Friday, January 30, 2009

LAX layover

Three-hour layover in LAX waiting for my 13-hour flight to NZ. I'm sitting in the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge in a soft leather chair in front of wall-to-wall picture windows above the ramp, an AA 767 idling a mere 25 feet below. I'm enjoying the last few sips of my first vodka tonic and I can see my second making its way over to me from the bar. Now this is the way to kick off this trip. A fella could get used to this. Thanks for the hook up, Tony--it's much appreciated!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm sure I'm going to need this!

How do you pack for a year? For several months now this has been more of an abstract question, but with my impending departure now nine days away it's become a very real quandary. I've done quite a bit of research online, talked with people who have taken similar trips, and even read an entire book on packing light, and the overarching piece of advise is "don't pack too much, don't pack too much, don't pack too much!" So, you know what I'm going to do? I'm GOING to pack too much! I already know it.

You see, I tend to be a contingency packer. I think to myself, "well if I go there, then I'm going to need this, and if I do that, then I have to take this." And with the possible contingencies of my trip being virtually limitless, I'm finding that I could easily fill a half dozen suitcases and still feel like there's more I would need. I'm going to try my best to pare my list down to the bare essentials, but it's proving difficult. Sorry scuba fins and snorkel, you're going to have to stay home. I'll just rent when I get there. I'm still on the fence about doing the same with my rock-climbing harness and shoes. And clothes! Holy crap, what do I do about clothes? When I start posting pictures and you keep seeing me in the same three t-shirts wherever I go, know that indeed some tough decisions were made prior to departure.

My younger brother, a far more experienced traveler (and a minimalist packer), gave me a suggestion the other day. He said I should skip the underwear all together and just "go commando" to save space and weight in my pack. While I appreciate his thoughtful suggestion, I'm not quite ready to make that kind of leap just yet.

Well, that's it for now. I have to go back and resume my post standing in front of my closet with a blank stare on my face for another couple hours!