Friday, October 14, 2016

Packing for weather variety...nope, went off on a tangent

Good Morning everyone! I  am sitting here enjoying a cup of coffee made from french coffee beans while the cool desert air of Jerusalem bring the most wonderful cooking smells into the apartment. Its the little unexpected things you discover while traveling that stay in your memory.
Yesterday we went hiking in the Negev desert and had a picnic lunch atop large maktesh. We then hiked down in a canyon where there was a hidden water basin. It was beautiful. Tomorrow we are on our way to Copenhagen. All this travel with planes has changed my perspective on distance. Funny how the world is really smaller than we think.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Appreciating the Quiet

Today is a high holiday in Jerusalem. Buses are shut down and cars are banned for 24 hours(sundown yesterday to sundown today). Last night I could not figure out what all the odd noises coming from out side were from. Then I realized with the roads shut down kids were free to play with out worry. They were dragging their scooters, carts, bikes, shopping carts up to the top of the hill and merrily laughing as they zoomed down. I must have spent 20 minutes just laughing and smiling myself watching the pure joy that closed roads bring. Even this morning I can hear what must be every kid in the neighborhood playing and running around.
The constant background noise of everyday life leads one to forget what the sound of the world is without them. Yesterday afternoon I sat in the park reading with the sun on my face and was inspired to pull out my notebook and write: what brings me joy?
I like to play thess mental exercises with myself by coming up with a topic or theme where I must be completely honest, write answers without editing or thinking them through. I learn a whole lot about myself in the truest form and not just what I think I should think.

What brings me joy? (Not in any particular order)
My dog
Sharing my ideas
Being in my hammock
Cold beer
Fresh veggies
Classical music/film scores
BBC shows and movies

Reader, as my friend, what brings you joy?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Minimalist travel pack list, for a month in Europe

I know....I know...I said I would add an entry at least once a week. All I can say in my defense is, I WAS IN PARIS!!!! Thats right, Paris, France and quite frankly while ideas to share on the blog did come to mind there was just not any time and I did not have access to a computer. Yes, yes I could probably have added a few short ones via my kindle or phone, but have you tried to type anything at length using just your thumbs on a 5 inch screen? I digress, the topic for this blog is what I packed as a minimalist traveler. Below is the pic of all my things I packed. I will go through th list and review the items below in just a moment.

Even going minimalist I had some things that didn't work out and a few items I discovered I was short on. But the beauty of being a minimalist traveler is that you pack for the best case and if you need something? GET IT! Come on ya'll, you know that if you packed a 65l monstrous backpack thru Europe type bag, you still would have forgotten something. 
Image result for large backpacking bag
This was not me, lol. Just picture of the internet (thanks net!) But this was always seen as the typical "europe traveler" or here is one even better.
Image result for suitcase too heavy to lift
Again, not me, (thanks net!) But here is a gal with just one bag, but its so heavy and overly large that it won't fit in the trains, overhead area. So far most places in Europe that I have been to have very few elevators and escalators. Which means you'll be hauling that baby up who knows how many stairs. We got lucky and our airbnb had an elevator, but another couple we met were on the 4th floor with their airbnb and no such luck. On our way to Charles De Gaule airport we had to change trains at chatelet and I think my bf hauled it up and down stairs half a dozen times, not to mention it was morning rush hour and parisians shove! We both got jostled quite a bit. Anyways, enough expounding of the merits of one bag travel. 
After 8+ months of research I settled on the Osprey porter 30l.
Image result for osprey porter 30l
This bag converts. The hip belt and backpack straps tuck inside and then you can add a shoulder strap. Once you've compressed to straps it looks like a suitcase. I love items that have dual uses. What I really wanted was the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 in aubergine.
Image result for aubergine tom bihn aeronaut 30
Same principle that is behind the porter only made with higher quality materials and designed more specifically. But it has cost of $285+ (with added accessories) so the Osprey porter is like the poor man's Tom Bihn. I bought it at Campmor, cannot say enough good things about this company. The porter has worked out very well so far, I am almost 3 weeks into my almost 5 week trip. No complaints so far. It has alot of organizational slots for your various items. See my youtube video for more details.
     2 pair of jeans from Old Navy
     2 shirts 
     1 pair yoga pants (for travel day, sleeping and lounging)
     1 sweater
     1 Eddie Bauer trench/rain jacket/windbreaker
     1 pair flipflops
     2 pairs of smartwool soack
     3 pairs smartwool underwear
     1 scarf
     1 nacklace
     2 bracelets
     1 wool buff
     1 pair running socks (I ran a half marathon first weekend we were there)
     2 genie bras
     1 deoderant (travel size)
     1 comb
     Make up basics
     1 chapstick
     1 2 oz shampoo/conditioner/body wash combo (kids ninja turtles, smells like mango, I like that better then the guys 3-in-1 which smells like dude. They don't make a ladies that I have found yet)
     2 hair clips
     1 folding toothbrush (every bit counts)
     1 travel size face cream
     1 2oz of sunscreen (for me this is a must since I am so pale!)
     1 travel size pill botlle for advil, tylenol, benadryl
     4 or 5 bandaids
     samsung note 2
     kindle fire 7 inch
     charger system for them (1 micro usb cable, 1 usb block, 1 travel adapter)
     shuffle, cable
     pair of headphones
     selfie stick
     Osprey Porter 30l
     Travelon day backpack
     Eddie Bauer packable tote
     1 mesh laundery bag (used normally for delicates, in this case for hand washing items)
     merino wool travel sheet
     ENO sub 7 hammock/helios strap system
     moleskin notebook/pen
     travel pack of tissues
     emergency disposable poncho
     combo lock
     run belt and run water bottle (run belt also doubles as money belt of needed and water bottle used everyday for walking around)

Thats it that I brought with me from the US. I have aquired a few things since then, I will list those below.
     1 pair of knee length leggings (I picked these up in Jerusalem because it was too hot to sleep in the yogas)
     1 tech shirt (got at the Disneyland Paris run expo, I knew I would be getting onw as it comes with registration of the race, so I planned for it to be my lounge sleeping shirt and I actually ran in it for the race.)
     1 pair of slip on tennies (I had a shoe disaster, won't go into it here sinch this blog is long today)
     1 pair of tie up tennies
     2 pairs half socks for the tennies
     1 run skirt to double for hiking and swimming
     1 travel deoderant (first one finished after 2 1/2 weeks)
     1 sleep set from the airline (mask and earplugs)
     3 souvenirs from Paris, postcard, Eiffel tower keychain and ja'dore sac reusable tote
     gorilla tripod borrowed from the bf
I sent a few things back to states with the bf (thanks honey)
     1 pink shirt (it got misshapen in the laundry)
     1 cotton tee from the run expo for the 5k race
     pair of calf sleeves
     1 gray dress that I did not wear at all 
I left some thing behind in the Disneyland hotel in Paris that first weekend. After all my planning and thought once I got to the airport in Gulfport I immediately realized I still had too much and began mentally ditching things.
     1 neck pillow
     1 pair of boots (part of the shoe disaster)
     running costume
     running shorts
     running shoes (I knew I would be ditching the run stuff so I had brought things that were ready to go anyways)

That's all folks. I definitely could have trimmed down more and now having been on this trip I will be even more prepared next time. It is a learning curve and I will only get lighter and better. Shalom from Jerusalem!