Type-A Travel Volume Two: Backpacking

Packing Paradox

Fancy Nancy + Backpacking? This is going to be interesting.

As my time in Oz draws to a close, I have been busying myself with preparations for the next few legs of my voyage: a few days in Singapore, and 11 days in Thailand and Cambodia!  I’ve already discussed my hunt for conservative clothing and disposable footwear – but now comes the hard part, packing!  I’ve also mentioned before that packing is something of an event for me, not so much just a task to complete.

I traveled to Oz with two suitcases – one of which weighed 70 pounds! – a carry on bag, and a large backpack (which was tucked inside the large suitcase).  I plan on traveling to Singapore with the same items, and then checking the two suitcases at the Left Luggage service in Singapore when I head off  to Thailand and collect them on my way back through to catch my flight home.  To slightly complicate things (in the best possible way) Tigger is joining me for the rest of my trip including my last weekend in Oz.  As he only has 2.5 days to soak in Australia, I don’t plan on wasting any of his time on my packing.

To slightly lessen the neuroses of this process, I have decided to go Spreadsheet-less for the last two weeks of my voyage.  Gasp! No spreadsheet with each outfit (including shoes and accessories) meticulously planned? The Horror.  Have no fear though, Type-A Nancy is still here and has this whole situation under control!

Step 1: The Smaller Suitcase

This one would be packed first with everything I absolutely wouldn’t need in Singapore or for the rest of my vacation, so it will be the least amount of maintenance going forward.  Also, would try to transfer as much weight as possible into this bag – due to its size it can’t possibly go over the limit but I might as well get it to take on as much as it can.

This was the easiest step by far, just packing my now unnecessary work clothes required little thought.  This bag has been packed, locked and ready to go for several days now – hopefully not to be rifled through until I arrive back safely in Toronto.

Step 2: Select Wardrobe for Singapore

Pretty straightforward, but important to make sure that at least two office appropriate outfits remained accessible after Step 1 was complete.  Decided to pick work outfits that aren’t alarmingly corporate so I don’t have to pick a secondary outfit for the evenings.  Nancy: 1

Step 3: Select Wardrobe for Vacation

I’ve been acutely aware since planning this trip to Thailand that backpacking will likely involve actually carrying around my own stuff – on my back.  Unlike when Cherie and I ‘backpacked’ through Australia back in 2000, which involved me carrying my bag a sum total of once for about a block and a half – and I bitched and moaned the whole time.

Without actually creating a spreadsheet, I have been subconsciously dressing myself for the different parts of the trip and therefore had a good idea of what I was definitely bringing and what I was definitely not bringing.  The pile of ‘maybes’ wasn’t insurmountable either.

This is less than I usually pack when only going away for a weekend!

Step 4: Reassess Wardrobe for Vacation

I had been expecting to have to lie out everything I was planning to put in the backpack, and then remove half of it – but this was the opposite of what happened.  For the first time in my life I had underpacked.  In my ‘To Pack’ pile I had a few skirts (thanks Kmart!), my new Lulu Cargopants a couple of dresses and a handful of tshirts.  Assuming that I don’t plan on doing laundry the whole time and knowing that I definitely won’t wear dirty clothes – I actually had to revisit my ‘maybe’ pile and select a few more things.  It was like Christmas, sort of.

I even tested out what packing the backpack would be like – and with four pair of shoes and all my clothes and toiletries it was 1. Not terribly heavy and 2. Not even remotely full. Success!

Step 5: Begin Packing Large Suitcase & Stage Remaining Steps

Not absolutely all of my unnecessary items for the next two weeks fit into the smaller suitcase – which makes sense.  So I have now put as much as physically possible into the bottom of that bag and it awaits the remainder of my packing later this weekend.

Packing in Process (Packed Suitcase in the Back!)

I currently have several piles of clothes strategically lined up around the apartment waiting for their turn to be packed:

  • Airplane clothes for the trip home (Singapore – Hong Kong – Toronto), which I don’t want to end up buried at the bottom of the bag.
  • Airplane clothes for traveling to Singapore plus my few Singapore outfits – these will be packed last (and I’ll be wearing some of them.. )
  • A few different options of things to wear this weekend – The weather is typically not going to cooperate and the predictions are changing by the day, so I need some variety available
  • Thailand/Cambodia inventory
  • The tiny remains of my ‘Maybe’ pile, so they are close at hand when I finally get around to packing up the backpack before leaving Singapore

Step 6: Primp

 After all that planning, stressing and fritzing about, it was about time to just take care of Nancy 🙂

Little Vino and a Face Mask, oui?

Tigger arrives in less than 12 hours, I can hardly stand it!



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2 responses to “Type-A Travel Volume Two: Backpacking

  1. Peggy

    Got Tigger to the airport in one piece…..of course he was joking about not having his passport – again…….anyway he is excited, you are excited…..
    and the packing story made me wet my pants I was laughing so hard….strangely I understand it completely…….my God what did we do to this girl?

  2. Now a few things….
    you can absolutely have your laundry done, and it is cheap and fast.
    Like you could have it done 2 or three times no problem.

    #2, there is a tonne of vacay wear you’ll like to buy and you should… ie fisherman’s pants, etc.

    #3- you are going to love both thailand and cambodia, and make sure you don’t go underboard on buying scarves. I still wear the ones I bought (only two) from 3 years ago!

    Have a lot of fun!!!!

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