The Beginning ....

Trip Start Oct 29, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Mum and Bill's House

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, October 29, 2011

So first of all the packing . Now I've read all the books – "Round the World the First Time", “The Big Trip”, even the lastest read, “Gap Years for Grown Ups”, and all of them were very helpful with advice on booking flights, getting visas, vaccinations and the favourite bit about putting out what you are wanting to take, then half it. I Just failed to take the advice given. So the aim by the point of departure was that I would have left the job (tick), sold the house (tick), sold the car (the Lizmobile is parked on the next door neighbour’s drive – she has agreed to this) and just have one bag. Even after the cutting down I have got two large holdalls and a very heavy daypack.  It would have been so much easier when I was 18. All I would have taken is a few clothes (still probably 10 pairs of pants though),a pair of trainers, some flip flops, a millets sleeping bag,  a small selection of toiletries, a compact film camera and a walkman (with a couple of mix tapes).

Now I have a pair of mountaineering boots, a pair of walking boots, walking trainers, flip flops, a lot of clothes (you need walking  and mountaineering clothes – yes mostly from my sponsorship deal with North Face, beach clothes, going out in the evening clothes (you can’t wow Buenos Airies with your Argentine Tango moves in a pair of walking trousers and  fleece -Flavia would never dream of it!, two waterproof jackets, down jacket, two sleeping bags (lightweight and a down one), thermarest, walking poles, monopod, the universal travel adaptor, half of Boots’ selections of toiletries (because obviously they don’t sell shampoo and shower gel anywhere apart from the UK! And they certainly won’t have toilet paper!) .

Now there’s the daypack with  the Digital SLR with various lenses, the compact digital with underwater housing, the ipods (shuffle and big one), the kindle and the netbook with an external storage drive. Then there’s the lonely planet selection (country guides, city guides, trekking guides etc). 

And finally  there was the most important packing question of all. Those books are great but none of them really helped with the most important bit. Yes – how many pairs of pants do you need? It really is a tricky one – I know they do have laundrettes abroad and you can use travel wash but how many days will you have between opportunities for washing and what about emergencies ? Anyway, having sought much advice on this (most people said 7 – do they not factor in the emergency aspect?), have settled on 10 (that’s a week’s worth and 3 just in case of those obviously frequently occuring emergencies).

 I think I am going to have to write a book myself called “Gap years for people who are bordering on being anal, have obviously created a spreadsheet for the trip and with a perchant for putting things in zip Lock bags and money bags”.

Additional Notes from Heathrow– First time ever I’ve had to get a trolley for my bags ! Then they put a heavy tag on one of the bags. And you don’t even want to know how long it took me to  get through security because I had to empty out half of the electrical items in the day sack – Katherine I have become one of those people I normally winge about !!!
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Barbara on

This is great Liz....have a wonderful trip and make us all really jealous!

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