So, it’s Friday afternoon around 3 pm. I leave for a long trip to Asia around 7. I have everything I am planning on taking laid out on the bed. “Have I forgotten anything?” She gazes over the bed, smiles and says, “You have too much stuff here already”. And after six weeks she was right.
Some packing do’s and don’ts for a long yoga related stay in Asia/India/Australia.
1. Suit case. Do not buy a roller duffel that looks easy to get around with and really weighs almost 3 kilos. In the last day or two before I left I bought a nice Victorinox roller duffel to bring on the trip. Not thinking that I might want to head to places that would require me to actually carry the whole thing with me, like Java or Thailand or just getting from Sydney to Byron, I bought a bag that when filled makes it almost impossible to use anywhere but very nice airports and cities where there are porters for everything.
2. Books. Do not bring every book that you might possibly think you will need – travel guides especially. I brought two novels, a couple of Sanskrit primers, and two guide books. I have one novel now – Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, one of the best books I have ever read, but at 1400 pages packing the paper back can still be a little bit tricky. I also have pieces of a guide to New South Wales and notes on travel in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. I have been ripping guide books up and I have been taking good notes.
3. Clothes. I have six or seven pair of yoga clothes, the same number or more of t-shirts – half I have not used. So I over packed yoga clothes, but didn’t really think through the daily clothing needs. This is a little more acute, since I have dropped in on Australia’s spring, a wet and cool one. You do need about 4 or 5 sets of yoga clothes, a set of wear on the plane clothes (long pants and collared shirt and a pair of closed toed shoes), some shorts and some middle weight clothes. Anything else that comes up because of the weather – either too hot or cold – you can buy on the spot. Do bring rain gear. Also, every town in Asia and Australia as it turns out has laundry services.
4. Compter. So, I rushed around the week before I left to get a computer to take on the trip. I got all the pieces together, spent two long days re-entering all of my personal information. But, after 6 weeks of traveling the only thing that a personal laptop really solves is watching DVD’s when there is no other option around. Email, IM and Skype is available in every internet cafe and most coffee shops in every place I have visited. That makes the internet available whenever I need it.
So, to my friend you were right. I had way, way too much stuff. A result of my own need to control the environment perhaps. I am evaluating downshifting the luggage while I am in Byron, selling the computer and finding a more manageable bag for the trip. I’ll let you know how it goes. But I hope whatever I do the next time I get off of the plane I don’t have the “Heavy – Bend Knees” sticker that appeared on my bag in Sydney.