Packing for the trip turned out to be far easier than packing up the house. Though we’re leaving the house furnished, cleaning out our personal stuff took far more work than I anticipated. Even after selling, donating, or recycling countless items, there was still an embarrassing amount of trash that had to go out. Save furniture, the house is empty now and looks twice as big. We haven’t left yet and this trip has already started teaching us. This lesson, or perhaps two lessons, are on materialism and upkeep.
Our bags weren’t as hard to pack as I expected. While we’re not carry-on only (yet?), having a fixed amount of space to work with helped us make decisions quickly about what goes and what doesn’t. Clothes were easy enough, and thanks to the magic of packing cubes, take up very little space. We had an initial panic about fitting the small pharmacy’s worth of toiletries + first aid kit + medications we’re bringing along with us, but we figured out how to optimize that well enough.
Tech was another concern. We have what we think we need, and it’s a stark reminder of how deeply-ingrained it is in our lives. This trip will be much easier due to phones and access to data. We expect to be able to research, book travel, etc. as we go in a relatively efficient way (sure hope this is a reasonable assumption, because it sure is a big assumption!). We also plan to use online tools for parts of the kids’ education in place of lugging around textbooks. None of this was feasible when we started dreaming about the trip 15+ years ago! That said, I don’t want to be bogged down or distracted by technology problems. I wonder how much of it we’ll need on the way, and what we should have left at home.
As we finished packing our bags and clearing out the house, we were treated to a beautiful sunset. We’ll be in the air the next time the sun goes down.