Bag the bags!

Writing a blog about upcoming travel is very different than writing after the traveling has occurred.  Although we both have traveled extensively in the past, long before we met and little after we met, we know full well that predicting the outcome of future travel, its level of enjoyment and personal enrichment is highly speculative.

There is no doubt that later on, as we roll out each leg of our endless itinerary, that we may change our minds and subsequently change or add to these criteria that we have determined as important for financial success (staying in the budget) and security (of traveling exclusively utilizing our monthly income as opposed to using investments/saved funds).

The process of explaining this is a bit tedious for a writer such as myself, preferring a more "flowery" and "expressive" type of writing, as opposed to the more "clinical" aspect of describing this process. 

Undoubtedly, as we move along, traveling and writing, there will be a 50/50 ratio between technical details and the emotionally enlightening experiences such as cruising through the Panama Canal during its extensive renovation, catching our first king salmon in Alaska and feeding a giraffe through the window of our temporary home in South Africa.  The first 571 days of the itinerary will follow soon.

Here's our "rules" so far...

Criteria #1: Do not have a permanent home!
Criteria #2: Do not own cars! 
Criteria #3: Do not stay in hotels unless absolutely necessary!
Criteria #4: Do not pay more than that which we were willing to pay for rent in our chosen retirement community!
Criteria #5: Use the cruise!
Criteria #6: Bag the excess baggage! Cruise lines are more liberal on the number and weight of bags than airlines.  The first 10 months of our itinerary we won't step foot on an airplane.  The temptation is to load up our two suitcases each and our carry on bags.  Not so!  

Upon investigating baggage fees, for example, for the possible airlines that can fly us to Africa, the fees are astounding.  Some only allow 44 pounds in checked baggage per person!  When we flew to Florida for 7 days last fall, we each had two bags totaling 100 pounds!  I calculated that we would have had to pay an additional $800 each for overweight baggage, more than the cost of the flight per person from Rome to Kenya!

How will we pack lightly?  Can't imagine! Even Tom has a penchant for packing everything he owns when we've traveled in the past.  Later on, we will write about how this preposterous scenario will unfold.  

How will a woman, such as myself, pack lightly, one who insists upon using a wide array of cosmetics, having a fresh change of clothes daily, likes a certain tea, a certain coffee bean, a certain low carb sweetener, a certain baking pan and an endless array of gadgets? 

What about workout clothes and the requisite rotating tennis shoes?  What about the 20 different bottles of vitamins and supplements we each take in what may prove to be futile effort to bat off "old man time?"  What about heavy jeans, jackets, rain wear, hiking boots, Tom's suit and my evening dress (dresses) for "dress up" dinners aboard the cruise?  I've spent hours reading about how to pack for travels; two pairs casual pants, four tee shirts, one dress shirt, one pair dressy shoes, one pair walking shoes, a raincoat, an umbrella and la la la.  

Last week I bought a travel scale.  I weighed it on the kitchen scale.  It was advertised at 1.5 pounds but in fact weighed 2.3 pounds.  I am already using .052% of my allotment (44 pounds) on the scale itself!  Oh, dear, packing is almost as frightening as the zip line in Belize!


Criteria #7 to follow next time...please come back!

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