Hi Akaisha and Billy,
As always, I enjoy your regular reports. We just returned from a trip to the Philippines, Thailand & Japan – not spending nearly enough time in any place. It was a great experience, but due (primarily) to the travel time and travel cost to and from the USA, we still think Mexico/Ajijic is our favorite retirement option.
Having just dragged a large suitcase and heavy backpack (each) through three countries. I would be interested to see how much you carry with you as you travel from one country to the next. I assume you’ve found ways to minimize what you carry. Any packing tips for our future travels would be appreciated.
Always great to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to write.
Yes, the travel time and expense to get to Asia from the U.S. is a deterrent, especially if one only stays a couple of months. That is one of the reasons when we go to the other side of the globe, we like to stay a year or more. This amortizes the cost of the plane fare over a longer period and we don’t have to worry about dealing with jet lag twice in such a short time.
Plus, once over to the Pacific Rim, there are so many fascinating countries to visit all within reasonable flying time. It’s easy to spend a year having so many options.
That being said, you are correct to say that Mexico/Ajijic offers a lot and is so much closer to the States. We love the Lake Chapala area also.
Now in regards to what we pack and how we limit what we carry, in our first book, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement, we listed every item that we carry, and divided it into categories such as clothing, digital office, kitchen, first aid, and such. You can check out Chapter 22 for a more detailed list.
On trips of a year or more, we generally each carry a Kelty backpack, a day pack and a rollie. For shorter trips, we forego the rollie.
Obviously, having to pack for different climates (mountains, rain, snow, mist along with hot, humid, beach areas) adds to one’s weight to carry. We try to only do one sort of climate at a time. Otherwise, you are carrying heavy weight pants, sweaters, scarves, socks, hats, etc. to the beach and beach gear, shorts, and such with you to the mountains.
Color coordination and layering helps. Bring clothes that work together so that you are not carrying so many options. Plan on doing some laundry when you are traveling, instead of bringing all different outfits. Women can carry scarves and lightweight jewelry to change the look of an outfit they have previously worn.
Watch the number of shoes you decide to take. Shoes are incredibly heavy, so always wear your bulkiest pair on the plane. Try to bring only one other pair if you are able.
Jeans are favored by a lot of people, but they, too, are heavy and in cold, damp weather they take a long time to dry. Better to utilize some of the newer, lighter materials for travel clothing.
Hope this short list of tips helps and thanks for keeping in touch.
All the best,