Nothing ever goes exactly as planned in life, does it? Nobody's perfect, and the same is true for life. Travel is no exception - plans must change at times, people you meet and travel with won't be perfect, and because you're in new environments and places, extra doses of flexibility, kindness, and the ability to choose laughter over anger are helpful.
Our two months in Istanbul were so...mixed. The first three weeks were mostly fine - everything was new, I liked the food, my students were pretty good - maybe it was the honeymoon period. The second three weeks were rough - my co-teacher and I really struggled with our group of kids and I felt like we had a lackluster response from our superiors when we cried out for help, I started tiring of the food, and I got sick - basically, everything started wearing on me. The last three weeks were better, but I had multiple frustrating customer service run-ins (one of which I'll get to soon), gravitated towards foods that I was familiar with with an increasing frequency, and basically found myself really looking forward to leaving Turkey on many days.
Not all trips are created equal, that much is definitely true, but whether we're going somewhere for two weeks or two nights, or we're travelling by car, plane, or train, I've figured out that there's a few things I always pack. Now, I'm not just talking about my toothbrush, clean underwear, and a comb...those are always coming, yes. But I'm guessing most people pack those things when leaving the house overnight. I'm talking about things that Danny might not pack or you might not pack or whoever. These are ten things that I don't necessarily check off like, "Oh it's time to pack! I need to get my ten essentials!" but rather I've found over time that each and every time I go somewhere, they come along too.