It feels weird, only having a handful of items in my medium-sized suitcase, and knowing that I’ll be checking that and carrying a separate duffel bag on the plane with me tomorrow, to hold the more breakable and more immediately necessary items (gifts, toiletries and emergency change of clothes for the plane, books/CDs/so on). This is the lightest I’ve packed for a trip in years, and this is one of the longest trips (distance-wise) I’ll have taken–definitely the longest solo trip, with the exception of actually moving to Japan, at which time I was packing for moving and not vacationing (I sometimes wonder how different the two are in this case, though), and I was with the incoming ALTs…still solo, but not quite.
I actually feel self-conscious about having such a ridiculously empty suitcase, and what they’ll say when they weigh it at the check-in counter and see that it can’t be more than several kilos. Right now, the only things in there are several books I’m taking home and the Pirates of Dark Water animation cels I won 6 months ago–I don’t want to subject them to the humidity and heat of an uninsulated southern Japanese apartment in the dead of summer. (I’m a little worried about any damage they’ll sustain when the suitcase gets thrown around or smooshed in between heavier items, though. Maybe I’ll put everything in the carry-on duffel, so I know that’ll be under my supervision at all times.) Soon to follow those items will be several shirts, my capris, and a couple of other things, and…that’s it. With the exception of showering and cleaning up the apartment a bit, and packing my carry-on duffel and documents/tickets, I’m already done.
It’s also weird, but really comforting, to know that I don’t have to worry about foreign currency once I land in Chicago, before catching my flight to Atlanta. Hello, ATM card!
I’m going shopping like crazy with my family during my first weekend there, and saving the rest of the time for maybe buying sundry items, but mainly for seeing friends–and I do have something going on with somebody daily. It’s so weird to think that this trip is already here, and that in 24 hours, I’ll be about halfway through the first (and by far the longest) leg of my trip. I’m that close to being home again.