was like–all virtually different species from what is now.


Items acquired through shopping particularly for this trip India:
– Velour tracksuit: $24 from (may only pack the hoodie for over-air-conditioned train rides)
– V-neck t-shirt: $10 from
– Magellan Flat Front Tech superlight pants with sneaky pocket in black: $20 at Academy
– Merrell sneakers: $120 from
– pStyle pee “funnel” for hovering over filthy peeholes: $12
– Pacsafe Retractasafe 250 Cable Lock for securing pack/doors: $15
– SteriPEN Freedom, the first rechargeable version, released just in time: $120 at
– Large REI travel towel: $19.5
– Typhoid vaccine: $140 at local travel medicine clinic
– Some random Hepatitis A and B vaccines to throw atop my unkept records: FREE at Daddy’s office
– Pharmax HLC probiotics to prepare for trip: $30 for 120 capsules from (+$7 shipping)
– Jarro-dophilus probiotics to carry on trip: $27.3 for 120 capsules
– GSE (liquid grapefruit seed extract), antimicrobial for internal & external use: $8 for 2 oz.
– Botanifuge anti-parasite pills, 90-ct: $11
– 27-oz Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle: $18.2
– Built neoprene carrier sleeve also to insulate & catch condensation: $12
– 3M Ultrathon insect repellant in 6 oz spray & 2 oz lotion (this time-release stuff gives longer coverage with lower DEET concentration/absorption): $12.62
– NaturOli soap nuts for sink laundry: $5.9
– Do It universal rubber sink stopper: $5 seemed worth it from the rave reviews
– 100 inches of duct tape: $6.5
– Handfuls of Herkimer diamonds to give to hosts & new friends, literally a gift from American soil: $90
– 60 blue BIC pens for Indian kids: $4.6
– Two wee bottles of “natural” hand sanitizer:
– Two wee hand/face wipe packets: $3
– Kind fruit & nut bar: $2

Things already had:
– yoga pants
– silk sleep sack to protect me from iffy sheets
– camera, which i may not pack
– iPhone(/iPod/alarm clock/diary/calendar/voice recorder/Skype device)
– borrowed money belt
– small Tupperware

Still to acquire:
– visa! (about $200 total if i get a 5- or 10-year one)
– insurance! (anywhere from $250-1000 for six months’ health + theft coverage)
– Imodium! for those days when you’re shitting water and just need to leave
– antibiotics & narcotic painkillas (just in case)
– basic first aid stuff
– blister protectors
– wicking socks
– ultralight stashable daypack (looking at REI’s Stuff for $29)
– inflatable neck pillow ($8-$20)
– tiny Sharpie pen
– floss (use to hang clothes dry also)
Powermonkey eXplorer solar/USB/wall charger for my iPhone and my water sterilizer ($89)
– mesh packing cubes for organisation (Mama may have some i can borrow)

My IMG Patriot travel insurance policy: totally cancelled! because of too many snafus: email addresses that didn’t work; emails to various addresses that never got answered; significantly wrong information on my declaration page (hello, i did pay for the adventure sports rider and i want it acknowledged). I didn’t trust this company to get anything right when it really mattered. I’m considering my other options.


EDIT, 6/19/13: Additional purchases:

– Kelty Women’s Pawnee 50 Internal-Frame Backpack: $102 from Amazon
– Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Sac, Large (leakproof? for toiletries): $12.50 from Zappos
– Potable Aqua chlorine dioxide tablets (never used): $12.16 from Amazon
– Satechi SD Mini Portable Pocket Speaker (one of the BEST things i packed!): $30 from Amazon
– two 50″ rolls of duct tape: $6.5
– Sandman inflatable travel pillow (used in bed everywhere, too!): $22 from REI
– REI Stuff travel pack (still use this all the time): $21
– REI sport zip sunglass case: $10
– PowerMonkey Explorer in pink: $95 from Ace Photo Digital
– wide-angle/macro magnetic iPhone lens from $22.39

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One Response to My history with writing + Costs preparing for India

  1. oddballer says:

    I finally recognised in Rishikesh what an invaluable sanity tool my earbuds were. Not only is music a semi-miraculous medicine for Delhi belly on a bus ride, but the ability to tune out people trying to sell me things or otherwise trying to get my attention, with a visible excuse, is absolutely beautiful at some points.

    Oh, and the tiny Satechi speaker for sharing music or just making a cubical room atmospherical: priceless.

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