I was an OCD child and teenager. Whenever mom, dad and I would travel, I would bring my own pillow and blanket. I was terrified of germs and I knew my sleeping supplies were clean. True story: I used to inspect silverware at restaurants and if I saw markings on them, I would ask for a new set of utensils. I was a joy to travel with.
I could get away with bringing my pillow and blanket because my parents would drive to our destinations. Whether it was New Jersey or Baltimore, it was easy to get back and forth. Even when I traveled with mom on business, I would do the same thing.
That all changed when I started traveling by myself in 2011. I don’t drive and packing my pillow became too much on flights, especially since flights would charge extra for extra suitcases. I probably could have gotten away with a pillow on a bus and train, but by 2011 I wasn’t thinking about it even though I was missing my pillow and blanket.
Dear readers, that is changing this year and I’m channeling that OCD younger me, the younger me that wasn’t ashamed of her OCD tendencies and wasn’t told to let them go like she was in college. When I go to Belmar in 11 days, I am packing my pillow, a light blanket, and extra towels. I’m only going for three days, so I don’t need to pack a lot of clothes. Mom is letting me use one of her bigger suitcases so I can pack my pillow. I won’t get charged extra on the bus.
When mom and dad went to Cape May last month, they did the same thing. My dad is OCD and usually doesn’t go that far, but they thought bringing their own pillows and towels was important. They stayed in a motel, I’m staying in an Air BNB.
I will be extra careful this summer. I will bring my cloth mask and I’ll bring paper masks for the beach. I am also packing hand sanitizer, along with my sunscreen. I will still have fun while being careful.