Packing Practice Results Plus

Backpack after the husband packed--and he carried two shirts on hangers as well!

The packing practice trip was interesting.  While it was not intended to be a trip just to practice packing light, I’m glad I used the opportunity, as I learned several things.  First, my husband packs more than I do.  And even given this fact, he still forgets more than I do–and when he forgets something, it is a bigger deal.  For example–I only brought one change of socks–having two would have been nice.  He didn’t bring enough socks OR underwear.  I dealt with the sock ‘issue’ by wearing the same socks twice in a row (I do not find this gross–he does); he dealt with his sock/underwear ‘issue’…by going to Macy’s.  Which brings me to the next thing I learned–packing light on a short, close trip is kind of silly, especially when it means spending $30 on socks and underwear for your husband.  On a longer trip I would have just washed the socks and underwear for him (this is something I agreed to do for him for the entire trip–though, to be fair, in return, he agreed to go on the trip!).  But, because of his insistence on Macy’s, I got to go to the really nice Macy’s next to our hotel in Center City Philadelphia.  It was a really nice Macy’s–I spent the time he used to find socks and underwear to ponder buying a designer handbag (I refrained).  Also, I learned that there’s a giant organ in said Macy’s.  It sounded like we’d walked into Phantom of the Opera.  And again, this is just a Macy’s and it was just in Philly–I could see how having to buy sock and underwear in England or France would be even more of an interesting–if annoying and expensive–experience.   Finally, I learned that having lots of outfits is really not all that important.

Which brings me to my next story…the new smaller backpack I ordered arrived today–a Kelty Redwing 2650.  I am keeping it because it is what I was looking for–it is comfortable, sturdy, and reasonably priced (with a 25% off coupon code).  It meets airline carry on restrictions unlike the excessively large Redwing 3100 that I’ve already returned.  The zipper opens all the way down in the

Slightly smaller than a school bag Jansport bag next to slightly bigger than a school bag Kelty bag. And yes, I really like yellow.

front, making packing and unpacking (seem) easier.  But it is frighteningly small, considering it has to hold every single thing I will be taking across the ocean for five weeks–and I’d like to have room left over to bring back one or two things as gifts for the people looking after my house, dogs, and gardens.  If any of you are reading this–and you know who you are–you can look forward to your commemorative shoelace, because that’s all that’s going to fit!  I took a picture–right–to show the size of this bag in comparison to the one I packed for the Packing Practice Trip.  Clearly it is much bigger, and we will be taking two, not one, so there’s some comfort in that.  My husband, however, is not deciding on whether or not I’m ordering a matching bag for him–he’s waiting to check out the eBags Weekender that is currently on back order.  I can’t see it being comfortable lugging around what can only be described as a suitcase with straps, but he needs to figure that out for himself.  I think he’s hoping it will hold more–and he might be right.  And he probably needs the extra space, to avoid a 30 euro trip to the department store–and with the exchange rate right now, that’s probably a good thing.

Finally, I’ve officially determined that even if I’m not planning on taking one ounce of makeup–and I’m not–I will be taking one thing…a computer.  Or, more specifically, a netbook.  I need to write about things that I do (clearly!) and I like to do so whilst I do those things–I cannot imagine having to come back from over a month overseas and just then start writing.  I also cannot imagine coming back to the hotel or apartment or, in the case of my trip to Scotland, dorm, at the end of the day and not sitting down to write out at least a little of what I’ve done.  I’m a writing addict.  So now the netbook research begins!

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4 responses to “Packing Practice Results Plus

  1. You found the “Wanamaker Organ”!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanamaker_Organ

    True fact – that department store was featured in the movies “Mannequin” and “Mannequin 2.”

    One thing I do to combine packing small/light and having room for souveniers is to find a small, compact bag that I can stuff into a side pocket or the bottom of my main bag. If I need to I can check my regular bag and carry the small/light bag on.

    Oh, who am I kidding – we didn’t move around much the last couple of trips so I’ve packed into a bigger bag and checked it both ways (but I still pack a little extra bag for souvenirs)…

    • wow–i wish i’d known the mannequin fact–i LOVED that movie as a kid! the second one was only ok–and that was, again, by kid standards, so likely it was super awful. but still–thanks for that! i was thinking about packing a bag in my bag as well. also a great tip. thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment! I have really enjoyed keeping my blog during my grand adventure in Lithuania.

    Having read your other posts, I can say that I wish I’d had someone to plan my vacations as well as you have planned yours! Also, I think a month on a small backpack is a great idea and it’s totally do-able. I came to Europe for a year with only a backpacking frame pack, and it was perfect! (I have since acquired enough things to necessitate another suitcase, but it took a while :))

    Good luck, and I will look forward to reading your updates!

  3. Pingback: Farewell 2010–Post 1: The Ghost of Travel Past « Blog on the Run

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