By Patrick

The last few months have been extremely busy and stressful for me. Getting ready for this trip, in addition to the many other things going on in my life, has been exhausting. It has been the most sustained period of intensity and hard work I’ve ever experienced. The last month especially has been a whirlwind –- my father’s memorial; my parents’ estates; setting up our lives so they run on auto-pilot while we’re away; planning, shopping, and packing for our trip; gathering information from other travelers and connections; and good-byes with family and friends. I’ve been running on about 5-6 hours of sleep a night for the last month, and busy every other minute. There are bags on the bags under my eyes!

In order to have any chance of making it, I tracked the key activities on a spreadsheet. Here are the final stats:
· Completed – 219
· Canceled – 41
· Do when we return – 26
· Ask Diane’s sister Shelly to complete – 5
· Do while traveling – 6

Perhaps the most frustrating and tiring was the shopping for our travel items. After about the 20th trip, even Diane said that she was tired of shopping! I’m pretty sure that this has never happened before.

And what did we pack you ask? Well, I have a list of that also, of course, but I won’t bore you with it. Here are pictures of everything we brought – before and after packing.


And presto, chango, ala kazamm… after!

Our packs are about 18 pounds each when configured for flight, and easily passed the carry-on test.

The time spent planning, shopping, and packing was all to achieve our goal of having the smallest packs possible. Benefits include:
· easier to carry, especially in the heat
· the ability to walk and carry our packs ourselves, rather than needing transport or assistance
· no checked baggage means no lost bags during flights, and no need to wait for bags in airports
· no risk of losing bags off bus roofs or by theft while in transport
· the ability to carry our bags while visiting attractions en-route between locations, if necessary.
Anyhow, I’m so glad that all the prep is done and that we’re finally on the road. I’ll probably need a week or 2 to recover, but I’m confident that it will all have been worth it in the end.

Thanks to everyone who supported us over the last few months. Your assistance is greatly appreciated, and helped to make our trip possible.


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3 thoughts on “Preparation

  1. mommy and daddy, I’ve gotten ahold of the computer again.. silly furballs, doobs distracts them while I type..The small brown sausage keeps barking, but I gave it my best.. “Khissss”.. and ya shoulda seen it run..hahaha.. doobs and I rolled around laughing.. kept me going for awhile.. They can’t jump like we can so we’ve been watching them from the tops of the counters.. and those two people turn on th water when I want and let me push and pull my nails on their soft bellies..all in all.. the steps to gain trust and slowly take over the house is going..well, purrrfect if I do say so myself.. Relax, we’re doing great MOMMMY.. we love you and miss you.. but are stickin’ with the plan.. If only I could drive a car.. hmmm 10 months to learn…i’m off..purrr..doobs/skylar..

  2. Wow! All that stuff in your backpacks – is there a black felt tip pen in there Diane??!Have fun and keep up the notes. I enjoy reading, wandy

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