• Day6

    At the airport in Ottawa

    January 7, 2016 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ -2 °C

    I’m sitting in the airport y’all! Jack is super excited. It hasn’t set in for me. I feel like I’m just waiting for my coffee or something. Maybe when I land I’ll understand I’m not coming home for a while…

    Last night, after my family left (’cause they’re the best and came to hang out before I go), I put the finishing touches on my packing. And by that, I mean I unpacked everything because I finally just received the underwear I was waiting for in the mail… I get asked often about what I’m packing for 3 months? How much do I bring? How can you go 3 months with 3 pairs of underwear? You know, the usual. So here’s what I packed :

    In the smaller packing cube (FYI packing cubes changed my life!) we’ve got 3 t-shirts, a long sleeve t-shirt, 1 pair of shorts and 1 pair of pants. In the larger cube, we’ve got 3 pairs of underwear, 1 sarong, 1 pair of leggings (more like long johns), 1 sweater, 2 bras, 1 bathing suit and 3 pairs of socks. Then we have hiking shoes, walking sandals, and flip flops. A hammock tent (Jack is bringing the straps to hang it). A sleeping bag (only for 10 degrees celsius and above – nothing too big). A rain jacket. Probably the biggest and heaviest thing I’m bringing is my dslr camera, I tried really hard to convince my self not to bring it, but failed. There’s a day bag I put my camera in (it folds tiny). My cosmetics bag is unfortunately huge, and includes my entire pharmacy really. For some reason, I can’t forget my nursing skills when travelling. I have 3 different types of antibiotics. A tic removal kit. Pills for everything (Tylenol naproxen immodium gravol ginger etc). The unfortunate hygienic products. Malaria pills – which first came in 8 different boxes that take up a ridiculous amount of space, brought it down to 3 boxes.

    And then there’s all the random loose items like phone and camera charger, extra batteries, a travel alarm clock, travel book, reading book that will last me the whole trip because I can’t read faster then a page per hour, ear phone, a headlamp, an inflated neck pillow (touch of luxury!) and other random bits.

    All this good stuff, in a 46L Osprey Kite.

    Travel tips – the sarong is super useful as a cover up, a head scarf when required, a towel, it covers the pillows when they look questionable, it’s a sheet for the bus, etc. And the clothing – every time I bring more then 2-3 shirts, I never wear them. The trick is to always do laundry at the end of the day, never let it pile on. Take your underwear off, wash them. They’ll be dry by the morning! The long johns double as my pyjamas. And believe it or not – it can get cold in Africa, especially at night, so they can keep me warm under my very light pants! That means no need to bring jeans like most people do, which take forever to dry and take a bunch of space in a backpack. All my shirts and underwear and socks are merino wool. They’re expensive but worth every penny for the rate they dry and never smell!

    That sums it up! Voilà. Enough stuff to last 3 months. Makes me wonder how I managed to not fit in a storage area when I can live off of this for 3 months…

    As for the trip plans, we are now considering doing Ethiopia last, instead of first, because of Visa’s. The Ethiopian embassy couldn’t get us a visa because they had no more stickers. That’s right – can’t get into the country overland because “we don’t have stickers”. This is bound to be an interesting ride!

    So for now, plan still to be determined, but probably Kenya, then Uganda, then Rwanda, and finally Ethiopia.

    And it begins!
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    I bought the exact same travel cubes for Chad and I! Viva Royale! Haha