June 29, 2014

Packing for an extended international trip, part 3

I've definitely packed for international trips before. For Austria, I packed a large suitcase and my swim team duffel. I also carried an extremely heavy backpack as carry on. The two large bags proved almost impossible when boarding and exiting the train between Germany Austria, therefore, for Cambodia, I limited myself to only what I could reasonably carry at least 100 meters at a good clip. The problem with my plan was that it limited me to one suitcase, which I obviously stuffed to the brim and easily went way over the weight limit. $100 dollar mistake. If I could do the Cambodia packing again, I'd only bring a backpack with tons of underwear, a sporty bikini, walking sandals and sunscreen. The tailors made everything that I ended up wearing.

So, for Turkey, Alan and I thought that we should check two bags each, as we don't have to deal with public transport from the airport. In our wedding registry, we selected two awesome "extra-large" duffel bags from Eddie Bauer. These bags are incredible--lightweight, enormous, sturdy, and easy to roll. The only problem is that they don't meet the dimensions required by our airline. Ug.

So, t-minus 56 hours before our flight, we realize that we'll need to exchange them for the next smaller size, and re-do our entire packing scheme.This afternoon, we exchanged bags and then spent today's daylight re-packing everything, downsizing for the smaller bag, and making tough decisions about what we really want to bring. Alan calls our packing experience "Sisyphysian"after the myth of Sisyphus, the guy doomed to roll the boulder up the hill and watch it roll back down, only to start over again and again for eternity. I tend to agree, as I had been pretty grateful for the extra room in the extra-large bag.

My bags now packed to the brim with clothes, shoes and essential toiletries, I feel about 98% done with packing. I've got a bag specified for our honeymoon/language school in coastal Izmir, and a bag of winter clothes to stay in Kayseri (our new home). I have a carry-on suitcase full of cashmere sweaters and dress pants. I have an overnight bag with our documents, my laptop, my purse, a change of clothes, quart-size bags of liquids, a diary, my iPad, and my survival kit (green tea bags and Emergen-C packets). I'm hoping that the $100 I'll have to pay to bring my extra checked bag from Phoenix to Chicago is the only overage charge that I'll incur, though I kind of doubt it. I'm working on with the idea that my stuff and I have to get to Turkey, so the fees are just the price of admission. I don't like unexpected charges, but moving abroad is not only tough, it can also be somewhat expensive.

I'm so ready to just be done and on the plane!