Today I'm going through my clothes, packing some away, getting rid of some, and considering a too-large pile to bring on our year-long Field Trip. I've been mentally preparing for this for days and also expounding to the kids on how they should approach the packing. "Think versatility!" I say. And someone usually says, "What's versatility?" just to bug me. Or Phin says, "Your mom thinks versatility." (That's his latest joke, putting "Your mom" at the beginning of every sentence someone says. Isn't he so funny?) The other words I'm thinking are "practical" and "comfortable" and "minimal." I think it actually helps me to get these words into my head, so I can be merciless in my choices. I've convinced myself that even if we can't quite manage to travel with only carry-on luggage, we will be happier if we limit our checked luggage as much as possible.
The idea of the eight of us dragging two carry-ons (I mean a carry-on piece and a "personal item") plus a checked bag each through airports, train stations, and various forms of public transportation sounds really bad. Let's do the math: that's 16 duffle bag/backpack size things and 8 giant suitcases! Not a good idea. So I'm shooting for three or so checked things for the whole family. We are bringing my acoustic guitar in a hard case, so that's one big piece, but at least it's pretty lightweight. We might also bring a monitor for Jon to use with his laptop for work. Other than that, I plan on the big (checked) suitcases having some extra clothes, shoes, and some toiletries. And a bunch of yarn that is going to be a sweater vest for Zed. It's funny that the yarn takes up more space than the vest will.
I look forward to a year with relatively little stuff, but it's kind of hard getting there. Like I hadn't thought of this before, but what do I do with the giant basket of single socks that I always keep, just in case I find the other one? I guess after all of the packing, I'll be throwing those away. Anyone want to make sock puppets?