Stage 1 of trip prep for me means a lot of Gathering, preferably in silence, no conversation, me assembling clothing in categories and running down my list in my head. Joe's not crazy about this part since it's the opposite of how he likes to proceed, which is interactive: him asking me to name things so he can make sure he's got them.
It's also about making sure I have enough to read on the flight, since it's unlikely I'll sleep - and I am so greedy for that long stretch of uninterrupted book-time that I resist sleep in the interest of reading more. A 12-hour flight? Bring it. That just means more books cover-to-cover. That's paradise for me, even before we set foot on the island of the gods. And I'm super-stoked this year because Laura gave me her old rolling backpack so at least I don't have to carry all those books on my shoulder or back this time, but can roll them and laptop, etc. through the airport like the super-geek I truly am.
One of things I've been thinking a lot about is my Ten Essentials for this trip, carrying over a snowcamping practice. I won't be packing a compass or an emergency blanket or an insulating layer, but it amused me to think about the ten "survival" items I really will have with me to ensure smooth travels in Bali.
2 - 4: Hand sanitizing spray, sunscreen, insect repellent: all of these shown are non-toxic, but we will be packing Deet, too. Nothing worse than a trip ruined by mosquitoes or other biters. I still remember the welts all over Peggy and Jim when we visited the Manu Preserve in Peru -- to be avoided at all costs!
5. Purse-size packs of tissues: Really, life is just so much more pleasant when this need is covered. And always nice to be the person with extras to pass to the ladies in line.
6. Head lamp: I never go anywhere without this thing. Hands-free lighting is always a great idea, whether it's for reading in the middle of the night or making your way back to the hotel from town in poor lighting.
7. Pocket knife: I could bring a Swiss Army knife, but instead will bring this knife given to me by my father along with all of the inevitable associated memories of Jean-Paul, always ready with an implement for cutting string from pastry boxes, slicing cheese and bread, opening packages, being of service.
8. Safety pins: Aside from wardrobe malfunctions, a safety pin always comes in handy. Lost screw on your sun-glasses? No worries!
9. Plug adaptor: In service of my need to document everything, I carry an absurd amount of technology with me - laptop, phone, camera - which will all need charging at some point.
10. A black Pashmina (on which all the other stuff is resting): Always, always useful - on the plane, in the evenings, to cozy up while reading, to keep the sun off.
FIVE DAYS to go - can't wait. This is going to be so amazing!