All Packed and Ready to Go

In nine hours and forty minutes, our flight to the United States will depart. Thankfully, I am all packed and am ready to go to bed in a few minutes, in the hope of catching five or six hours of sleep before the twenty-hour journey to Los Angeles.


Fortunately, more than fifteen years of flying between Bangkok and the United States has helped me be a better prepared traveler. And by “better prepared” I actually mean, bringing less stuff and being more organized about how I carry it.

As a child of an airline employee, I learned at a young age to travel lightly, as trips were always on a space-available basis and you didn’t want to check bags in case you ended up on a different flight. These days I have a paid ticket but many of the good habits have continued.

I do check bags, though. Especially when traveling across the ocean. It is too far and liquid restrictions are too… restrictive, to be trying to compress everything into a 22″ rollaboard bag.

But one of the most important changes has been that I no longer feel the need to over-prepare. I bring fewer clothes than I think I need, knowing that I can always buy something if it is critical. I bring fewer items for on-board the flight, too. The ubiquity of seat-back on-demand entertainment means I do not need as much stuff, and trying to bring every toiletry and sundry item for any emergency is a lost cause, so I bring only the bare minimum.

We’ll see if I can learn anything from this trip and learn to pare down even more.

Mental Challenges Before Moving

After three weeks (a bit more, actually) out of the office, I show up at 8:00 am to astounded looks from colleagues.  “Oh, you haven’t left for Thailand?” is the greeting of choice.

It is hard to get a lot of work done as I’m feeling swamped by things to-do.  About 2:00 pm I head home and work from there the rest of the day, finally hitting my productive peak after dinner.  Between jet lag and being preoccupied, I’m losing my mind.

My process for organizing around the house is this: make piles in the lviing room of things that I’d like to move to Bangkok.

Pile 1: Must be moved on this trip

Pile 2: Would be nice to move on this trip but could wait until December

Pile 3: Definitely wait until December

Pile 4: Wait until some unspecified date in the future to move it

I’m sure my parents will be overjoyed when they arrive later in the week to discover piles of things greeting them.  Well, it is a method to the madness.