Ready, Set, Travel with Sears Style

 like to consider myself a bit of a travel expert, at least when it comes to packing a suitcase and getting through security lines. I typically like to carry on, as it saves time and possible problems at baggage claim. As an "expert" traveler, I've learned a few things about how to fit everything I need into a TSA friendly rolling suitcase.

Here are my tips for fitting a weekend's worth of necessities into the overhead compartment and staying sane while doing it: 

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Christmas Traditions

Christmas Eve

First of all, I wanted to wish all you Christmas-celebrating people a Merry Christmas. To my Jewish brethren and sistren (?), enjoy your Chinese food ;)

As the random lady at the nail salon said today, while Christian peopleare all freaking out about cooking and buying last minute gifts, we Jewish people can just relax. Well, most Jews can relax- I've been running around like a crazy person trying to see everyone and buy everything before I leave the country for the next four months!

I'm currently sitting in the airport waiting to board a plane to jolly old England. (Yes, that is the new JCrew coat I'm wearing- the Betsey Johnson number ended up being a tad too big. I think I made the right decision in keeping this one.) You see, traveling on Christmas has sort of become a tradition for me- last year I ventured to Victoria and the year before, I made my way to San Diego...on Christmas! The airports are always less crowded and the flight attendants (at least those on Southwest) are very festive and friendly.

So, as you snuggle up with your loved ones beneath the Christmas tree, drinking eggnog (what the heck does that stuff taste like anyway?) and waiting for Santa, I'll be watching in-flight movies and avoiding airplane food at all costs.

The next time I write to you will be from London, how crazy is that?

If only I could tell you everything...

photo via my sister, Michal

I've discovered recently that I often have trouble finding a balance between over sharing and not saying enough. Although I usually employ the former speech tactic (especially when I've had too much white wine), the latter does happen occasionally, but only when it comes to the opposite sex. I've found that I often don't say what I'm feeling, and by the time I do, the opportunity has passed and I've somehow managed to ruin everything.

When I recently got an email on Jdate from a boy I have yet to meet, I started to think about this balance between word vomit and silence. At this point in our "relationship," I can safely say it's not time to fully share who I am. And then he said this:

"Tell me a bit more about yourself." 

...which of course got me thinking. If I could explain myself to a person I've yet to meet and not be judged for anything I shared, what would I divulge? And that's when I decided to write this blog post, to share with you the things I can't say:

Hi, my name is Alana. I'm 21 years old and confuse the heck out of myself most days of the week. I fall for people at such a rapid rate, I surprise even myself. Plus, I tend to be sort of self destructive when it comes to my own heart, and as a result, my life is never short on drama. Have I mentioned that I've yet to experience a long term relationship? Mine are always capped at 2 months- when I can get over that hump, you know I'll be celebrating.

I come from a big family and have a super close relationship with my dogs. It's funny, because they're often the "people" I'm most excited about seeing when I come home for a visit. I say I'm afraid of squirrels, but lately I've had little to do with them, so I'm kind of indifferent. I'm also sort of fascinated by slugs- I think they're disgusting, but somehow I can't look away.

Quite often my nights are filled with anxiety dreams. Whether I'm dealing with issues that actually exist or are merely the fabrication of my hard working brain, anxiety dreams fill my nights. They're full of subconscious messages, whether relating to my family, work, or most often, my love life. I still have dreams about being unprepared for class. The dreams are always about high school, and my best friend has always completed her assignments while I come to class unprepared.

Though I love the idea of traveling, more often then not, I spend large parts of my vacations thinking about being home. I've become somewhat of a homebody- I love the comfort of my own bed, the endless possibilities of my closet and the familiar scent of my own shampoo. Packing makes me crazy- in fact, I could probably list packing as the most stressful part of my life right now. Oh, and my friend Julia said I'm most likely to pack a suitcase full of "parts of outfits"- she's totally right. I don't usually think about matching when I'm throwing things into a suitcase, just waiting to be done with a terrible ordeal.

And the thing is, I could keep going, but I won't. Sometimes I feel like a high powered waterfall- my words never stop flowing, and sometimes, it can be dangerous. Other times, I kick myself for holding back and getting scared.

Does anyone else have trouble finding the balance between saying too much and holding back?