Emotional Baggage: A Packing Guide

Punch Drunk Village

I am going to Greece in six days. I’ll be there for a week and a half, working as a Carry the Future volunteer distributing baby carriers and infant/toddler supplies to refugees arriving by boat. I’ve compiled my packing list with military-like precision, which must be a laughable statement to anyone who knows me well. I will weigh my checked luggage down to the ounce, and if I’m lucky, I’ll have a few small cracks in my carry-on to fill with plush toys and lollipops.

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What I don’t know is how the hell to pack for the emotional journey. Like many of my friends, I experience almost daily meltdowns after I watch video clips of starving children in Syria or families reunited in refugee camps. I’ve become accustomed to wiping away tears, taking a deep breath, and moving on. We Americans, we’re pros at compartmentalizing. Shit, we’re the creators of…

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