Today is July 1st and I’m leaving the states for Nepal in exactly three weeks. In fact, at this time (12:28 p.m.) in exactly 3 weeks I’ll probably be sitting in the San Francisco International Airport, drinking coffee, playing on my laptop and waiting to board my flight to Seoul, South Korea. It still hasn’t quite soaked in yet that I’m leaving for Asia on an extended trip yet again. This will be my third long Asia trip in the past three years. Although, I’m not quite sure this trip will be the same as my past travels. I am not just backpacking or wandering anymore, I’m going to Kathmandu, Nepal for a magazine job.
As with the month before any long trip I have an overwhelming amount of preparations to do. Some pleasant and exciting, like buying camera equipment and working on my website, and other things not so pleasant, like figuring out the intricacies and fine print of travel insurance packages. Within about two weeks I’ll begin the meticulous process of packing up my bags to bring abroad, and packing up my life here in the U.S. into taped-up cardboard boxes. The whole process is exciting and tiring at the same time. Each item that goes with me will require careful planning and consideration.
I learned my lesson about over-packing on my first trip. I had 2 guide books, multiple pairs of shoes, a water purification system, all sorts of bug repellants, and way too many clothing items. With in one month on the road, I had slowly but surely left a trail of my things that I didn’t need across Asia. I ditched water bottles and clothes in Singapore, gave away books and extraneous toiletries in Nepal and finally ended up with a decent sized backpack.
My upcoming trip, as I mentioned, is different than any previous trip I have taken because I am actually resettling in Kathmandu for a while. This means I’ll probably want more than just the items I can fit into a backpack. I’ll want some books and other items to make my new apartment in Kathmandu (which still remains to be found) more comfortable and livable.
So, as the weeks and days tick down to July 21st, I have a lot to do, a lot to think about, and a lot to pack. Although tedious, all the trip preparations and planning are surely worth it.