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Monday, November 04, 2013

Where there is much love

The morning of my two week trip to Asia.  Twin alarms go off at 5am.  We've both prepared for this day in our own way.  As I huddle in my warm bed, counting down the minutes until I have to leave, his arm comes around me in a strong embrace.  Not the soft gentle kind, no, it's the tight grip of a husband who wants me to know I will be missed.

The night before I tell me oldest I'm leaving for two weeks and she wraps herself around me, literally!  Arms and legs pinning me to her bed to show me how much she cares.  She says in a small voice "why can't I come with you?".  I tell her it's for work and I have to go alone.  Then she breaks my heart by saying "but I could help you".  Oh how I wish it were that easy to take a five year old around the world.

My mom stops by the morning before I leave and I have pleasure of helping her with a church study she's doing soon.  As she leaves she hesitates at the door, I tell her I'm leaving the next day and she says "I know".  She gives me a long look and a big hug and leaves.

There is much love in my little family and it's hard to say goodbye for two weeks. 

Off my game

Well I'm back in Asia for two weeks; it's my second trip of the year.  For some reason I've forgotten all my hard earned travel tips.  I got onto the plane without reorganizing my bag to make sure I had included toothbrush and sleep meds!  I think I pulled my bag down three times during the flight!  I forgot a pen and ear phones!  Who am I?  This is just crazy.  So in an effort to reorient myself for future travel, here is a list of must haves.

Carry-on that goes under the seat:
  1. Laptop
  2. Kindle
  3. Phone & Cord - because mid-trip I may have to charge it on the laptop, although today I let it run down to 15% but I don't recommend that ever!
  4. Snack
  5. Water
  6. Meds/Vitamins
  7. Glasses/Contact Case
  8. Toiletries that are necessary for pre-bed activities because on a 16 hour flight one must get into that pre-bed zone before attempting to sleep for 8 hours.
  9. Head Phones
  10. Sleep mask
  11. Travel Documents for hotel and other travel arrangements, I use a thin plastic folder that snaps
  12. Strap - to attach carry on to rolling bag - this is critical for easy walking through airports as it keeps the carry on from falling off
  13. Wallet
  14. Tissues or Napkins
  15. Business Cards
Must haves for the travel pack I wear around my neck:
  1. Passport
  2. Credit Card
  3. Pen
  4. Travel Document
  5. Mini notepad for notes
Have you noticed I don't carry a purse?  I adhere to the two travel bag limit and pack very carefully so that my carry on bag that goes in the overhead compartment has exactly one week's worth of clothes and I do laundry at the hotels.  This saves time of waiting for bags and saves me from over packing.  My goal this trip is to use everything I've packed.  If I haven't used it then it goes on the "ban list" for future travel. 

Back to the purse thing, I've noticed that when I travel that I have to take my laptop everywhere anyway so that bag basically becomes a giant purse.  I do pack a very small tiny bag that folds up really small so it's a nice back up when I don't need to take the laptop bag with me for a night out.  In case you're wondering, I have tried to do three bags and I hate getting yelled at in the airport.  I've been told to pack the third bag inside the others so often that I finally just gave up and adhere to the two bag rule.