Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Trip Prep and the First Flight

A number of people have asked me how I packed and prepared for the trip given that I will be on the road for about five months. The answer is that I have been thinking about this trip for a long time and as my family and friends know I’ve been traveling a lot in the past two years. Long story short I’ve been buying, using and testing travel gear in my travels over the past two years and I’ve built up a pretty good collection. For this trip I actually took it a step further and tested a couple of backpacks on recent trips (as you can see in the photo below I had them sitting out while I was packing).

The rest of the travel stuff I’ve been accumulating in a couple of boxes and taking as needed on trips in recent years.

I started packing for this trip by sorting through all those items, the hardest thing about packing for this trip is that theoretically I need probably everything I’ve accumulated from the trips to various places over the past two years. I need items I've used in my Africa travel (tropical weather gear, needles/developing world first aid gear and other 3rd world gear), Asia (skype phone, USB memory keys, dedicated travel clothing from when I spent 7 months on the road, dry bags), Caribbean (underwater camera cases), cold weather skiing clothes and items from pretty much every other climate. I basically spent two days sorting through everything and eliminating items until I got to the point that I could fit it all into my big backpack and my little backpack (which I use to carry high value/non airplane check able items). I also brought an extra bag with lots of books to read due to the fact that in Asia it can be tough to find English reading materials. The books are on a one way trip meaning I will be abandoning them as I read them and then the bag will be mailed back to the US.

When all was said and done I headed to Newark airport and jumped on the first flight which was to Tokyo, I do have to admit the travel is easier than it sounds, I used miles for the tickets and was able to arrange to fly in Business class most of the time. Although after I saw how much my bags weighed when continental checked them I have to say I think I will be shedding a good deal more stuff, my big bag weighed in at more than 60 pounds, I will be mailing a number of items home before I leave Japan……

The continental 777 I took from Newark to Tokyo:

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