Packing lightly? It's not an option

We weren't planning to stay in the States for more than a couple of weeks, so we thought we'd pack lightly. It was a good thought, but it didn't work out. gear

We started with just one suitcase, but I soon had that filled to capacity and I hadn't packed my shoes yet. We checked the weather in Las Vegas … warm days and cool evenings, so we needed jackets, too. With much reluctance, David hauled out one of the big duffels on wheels. We always bring stuff back with us, so we'd have plenty of extra room. Once I tucked away my shoes, jacket and a sweatshirt and David added his clothes, the available room seemed to dwindle significantly. We remember traveling in Peru for six weeks with just daypacks and the clothes on our backs. What happened to traveling light?


Now it was time to load the electronics. We obviously have too many gadgets. We had to bring two phones … one for the US and one for South Africa … both of which needed chargers. Then we each took a laptop … with power supplies. Then came our iPads. We managed with just one charging cable, but thought a DC adapter would be good in case we wanted to charge in the car and we needed an AC adapter, too.  I had my camera, of course, with extra batteries and a charger. We would overnight in Dubai on the way back, so we needed an adapter to fit UAE outlets. David needed his electric razor and its charger. We were bringing our electric toothbrush which also requires a charger. Then, we thought it would be reasonable to take a hard drive back with us for downloads. I thought I'd take my photo back-up hard drive, too, so I'd have photos available for writing blogs and articles. They each needed a different cable.

As we trudged up the dock lugging all out gear, it wasn't pretty. Too much stuff all crammed into a suitcase and a duffel and a backpack and a carry bag and a purse … you get the picture. Traveling light for us? Not an option.

And They're Off...Leaving for Australia

all the stuff  

We've been here for months and we've always known we were heading back. We've had our airline reservations made for a couple weeks. Why then, do you suppose, we're in such a dither when it's actually time to get ourselves and our belongings together and take off?

It's the packing. We've accumulated so much stuff over the past couple of months, just a little at a time. The boat parts came in and then we ordered a few more. Then I did a little thrift shopping and David got a few tools and some supplies. I wanted to pick up a few food items we can't buy in Australia like green chiles, for instance. Little odds and ends that seem to have taken on a life of their own. We're each allowed two 50 lb (23kg) bags plus our carry-on luggage. That's 200 lbs (96kg) of stuff we can check on the airline and now we're scurrying around trying to cram it all in.


packing and weighing


We dragged everything out onto Mary's living room floor. David's a good packer although once the security folks at the airport go through everything, it's a toss-up as to whether any breakables will make it to Australia … three flights of loading and unloading and rough handling. He carefully packed the duffels, using my thrift shop purchases for padding and wrapping. We hauled out the bathroom scale and when each duffel started feeling heavy, he'd weigh it. We did this for all four, shuffling things from here to there to even out the load and identifying any nook or cranny that could ostensibly hold just one tiny item without breaking the weight restriction.


making it fit


Our flight wasn't until mid-afternoon which allowed us some time in the morning to finish up last minute things at Mary's house … laundry, moving some furniture, a final goodbye to my old computer, and most importantly, loading all those duffels and luggage into Mary's car. We stopped to hug Becky goodbye … always an emotional time for our family and for us.




And then we were unloading all those bags and checking into the Delta/Virgin desk to begin our long flight back to Cups. Three flights actually … Las Vegas-Los Angeles-Melbourne-Perth. We'll be down under in around 34 hours. See you on the other side.