Packing light

August 16, 2008

Every time I go to Cambodia, I leave a part of my heart behind. I think this means that I need to go back soon to look for it. You can see how this is becoming a bit of a vicious (virtuous?) cycle.

Anyway, here is a packing list for future trips. I probably amused Regina, my sweet roommate, to no end when I kept muttering to myself that I’d overpacked and could have probably left this item and that behind. For the record, I am actually a very light packer so this was all rather ironic but I am slightly obsessed with luggage minimization. This crazy list is for me, not you.  I’m OCD.  I know.

  1. Clothes and shoes: Shoes – Something covered for the field. Slippers are convenient for the hotel room but unnecessary; Tops – 1 for each day, although if prepared to wash, I can probably get away with whatever I wear on the plane + 1and maybe something long sleeved. It was super cold in the room. The missions t-shirt takes about a million years to dry.; Bottoms – Whatever I wear on the plane + 1. Skirts are actually more comfortable. Long pants minimized skin exposure to mosquitoes and other bugs and make the most sense for home visits. I brought shorts this trip. I wore them in my hotel room for all of 20 minutes – A total waste of space; PJs – 1 set. If I get really grubby and run out of clean clothes on the last day, I can always just wear the t-shirt home.
  2. Accessories: Watch; sunglasses; hairband (which I forgot this trip so used the sunglasses and looked like a poser). Jewelry etc is also stupid. The crumpler is an excellent travel bag. Money belt is a good to have but not necessary.
  3. Stationery: Bible; Journal; Paper – Good for taking down prayer requests. A small post-it pad will suffice. That said, bring journal and a pen. Chances are I will be writing obsessively; Book (other than the Bible) – Unnecessary. I only read it on the plane. I can always just read the inflight magazine or one of the 66 books in my Bible. Or sleep.
  4. Electronics: Chargers were the bulk of the weight. This was an absolute pain. Bring dSLR with kit lens + charger. (zoom-lens and point-and-shoot are unnecessary. If feel the need for second camera, fully charge it before leaving.) Phone – fully charge and leave it off for most of the day; iPod – fully charge before leaving. I am in 2 minds about this. I like music in the room at the end of a long day so I end up bringing the portable speakers as well. But it is a luxury.
  5. Toiletries: the usual. Makeup unnecessary but lip gloss is a good idea because dehydrated most of the time. I brought a small vial of perfume this trip. An absolute luxury but it made me happy. Thank God for samples! The pink microfiber towel is a God-send. Packs tiny and dries super quick.
  6. Miscellaneous – Water bottle; Eye drops; Mosquito repellent; Medicine – prepare to be rather dehydrated (so headaches etc are common); Plasters; Wet wipes; Material for missions; Print and bring photos from the previous trip.

By the way, the green pants dry overnight. The brown ones probably do as well.

And if I wear shoes that don’t need socks, I won’t have to bring socks!

Oh and one more thing! A note to my future self because I’m pretty sure that I’ll be hunting down this post when I pack for the next trip:

STOP BEING SURPRISED BY PRE-MISSION TRIP SPIRITUAL WARFARE!

YOU ARE NOT GOING CRAZY. IT HAPPENS. GET USED TO IT.

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