Don’t leave home without it!

Nick Wolochatiuk - Dances With Words
Don’t leave home without it!
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT! – Whether you’re a sailor, astronaut or in any holding area, a bag of useful items should accompany you at the airport terminal, doctor’s office, hospital emergency ward or the car repair waiting room. (Photo : Nick Wolochatiuk)

The gangplank of a vessel that is about to embark on a trans-Atlantic crossing has just been retracted; the hatch of a Shuttle that is about to do a space flight has been closed and locked; you’ve just set off on a down-river white-water run. Those are just three of many scenarios in which there is no turning back to get something you forgot. There’s no pharmacy in the middle of the Atlantic, no AA battery vendor orbiting around the Moon, no spare paddle supplier situated on the brink of a tricky set of rapids.

Once you decide to cross the Rubicon, you’re committed. Being up any of Life’s creeks without a paddle makes for a bad day.

There’s no way of predicting the length of your stay in an airline terminal, at the side of a deserted highway in a broken-down car, in the approach lane of Montreal’s Beauharnois Tunnel, or at a Third World international border crossing.

Based on my experiences in all four of the immediately above predicaments, here’s a shopping list of things you should bring with you wherever you go.

A two weeks ago ten-hour wait in the crowded waiting room of a local hospital is a situation where I had to make-do with what I brought. After that experience, I’ve made a check list of things that should be at hand in any situation where waiting could be involved.

1) Identification: OHIP card; driver’s licence; auto insurance, CAA membership card. 2) Financial resources: small change; coins and small denomination paper currency; credit card. 3) A flask of drinking water. 4) All prescribed medications. 5) Reading material (for entertainment, enrichment, study or research). 6) Note pad (not scraps of paper) and pens. 7) Nourishing snack foods. 8) Cell phone with essential contact numbers. 8) Comfortable clothing and footwear, including a warm jacket 9) Facial tissue.10) This checklist.

Of course, you’ll need a multi-pocketed shoulder bag or modest backpack of some sort to carry it all. Don’t leave home without it!

It may sound like a lot of ‘stuff’, but when your stay borders on becoming interminable, you’ll find just about every item becomes invaluable.

What memorable ‘waiting experiences’ have you ever had? What items did I miss? I’d like to hear from you:


Share this article