Supplies needed to carry on...more sacrifices...Happy 4th of July everyone in the US!

Sorry folks, no photos today except this one I'd failed to post when we visited Petra, Jordan in May 2013. 

Staying inside all day today due to rainy weather, we felt lazy, as one may feel on a holiday, watching downloaded movies.  Tomorrow, with sunshine predicted, we'll have more to share.  We hope that our readers in the US have enjoyed the 4th of July. 
Last week I found this photo from when we walked to Petra in May. I'd saved in the wrong location realizing it was never posted (to the best of my knowledge). These steps were much steeper than appearing in this photo.  To see this horse gingerly tackle them in the scorching heat was both heartbreaking and awe inspiring. 
Planning ahead is never far from our thoughts. 

Prescriptions, medical supplies, toiletries, office supplies, batteries for digital equipment, copies of travel documents must be replaced along with any other items that pop into our heads as we continue to use what we have on hand.

Many expat travelers such as ourselves choose to live in large cities with easy access to most of these items.  For us, having chosen to live in more remote areas, we must plan in advance. 

With less than two months until we leave for Africa, we've begun to evaluate what we may need for the nine months we'll live between Kenya, South Africa and Morocco.

Early this morning, I found myself counting malaria pills to determine if we are short.  While still in the US, I'd ordered enough to last for our almost six month while in Kenya and South Africa.  While in Belize, we ended up booking almost three more months in Morocco. 

Today, looking online at the CDC's website it appears there's no known risk of malaria in Morocco, leaving us with the correct number of pills we'll need for Kenya and South Africa, one per day for each of us for the almost six months.

However, with our current prescriptions scheduled to run out in October, we find it necessary to order enough for another year.  Receiving mail in Africa in the remote areas we'll reside in Kenya and South Africa is sketchy at best. 

Early next week, we'll place our order online hoping to receive the package well in advance of leaving here.  Although, now not covered by insurance, the prices for our prescriptions are reasonable.

While in Dubai, I had no alternative but to use one of the two Z-Pak antibiotic prescriptions we had on hand while I was ill with a raging sinus infection as a result of an awful flu we both contracted on the Middle East cruise from Barcelona to Dubai.  Hoping to replace the used prescription, I am requesting one five day dose online. 

The weight of our bags, at this point continues to be a major concern.  Learning from experience these past eight months, overstocking in a poor strategy.  But remaining mindful of crucial items we know we'll need is a vital part of our everyday lives.

So far in our travels, we hauled a supply of Crystal Light ice tea, our daily  beverage of choice.  Although the pitcher sized packets are lightweight, including a 100 packet three month supply adds an extra two to three pounds.  Plus, with the product unavailable in Italy, we'd have no alternative but to have it shipped, incurring international shipping fees.

A few days ago, we both made a commitment to give up Crystal Light ice tea entirely, unless by chance we find it to be available at any local grocery stores where we're living at any given time, purchasing only enough to use, not to carry.

Giving up the insulated mug of ice tea that I've carried everywhere for years, will not be easy.  Is it an addiction?  I suppose there are of some who may feel that anything we "have to have" may be construed as an addiction. 

With the ice tea 99% caffeine free, surely it must be more of a habit than an addiction.  It doesn't matter what we call it.  We have to stop drinking it.  The weaning process began a few days ago, diluting it by 30% until our current supply is gone in the next few weeks.

Tom's powdered creamer is another item we've been unable to find.  We recently considered buying it online but there again it would result in more to pack.   While shopping last week, we purchased three possible alternatives, three liquid creamers used for latte here in Italy, a very common beverage.   

Much to our surprise, the liquid creamer had an acceptable taste, a product we will no doubt be able to find in our future destinations.  I prefer real cream but with few preservatives used in Italy (and many other countries) it tends to spoil in about five days. 

Interestingly, many foods spoil quickly here including deli meats and cheeses, again made without nitrates and other preservatives.  This fact is pleasing for one's health but requires rethinking storage of these perishable items.   The freezer, although small, serves that purpose for most products.

Surprisingly, vegetables also spoil quickly here leaving us to wondering what spray chemical products, the local Italian farmers are NOT using on their produce. 

Shopping for two weeks in advance as we've done here thus far, requires we eat all the fresh produce as quickly as possible.  Soon, the vegetables in the gardens in our yard will be ready to pick, eliminating a portion of this issue over the summer.

All of our luggage is currently atop a bed in a  guest room, except for the items we'd placed in cupboards and drawers.  Each day, I peruse through the items, considering which items I am willing to let go. 

In the past several days, I've eliminated no less than five pounds.  Minus the ice tea, we'll be down approximately eight pounds.  This process must continue.  We're highly motivated to board our upcoming flight to Africa on September 2nd without paying any excess baggage fees.

Saying goodbye to stuff?  For us, its been a process.  After a lifetime of stuff, surrounded by stuff, replacing stuff, trips to Costco, stockpiling stuff and surrounding ourselves with stuff we like, love and treasure, it definitely has been a challenge. 

At this point, it's only practicality and function that drives our sense of attachment to an item(s).  No longer do I look at an item of clothing with a smile, looking forward to wearing it again.  Those days are long gone.

Above all, its the sacrifices we've chosen to make for the opportunity to travel the world are many. We find ourselves instead, loving the views of Mother Natures' rich treasures, the smells that freely represent a culture, the tastes of the local foods, the sounds of the languages unfamiliar to our ears, the music so passionately represented by its citizens and most of all the people...none of which we'll be required to place in our bags. 

These, we'll carry in our hearts and minds forever.

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