Saturday, September 6, 2014
Did You Pack This Bag Yourself?
I left home yesterday for 2 months... (Nico put his arms around my neck, at the float plane dock and said "I like it better when you are home." THAT did not make leaving any easier...)
After Venezuela I will join Kees to hike the final week of the Camino. Then I'm happy to be speaking at a conference for international school librarians.
Then we'll fly to Amsterdam and from there to Zambia. I've never been to Africa either, so that's two check marks on the bucket list.
In Zambia it's volunteer work with the book bus and at an elephant orphanage.
So... what do you pack for 2 months, in which you need to have some dressy clothes, some old clothes, mostly hot but also cold (the last week of October in the Netherlands).... I need to carry my Camino pack for a week. AND I do not want to check luggage on any flight... So what do you do?
First of all, I found the perfect luggage. One small wheelie suitcase was already living in my basement. It's small enough to be cabin luggage. I'm allowed a second piece so a small pack. I still have a small purse around my neck. If anyone argues that this is a third piece, I can pack it inside the large pack.
For the pack I decided on 40L as the ideal size. It needs to hold everything for a week including a sleeping bag. And it's not as huge as the pack I'm wearing in the photo above. Carrying that on our last 2 hikes was too heavy.
Most people tend to take their best things. I take clothes I'm ready to part with. Sometimes I even buy something specific at the second hand store so that I can leave it behind when I don't need it anymore. I packed one very thin, very light silk jacket that makes anything look dressy. One lightweight dress and a blouse I can wear as a jacket on it. 2 pairs of capri's, both of which I can leave in Africa. A pair of long pants for the last week. A fleecy, some tank tops. A nightshirt. One pair of flip flops that will stay in Africa, one pair of sandals and one pair of sturdy hiking shoes. Not boots but shoes - much easier to pack.
A large scarf - which I've already used as blanket in the plane.
Books - yes, I can't travel without books. But I selected titles I can part with as I go. A toothbrush that folds up. 2 small tubes of toothpaste. One cream that is also medicinal - for chapped lips, disinfectant, etc. All in one.
I also have a fair supply of pencils and bookmarks for kids in Africa. And a small photo album to show them my home town and grandchildren.
So.. we're off. Stayed tuned for Kees' next report from the Camino and mine from Venezuela!