Published on July 23rd, 20112
With little more than 12 weeks til blast off, the time will no doubt soon begin to blur and I best start to get serious about just what goes, what stays, and what gets sold, given to charity or tossed out.
Normally when I travel for 3-6 weeks I pack only a small rolling backpack that holds just 24L. But for moving lock, stock ‘n barrel – my electronics ALONE fill that pack (incl. my new 17″ laptop, my Asus netbook, the new DSLR camera, my little Lumix point ‘n shoot, plus the Kindle and the iPod Touch and portable speaker set – not to mention all the cords, mice, portable hard drive, chargers and batteries that go with ’em.) So clearly I’m gonna need an additional backpack for clothes and other miscellany.
Clothing-wise, I’ve been lately very diligent about selling my better clothing discards on consignment at Funky Jane’s here in Seattle (I get 40% of what each item sells for, and I’ve already banked over $200 – which… could easily feed me for TWO MONTHS in Vietnam!) You can only bring in 12 items at a time and I’m generally only able to get up there but once each week. So now that we’re into summer, I need to seriously separate what clothes I’ll take, and what I need to tote up to Funky Jane’s over the coming weeks.
So today I waded through all my summer duds, setting aside my usual travel clothes kit: 1 long crinkle skirt, 2 pairs of capris, 1 pair of long pants plus a few T-shirts that I normally limit myself to for a short trip. But now we’re talkin’ MOVING PERMANENTLY overseas, plus I’ll surely need some “teaching” clothes, etc., so I dare say I best bring along a few more clothes than usual.
Going through my closet, I tossed each item into a “for sure” pile, a “maybe” pile, else back on the rack set aside for Funky Jane’s. The “for sure”s will likely later be further whittled down (I tend to cull in stages as my trip departure draws nearer and the reality that it all has to go on my BACK kicks in.) But for now, these include my usual travel standbys, plus I added a 2nd long skirt along w/ a 3rd (short black) skirt for teaching. Pants now include 2 capris, 1 long pants plus (and this is HIGHLY uncharacteristic for the TravelnLass) a pair of capri JEANS! Normally jeans loom far too heavy/hot for the off-the-beaten-path travel I do, but hey – we’re talkin’ LIVING in Asia, and a girl’s GOTTA have a pair of jeans, no? Also unheard of for me, I tossed in 2 cotton sun dresses (again, I figure I’ll need something a bit more respectable for teaching.) And for tops – I went a little crazy and lost count of the t-shirts, tank tops, blouses I tossed on the “for sure” pile.
I know, I know, it’s not like I can’t buy clothes in Vietnam (indeed, I understand most things are much cheaper there), but still… Did I not mention…I’ll be LIVING abroad – for MONTHS, even YEARS??? And a girl has her favorites after all. So I couldn’t help but toss in a few “fun” clothes (like my black mesh sleeveless top with the sparkly red star on the front, and my favorite pink voile Asian t-shirt.)
And the good news? It all fits into my new ($8 at the Goodwill) High Sierra rolling backpack (50L w/ a nifty zip-off front rucksack.) All the clothes plus my lightweight tripod, toiletries, sleep sack, travel towel, binocs, etc. – yay! No doubt there will be lots of tossing, adding and shuffling between the packs as my departure draws nearer. But for now, at least I know I’m on the right track and will be able to tote it all to Vietnam without hiring my own personal trans-Pacific barge.
The pack on the right in the pic is the smaller 25L pack (that I normally take sans the rolled fleece on top, plus a Katadyn water filter bottle.) That now holds all my electronics. While the new 50L pack on the left has the detachable rucksack on the front, and both have enclosed backpack straps and wheels. The little one will go carry-on, while the larger pack will get checked to Saigon (yikes! checked baggage, another first for the TravelnLass!)
I must admit, the new pack looks HUGE to me and I honestly think taking so much is over-the-top. But once I’m settled in my own place somewhere in Vietnam, I’m sure I’ll be glad I have a few more “luxuries”.