All My Bags Are Packed. I'm Ready to Go.

Trip Start Nov 09, 2012
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Trip End Nov 25, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yes my flight doesn't take off for four more days. But that is a mute point. I'm ready. The plane can take it's sweet time. I love packing. You get to fantasies about the trip (in goes my lovely black dress for fancy dinner out) and worry (my kids' electric tracking devise...I'm not kidding) Most important is you get the weigh the relative worth of objects you own. Space is limited, you can only bring things that matter. Here are three rules Jared and I formed over dozens of trips. I know they aren't exhaustive and I know lots of smart people who would disagree with them. But they have served me well.

1. Don't bring anything that you can't replace. You don't want to spend your trip babysitting your possessions. You should never bring anything of sentimental value. I'm breaking this rule this trip. Eden and Sam have love items that we really must take. And we will guard Fuzzy and Little Bear with our lives.

2. Plan on forgetting things. Realizing how kind the world is is one of the best gifts of travel. Some people pack for foreign travel like they are going to mars. They bring everything for every possiblity. Fear of the unknown can make me want to cling to the familiar. You bring things to insulate and prepare. It is liberating to step into a culture with less than you need. You will either find you didn't need it, or that the people living there use them too. It is plesant to find gloves in Peru, razors in Nepal and a toothbrush in the middle of Tanzania. People live in the places you are going. Never forget that.

3. Pack for the kind of trip you want to have. And, if I can get this metaphysical, for the kind of person you want to be. Some things matter. Bring them. Some things don't. Leave them. Do so mindfully.

4. Pack a purpose. You could sum up the Mormon theology nicely in a trip. We leave our Heavenly home and come to Earth. We work hard. We are happy and sad. And then we return home. Who we are when we return home depends on what we learned on the journey. Every trip I have goals. I write them down and I focus on them every day. This is so much easier to do for a two week trip than for a life time. But the exercise is helpful.

At the end of packing you have a refreshing pile of things. For the next two weeks my family will live out of two backpacks and a roll on. They are piled up in my closet. It is exciting to look at them. Could we possibly move Friday up a few days?
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