If you could only take 22 pounds worth of ‘stuff’ on a month-long trip, what would you take? I’ve given a lot of thought to this question over the past four months, and my answer remains the same. I’d take–and will be taking–one pair of shoes, a few summer dresses, two bras, five pairs of underwear, a toothbrush, one ounce of shampoo, and all of my tech-crap with all required chargers and accoutrement.
The last ‘item’ on that list will take up at least half of my weight and space limit, even though I’ve invested in well thought out tiny little gadgets. I will be carrying: an iPhone equipped with an overseas data package, a Kindle, a point-and-shoot camera, and a netbook. I’ve really, really spent a lot of time thinking ‘do I really NEED x, y, or z?’ For the most part, the answer has been ‘no, no I do not’. I’ve even grown out my very short hair–and learned to live without a hair dryer even when going to work–so that I do not need things like, well, hair dryers and round brushes and hair products. I have no intention of bringing makeup of any kind, and I have two very good pairs of sandals I’ve broken in; I just need to decide which ONE pair I’m wearing onto the plane. But I need all of those ‘gadgets’. I really, really do.
The first three items are no-brainers–I carry my iPhone, Kindle, and digital camera in my purse every single day. But the netbook was purchased specifically for this trip (and, I hope, for trips to come); I did a lot of research and soul-searching before I purchased it (on sale) and really look at it as an investment in me. I need to be a writer–a ‘full-time writer’, if that’s even a thing–some day. I write down everything I want to do, everything I’m doing, everything I’ve done, and I simply require a keyboard upon which to type, no matter where I am in the world. If I can’t get wifi to update my facebook, oh well, but I need to be able to write down my thoughts…er, type down my thoughts.
So why devote an entire post to justifying my decision? I’ve been reading a lot about ‘how to pack light’, and it seems that there are two very well defined categories of people–those that would never dream of leaving home without said tech-crap, and those who think it is a hassle that interferes with actual experience. Personally, I wouldn’t dream of leaving home without it, but that’s because I realize that it enhances actual experience. Here’s hoping I’m right, because I’m thinking I could look much prettier in my vacation photos if only I traded in my netbook for some lipstick and hairspray!