Monday, July 11, 2011

How many trips can you fit in one suitcase?

So ... In Israel we need to look like normal people (after all we will be seeing people we haven't seen in twenty years), In Nepal we shed our urban duds and transform into trekkers. In India we morph into overlanders. In Southeast Asia we will be hot and sweaty tourists. On top of the appropriate apparel choices for each destination, there are the two sleeping bags, two thermarests, water purification paraphernalia, first aid kit, toiletries, electronics, hiking boots (they are soooo big) technical towels, etc, etc, etc...

And all of this is supposed to fit into a nice compact piece of luggage that we won't be cursing at, each time we have to catch the next train, rickshaw or plane. Marc has done a dry run and it wasn't pretty. I watched — and from what I can tell — he has one white shirt (for Shabbat as we say), and a nice pair of pants and maybe two more tops and bottoms — and the rest is gear, and he is bursting at the seams — like 20 people trying to get into a Volkswagen Beetle!

We had — shall we say, a difference of opinion as to how to approach this. I thought, that I would pick the bag that I felt comfortable schlepping around the world and back, and only take what would fit. Marc on the other hand, took a very practical approach. He suggested laying out all of the items that were essential to the trip, and then seeing how much room it would all take. It ends up we were both right. There is a limit to the amount of stuff we can take. We are both conscious of the fact that Kathmandu is a shopping mecca for trekking equipment, and that in India we can have a whole wardrobe custom made for us overnight —and by Thailand we may be ready to throw everything out and start over. Still there are essentials that we can't, or won't leave home without.

The jury is still out on which bag I will be taking when we start part two of our travel adventure, and what will be in it. In order to get all of those doors, windows and the trunk shut, I just may have to give in and upgrade from the Beetle — to an Austin Mini!

The good news is that packing for Eastern Europe was a breeze for both of us and we are completely ready two days early, which is unheard of (for Marc anyway). And the greatest thing about this trip is that it is really going to be the "holiday" before the "adventure". Timing could not be more perfect — thanks D & D :)


  1. This post is going to seem VERY funny some day... Possibly on the day you throw your suitcase off the train/rickshaw/bus and decide to start over. I'd go for the custom made overnight wardrobe and leave everything in Tel Aviv!

  2. Obviously, you're going to need a much larger van.

  3. I will be thinking of you Uncle Sheldon as I throw the large piece of luggage, that I can not carry one more day, out the back door of the Rickshaw, um I mean Van!