As I prepare to spend almost 2 months away from home, traveling to China, London and finally, Maine, I have been taking stock of my possessions in an effort to decide what I cannot live without. This is a difficult decision, especially when it comes to shoes, but I have aspirations of being a lightweight traveler so I am trying to view this as an experiment. or a personal challenge. something.
One of the important items is my mobile phone, of course. I currently have a Samsung D807 slider phone, which is nice and compact but no fun when it comes to text messaging or retrieving email. I gave up my Blackjack for the D807 because I thought I needed a phone, not a message center; but have since discovered that I am wrong. I actually don't talk on the phone anymore (does anyone?). As I was considering which phone to switch to, I pulled out a box that contains my old gadgets and discovered... that I have a lot.
It's ridiculous. I have been carrying these things around with me from place to place for years. Contained within are 6 cell phones + various accessories, a Zen Jukebox MP3, cables, plugs, whatever... I think my grandmother's engagement ring and my 6th grade report card are also in there somewhere.
So what to do with these things that I no longer use but am conflicted about disposing of? I did some research and found organizations like Collective Good, Recycling for Charities, and Recycle for Breast Cancer that will recycle or dispose of your old electronics and gadgets in an environmentally friendly way. And apparently, it's easy. Box it up and ship it out (they'll even supply the shipping label) or arrange a pick up. I guess I should get rid of my old gadgets before buying any new ones...
Aside from streamlining my gadget life, I also have to figure out how to pack for this journey. In my dreams, I can make it with one suitcase and one carry-on, but due to the aforementioned shoe issue I am not sure that's very realistic. I have been scouring the web for advice and came upon How to Travel the World with 10lbs or Less, linked from the Travel Gear blog. This Tim Ferriss person frightens me a little (How to Lose 20lbs of Fat in 30 Days Without Exercising? A 4-hour Work Week? Really?) but I'm willing to try anything, so I watched his video and read his advice. His post is intended for people who wear hiking boots, not heels; but I adapted his packing list to my lifestyle by replacing his items for mine - like 1 featherweight Marmon Ion jacket (whatever that is) to 1 lightweight Anthropologie cardigan; or 1 pair of Polyester pants (His. Please.) with 1 pair denim jeans. It just might work.
Or, perhaps his best advice is simply BIT ~ "Buy It There".
I have been relentlessly trying to figure out a way to travel with only one bag and am sotrying this today. I will have to adapt it a bit, however, for the sake of style... "If you don't own clothing with pockets, you don't need a new wardrobe. Get a money belt or pouch"... there are some things I just can't get on board with.