I’ve decided to head back to San Miguel for several months, so I’m attempting to get my life rearranged. Leaving home for a few weeks is different from leaving for months.
The last time I did this was some 30 years ago when my husband and I took off for a year to explore Australia and New Zealand. It was a life changing experience, and hopefully I learned (and can remember) some travel lessons that will make life easier.
For instance, how many clothes does one really need to take to a foreign country? On that first long-term trip, I think I had about 5, or maybe it was 7, BIG suitcases bulging with every item I thought I would need for the year. Somehow in my brain I forgot to consider that both countries had stores that sold various clothing items I might desire. Surprise, surprise!!
That tad bit of reasoning would have saved us not only time (do you have any idea how long it takes to haul around several hundred pounds of luggage?), but a great deal of back pain. We learned that we had to hide most of our bags from every cab driver because if any self-respecting driver saw the 2 story high skyscraper of bags, he wouldn’t stop. I would stand on the curb with one smaller bag and wave down an unsuspecting cabbie with a huge smile on my face, while my husband would hide behind a pillar, another car, or behind whatever was nearby with all of our belongings. By the time the cab had stopped, the driver had vacated the vehicle, and walked to the rear to open the car trunk we had already made 2 trips to our bags’ hiding spot and he realized more was coming. He could barely hide his frustration, anger, and displeasure at these stupid Americans who didn’t understand a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt was all that was necessary in the outback.
He was correct. All we really needed was a couple of shirts, one long and one short pair of pants, a pair of shoes, and the belief that the right thing would happen at the right time. Some call that serendipitous living, well, that’s what we called it. And it worked.
As I consider a lengthy stay in a foreign country, I am reminded that the less I take, the better. I was told, before the Australian trip, to pack what I thought I needed, wait a few days, unpack half of what was in the bag(s), wait another 2 days, and remove 1/2 of what was left. Sure enough, I would still have more than I required. A note: I did not take that advice, thus an over abundance of ‘stuff’.
So, I’m off to find a backpack that will hold some undies, pants, t-shirts, a long sleeve shirt, a jacket, and my meds. The last time I was in Mexico I did note that I can buy a toothbrush and toothpaste there, which lightens my load even more. Who knew?