How much do you pack for an international trip that lasts for six months? I’ve taken over 40 international trips to over 20 countries, but never for more than three weeks. For this trip, it seems like I’ve been packing for three weeks.
Of course I started by making a checklist. But the more that I wrote on the list, the more I remembered I needed to add to the list. There’s things that you want to bring along with you that you wouldn’t take on a normal short trip. Things like a home WiFi access point, because you want a specific one that runs a VPN client so all of your home devices can break through the Great Firewall of China to access Google, YouTube and Facebook. There’s also things you bring along because you already own it, and are too cheap to buy another/more of when you get there. Or things you might not easily find there like Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, Imodium AD, and Tums, especially when you need it fast and not with the use of an interpreter.
I’m not a professional photographer, but wow, the amount of camera gear I’m bringing. There’s a lot of it. Tripods(2), selfie sticks(2), motorized gimbal, camera (Sony A6000 mirrorless), another zoom lens, spare camera (Canon PowerShot), lens filters, tons of cables, DJI Mavic Pro drone, camera sling bag, GoPro action camera and accessories, chargers for each of the cameras, external battery packs, 3 external hard drives (5.5TB total), USB memory sticks, microSD memory cards and SD adapters. Other gear not pictured is laptops (THREE of them: one for work, my personal PC, my daughter’s Macbook), a huge WiFi access point and other miscellaneous items.
There was a little room left for clothes.
In all, we are taking four large checked bags, two carry-on bags, and two backpacks. Every international trip I take, even three weeks long, is with only a carry-on and a backpack. Never any checked bags. Maybe we could have cut it to half of this…but why?