Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nobody told me it was going to be this hard

Well, I managed to avoid the first two stations along the whole Sunday afternoon nap/coffee/no sleep tonight vicious cycle. How? By spending the entire afternoon shopping. And I do mean shopping, with relatively little buying.

Why the intensive shopping? Because we are going to Australia. "But you've been overseas before," you say. "What makes this trip different/special?" I guess it would be a nasty combination of two factors: my job and the airline industry.

You see, due to budget cuts, I actually need to remain reasonably reachable this time around (unlike past trips off the continent) because there's no one else to reach. So, I'm taking the Blackberry, which is on the GSM network (as opposed to our CDMA cell phones) and thus will work Down Under. The problem is that Australia has a different electrical current. So... how am I supposed to CHARGE the stupid Blackberry? Thus online research, followed by a trip to Radio Shack.

Issue #2: Since we are traveling domestically before our international flight, we are stuck with the latest airline innovation - checked baggage fees! In other words, we've got to figure out how to pack for Los Angeles, Wichita and Melbourne (i.e., three seasons) in one carry-on bag apiece. That - plus the havoc visited upon our bag the last time we paid the baggage fee - means that we also needed to buy new luggage. But not just any luggage, mind you: we needed to find that perfect combination of cheap, roomy enough for the aforementioned packing challenge, and small enough to be considered "carry-on" on the prop planes that will begin and end this journey. Plus, it must roll to avoid strain on The Husband's neck.

In the end, I think we got things that will address both of these dilemmas, though neither is an ideal solution. I'm still worried about the digital camera not holding a charge for the entire time we're in the world of 220v plugs, but we've survived with 35mm disposables before. As long as we get pics of the penguins, I'll live.

I also found a nice pocket-sized Lonely Planet guide to Melbourne with a map, which will save on space and assist with the packing. And Mom's Christmas present will fit in the bag yet leave space for an Aussie souvenir in its stead.

This trip just seems to require more intricate planning than in the past. Better be worth it!


Blogger emawkc said...

Is it worth it to NOT pack any clothes for Melbourne, but buy new clothes when you get there, then ship everything home via UPS or FedEx (or whatever the Aussie equivalent is)?

11:14 AM  

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