I leave for a three week trip on the 16th of January. Those that know me know that packing is a major thing with me. I like to shop while I am traveling and usually I am visiting people that I know and love so I have gifts. This trip is no exception. However, due to the nature of my travels, I have to be very limited inn my packing. I’m allowed one checked bag up to 23 kg (50 pounds), one carry-on bag at 8 kg (about 18 pounds) and a purse. So, I am using my trusty 29″ eBags rolling duffle bag as my checked bag. Since I am taking rather a lot of trains and buses on this trip, I didn’t really want a second rolling suitcase as my carry-on. It’s often difficult enough to get one thing rolling on cobblestones and in the snow, let alone two. So I’m trying a new bag, the eBags Motherlode Weekender Convertible Junior as my carry-on. It can be either a backpack or an over-the-shoulder type of bag. I’m planning on carrying nearly all my clothes in this as I am staying at a lot of friends houses on this trip and I can do laundry pretty easily. Then my purse/personal item will be my Tom Bihn Makers Bag (which is my everyday purse).
For me, this is traveling light. Normally I would have a full second suitcase. But the airlines are getting tougher and tougher on people traveling with two suitcases and I am also flying on a couple of the low-cost European airlines while I am over there, where you pay for even one checked bag.
However, it’s not just packing that I have to do. Because I have a flock of sheep and a flock of chickens (along with a small pack of dogs), I have to arrange a sitter for them. Basically someone to do chores while I am gone. Since it’s winter, they are oddly not as big of a deal as they are in the summer. Check water, collect eggs and check chicken feed, check minerals and protein tubs, and make sure that the sheep have enough hay. Honestly, usually about ten minutes. In the summer, there is a lot of moving fences and electrical cords and so on. I’m lucky that I have some lovely people that are coming out to do the chores for me while I am gone. I still need to write-up an instruction sheet for them with all the numbers that they will possibly need in case of emergency.
The other things that I need to do are finish the knitting project on the needles as I plan on wearing it a lot (it’s a large hap shawl and I am knitting on the edging and it’s big and the edging is black and taking forever!), knit my mittens and hat (ahem), and figure out a knitting project to keep me occupied on my many flights. I’m thinking lace, just for weight and space requirements. However, I need something complex enough to keep me from getting insanely bored but isn’t all active pattern as I will be traveling and not having 100% concentration to give. I’m thinking about Sylvia McFadden’s A Joyful Thread as travel knitting. Has anyone made it??
So you might be curious as to where all I am going. First I am spending a day in Amsterdam as I have not gotten to really see the Rijksmuseum in all the times that I have been there (they were completely closed or mostly closed for a ten year renovation of the museum). Then I am traveling by train to Helmond to visit my friend Marleen and her family for a few days. Then I am flying into Hamburg to visit my friend Tini and her family for a few days. Then from Hamburg, I will fly to Vilnius, Lithuania where I am meeting up with my friend Veronica and we are going to explore that city for 2 days. Then Veronica and I are taking a bus to Riga, Latvia to explore that city for a couple of days and then by bus again to Tallinn, where I am meeting-up with some more friends for my 40th birthday! Yay! Then from Tallinn, I will ferry to Helsinki with my friend Malin and take the train to my friend Barbro’s where I will spend a few days. Barbro and her husband will drive me to Malin’s house where I will spend a few more days before flying home from Helsinki. It’s going to be a busy few weeks and I am really excited to get to see my friends again. I do plan on blogging about it but I am not promising anything at this point!