Sunday, October 28, 2012

Travel Packer

Winter descends
After nearly 18 years in the Kootenays, I am still awestruck by fall.  The expanse of time that the leaves take to turn colour and flutter to the ground.  The array of yellows and greens and reds.  And ever present green.   Warm fall days with clear skies slide into increasing cloud and rain.   When the clouds clear and mountains are revealed, I look up.   Each week, the line of snow creeps down the mountain side.  And one day I will wake up and see a blanket of snow everywhere.  When I saw the snowfall warning last week, I didn't really believe it.  November is our arrival.  Up on the mountain passes, it is a different story - snow falls earlier up there.

Perhaps it was all wishful thinking.  My snow tires on in the shed.  I have my appointment set to put them on - November 1st.  No snow before then, thank you.

I am never too hasty to get on my snow tires.  I certainly would if I was taking a road trip but now I can have the indulgence of "winter denial."

It is probably that state that piqued my interest in the latest BootsnAll 2012 Indie Travel Challenge prompt for week #39 on Travel Packing.  Not even snow on the ground and I am thinking about getting out of here.  I will settle down but it is always a bit of a shock.

Over the  years I have changed by packing style.  It had to happen.  Pulling a huge suitcase that flopped on its side on a cobblestone street and then lugging it up 2 flights of stairs was enough to send me out to the luggage department.  Large luggage was out - I learned it was easy to exceed the weight limit.

Finding the right combination of luggage was a trial.  Layovers meant walking around airports.  I grew weary of heaving a heavy computer (even Macs can be substantial) bag over my shoulder.  A carry on with wheels solved that issue.  Because I also travel on Jazz Air Canada regional flights, the wheeled luggage doesn't easily fit under the seat.  I bought a computer case that I carry on the plane when the bag is Sky Checked.

I usually travel at Christmas.  Bright wrapped packages sit alongside socks and t-shirts.  Though I now have a new appreciation for carry-on luggage, clothes and gifts need more room.  I bought a medium size suitcase from Winners.  A couple years later, after seeing a broken wheel assembly on my suitcase in the luggage carousel, I was convinced that I am a frequent-enough flyer.  I chose Travelpro.   "The choice of flight crews and frequent flyers."  I found a half-price sale at The Bay. 

My present amount of luggage is 3.  Usually 2 of 3 travel with me depending on where I am going. 

When I went to Mexico in 2007,  I packed all my luggage in carry on - 3 ounce bottles and all.  I brought a collapsible duffel bag in case I found a treasure that had to come home with me, but I didn't use it.  Buying silver for gifts reduces the need for space.

No Baggage Challenge intrigued me when I first saw it in 2010.  Travel writer Rolf Potts has figured it all out.  Clearly, he sees no necessity for a flat iron.   

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