As part of any journey here comes the first question: what to bring? There are several things to consider here:

  • what do I absolutely, unequivocally need that I can’t (or would rather not) get overseas?
  • what one-time-wear type stuff will I need to pack for special events?
  • what might be a comfort to have on hand?
  • how much can I maneuver by myself AND get on an airplane without a headache?
I’m decent at downsizing and going light, making sure I have exactly what I need for exactly what I’ll be doing, but seeing as this is several months of not being home, it’s hard to anticipate everything that might come up.  Then when I do add something really specialized to the pile, I get that sour feeling that packer’s remorse will probably come around to smack me in the face.
[did I really think I needed this many socks?] 
At least it’s a chance to brush up on my ninjapacker skills:
I’m really into travel blogs, especially and there’s a lot going round about the “100 items or less” or “50 items or less” challenge.  Funny enough, the only people I’ve seen pull this off convincingly are guys.  Two of my favorite bloggers, Colin Wright and Tim Ferriss both pull it off regularly. But here I am counting my things: does makeup count as one, since it’s in one little bag?  By no means am I stuffing every last zippered pouch in my pack with war paint, but it still strikes me as unfair.  I mean, it’s not my fault society demands I wear a bra (thereby adding at least 3 items to my required set). So, should I call it the “54 items or less” system?
I’ll figure out the final count sometime soon.

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