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40 Years Later 40 years later, the gnome takes a step out the door to pick up where the trip turned back many years ago.

The Last Week Home:Packing and Reminiscing

USA | Thursday, 5 February 2015 | Views [351] | Comments [2]

Hmmm, planning for travel after retirement is not the same as travel in one's early 20's. Knowing what I do now, I must have been mad. Back then, one change of clothes, a few dollars, passport, names of some contacts and the travel information booth at the airport,  and a light-weight daypack, mostly filled with a Tupperware cake container with a Konica SLR and telephoto lenses in foam, was good for a few weeks through mountains and jungles of Guatemala or Cameroon.

One could discover Tikal with no fences, museum, or ticket booth. Jungle Jim's lodge where they handed you a broken tile with a candle stub and small box of matches was quite sufficient. (The illusion of a brown light switch on the wall was only a very large cockroach).The door of the antique Aviateca plane fell off in the dirt runway, causing the occasional unenlightened American to run sweating back to Jungle Jim's.  The jungle was shared by coati mundi, howlers, and sunset behind the great temple after a downpour in the afternoon, plus a few French tourists off-season.

Now one has to deal with non-refundable plane tickets and hotels with reservations, set up new bank accounts with credit and debit cards with integrated chips for ATM's in Europe since traveler's cheques are no longer de jour, and pack an LED flashlight with lithium battery. And the bola de anyos (weight of the years), having to add pillows, miniature medical devices, pack medicines, and see the dentist and the primary care provider to get the referrals to the medical specialists one last time to set up prescription refills at the last American stop. Chihuahua, what a difference. And then factor in the smaller European planes and carry-on restrictions. Still, we're rather proud of packing ourselves into the new and smaller Rick Steve's carry-on bags, and a messenger bag or Baggelini purse for 5 months. 

Tags: packing



Bon voyage, and looking forward to hearing about your travels!

  Tim Feb 5, 2015 5:08 AM


This is great. Look forward to reading about the trip.

  Lovell Feb 9, 2015 1:59 AM

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