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Posts from the ‘Planning’ Category


There are so many flavors and ways to organize a big chunk of time abroad, we were dizzy with the possibilities when we started planning. It was fascinating to read how other people had done it (in books) or were doing it in real time (via blogs) so we followed the progress of several families rattling around the world and shamelessly gleaned ideas and tips. A contact through my daughter’s summer camp led us to the Demers, in the midst of ten months of travel with their three daughters and, maybe because of their similar ages, reading their entries made our own upcoming travels feel much more real for Della. She watched for their updates eagerly. We were astonished when we saw they were stopping for a school term in, of all places, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand.

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Packing day

We learned this lesson the hard way on our last extended trip- we accumulated gear, guidebooks and clothes with abandon and when we crammed it all in our packs the day before we left, found we could barely lift the things. This time, with two weeks to go, we are packing everything in advance and putting our bags in “quarantine” while we still have the time to make adjustments. The good news is the gear and packs have got so much lighter. The bad news is my back is 12 years older than the last time we did this!
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We’re making progress…

We’ve moved from this
to this
photo 5

Reservation confirmations via email are intangible, but this growing pile of gear isn’t. We’ve made a dent to our list with lightweight sleeping bags, packs for the kids, microfiber towels, quick dry undies and as many gadgets and comforts passed off as Christmas gifts as I could get away with (Binoculars! And camp pillows! Just what you’ve always wanted!)

Looking forward to a substantial REI member rebate…