How to pack for a year

“How do you pack for a year?” That’s a question I’ve been getting a lot lately–and one I’ve been asking myself. When we travel, we like to pack as light as possible. One Rick Steves backpack per person and maybe something smaller, like a computer bag. We almost always carry everything on the plane. Alas, we’ve resigned ourselves to checking bags for this trip. But the truth is, we don’t need a heck of a lot more than what we do for a big vacation. Certainly more clothes, including more nice things to wear than we would normally take with us. More books. Some of our favorite games. Computers, kindles, ipods, etc. I’m even bringing a three-inch stack of hardcopies of all the notes I’ve gotten from my writing group from the past year. (I thought about scanning them all, but the task was too daunting!)

We’ve tackled most of the packing now and are pretty much down to the final bits that will get added just before we go (like toiletries and such). Merideth is (of course) the most expert packer in the family. She superintended our efforts, even though she won’t be heading over to France until mid-August. (That’s right–it’s just me and the girls for the first three weeks!)

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Getting everything corralled.

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Happily stacking and rolling up clothes.

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Overcome by packing.

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Getting it all to fit.

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Staged and ready for the final items to be added. Three bags to check. Three carry-ons. Three “personal items.”

We’re just about ready to go!

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