Okay- I have to admit that I am one of those weird people that actually enjoy packing! There are not a lot of us, but we are a strange and dedicated bunch.
Part of it comes from the ‘control freak’ in me. If I know what is packed I feel more at ease with knowing what I do and don’t have on hand. Being a really process orientated person probably has something to do with it as well. I think my love of Tetris might have helped ! (see this link if you are under 25 years old and have no idea what I am talking about- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris).
There are websites, blogs, youtube videos, and close to religions dedicated to packing methods for all sorts of travel and personality types. For me there are a few main things that we are having to consider.
– Our initial packing list will be about what we need for 12 months in Bali, primarily around summer clothing and essentials (shoes, medicines, etc…). This then flows onto what we won’t be packing and will heave to either sell, giveaway or store whilst we are abroad.
– The second is that we want to be able to take lots of side trips whilst living in Bali. These might be to different areas of the Island or nearby islands, such as Gili Islands (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/nusa-tenggara/gili-islands). In addition to this I am sure we will venture to other great nearby destinations such as the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and China. Packing for these smaller trips just means a little more forward planning and bringing some smaller luggage/ backpacks for side trips.
– The final one for me is having the right gear for working remotely. This is something that I will probably post on in more detail later, but again is essential for us supporting ourselves whilst away. Having the ability to have my office ‘anywhere’ can often involve very different setups depending on where we are. It might just be my trusty 11-inch MacBook Air, or a more involved ‘traditional office’ style setup with an external monitor, keyboard, mouse and a few peripherals. Simply jumping down to the nearest Apple store might not be as easy now as in Bali or when travelling so getting it right from the outset will be important.
One other factor that I am a big believer of is the ‘can we get it there’ mentality. Basically if you are packing something for a ‘maybe’ situation (typically additional toiletries or medication), it is often best to see if you can get it there. If you are headed to a reasonably touristy area with stores and facilities catering to tourists then chances are anything you need you can get reasonably easily and cost effectively. Alternatively if you are planning on trekking in a remote part of the jungle, chances are there is not going to be a 7-11 handy if you forgot your mosquito repellent.
One thing that we are still considering is the option of shipping some of our belongings to Bali that we might not be able to pack. These might be a combination of kids toys, additional clothes etc that we just can’t squeeze into the small amount of luggage allowance we will get. We will purchase additional luggage when we book our flights, but chances are we will just run out of space in those bags for the things that we want/need.
The climate is one thing that is in our favour when it comes to packing. Bali has a very tropical climate, so the need for heavier winter clothing will not be there. A mix of summer and very light long sleeve/ legged clothing is all we are going to need in most instances. Again if there is something that we desperately need, I am sure that we can get it there if required.
I will go into more detail as the time gets closer with regards to techniques, freight forwarding companies (if we use one), and specific gear we use.