Deciding what to pack was tough. We'd decided early on that we wanted to be as mobile as possible on this trip, so we wanted to limit ourselves to carry-on baggage only wherever possible. We each have a big backpack with a smaller integrated day pack that zips off.
The little backpacks are our "technology bags". We each have a small netbook, iPod, Kindle (thank you, Debbie, Stewarts, and Jacksons), and the associated chargers. Between the two of us, we also have a small external hard drive, handheld GPS (thank you Constellation), pocket translator (thank you Ky), camera, and the cutest teeny tiny bendy tripod.
The clothing issue really isn't as bad as we thought it would be. During our month-long stay in the Caribbean, we realized that recycling clothes really isn't that gross as long as you use some common sense. We also got a better sense of what we really would and would not wear. Most importantly, we remembered that we really are warm weather people. If a long-sleeved shirt, fleece, jeans, and hiking boots wouldn't keep us warm enough, we were in the wrong place. For the obvious exceptions to this (like Antarctica), we'll rent appropriate attire. We tried to pack as much quick-dry fabric as possible for when we're hand-washing in bathroom sinks and hanging things out to line-dry. Sandi and Alan got us the coolest silicone drying line for that purpose! Finally, we realized we CAN buy things along the way to either replace or supplement. I realized it probably made more sense to buy a long skirt somewhere that I'll need to wear it rather than guessing what type to buy now.
Basically we each packed a pair of jeans, a pair of hiking pants, 4-5 t-shirts or tank tops, 2-3 pairs of shorts, a couple of long-sleeved shirts, a couple of hiking socks, 5 pairs of underwear, a dress for me and a dress shirt for Yann, a mid-weight fleece, a lightweight rain jacket, flip flops, city walking shoes, hiking boots, and five fingers for running. As ridiculous as they look, five fingers are so much smaller and more lightweight than running shoes and socks. We tried running in them in MS and they aren't so bad. I think we'll get used to it.
We also got used to the toiletries we could and could not live without. For example, I don't need face wash, but I do need moisturizer... As most of you know, I'm not too much of a make-up girl anyway, so that makes life easier. Basically, we're taking shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant, powder, mascara, eye shadow, tweezers, nail clippers... I'm not sure our toiletries are really that exciting for anyone. :)
And then there are all the OTC drugs and first aid stuff that you can probably guess: ibuprofen, pepto, tums, ex-lax, neosporin, bandaids, etc.
So that's about it! We packed about 90 percent of bags yesterday to make sure everything fit. Mine is a little light and Yann's is a little tight, so we'll probably reshuffle a little tomorrow after I finish our final laundry and we move the rest of what we aren't taking into Dad and Debbie's basement. I'm sure they'll be very psyched to reclaim their guest room, but it's been a very convenient home base for both us AND all of our stuff as we've figured out what final things we're really taking and what we're really storing.
Good night for now--we're off to Lisbon tomorrow afternoon!