Our sense of adventure is really being fueled this week with lots of excitement and anticipation of what 2-5 years might bring our way. There is much to research, much to hope for, much to let go of . . .
I’ve been thinking about our earliest days both in Germany, Turkey, and Georgia. All those moves required sending our stuff ahead of us. All of those moves saw us living out of suitcases and backpacks for extended periods of time. The move between Ohio and Germany was 8 weeks without the majority of our things (weight limit 4000 pounds) and 2 weeks without our “express shipment” (weight limit 1000 pounds) which mainly consisted of kitchen stuff, books, and more clothing. The move between Germany and Turkey was a total of 14 weeks without anything that didn’t fit in our suitcases. Our things left Germany, went by boat to New York, then by boat to Turkey. It was a crazy thing that had to do with customs and other weird rules.
I often think back to those days and how carefree things seemed. We weren’t weighed down by an abundance of stuff. We weren’t always cleaning because suitcase living really only requires a broom and a dust cloth. In each place, we bought beds and bedding within a few days of having a home. We used our stainless steel camping plates and mugs for weeks on end — one for each of us. One cast iron pan was enough to cook anything and everything.
One thing we did in each place was to find a toy store in the local towns. Each child picked out 2 new toys. They agonized over the decision because they knew all they had to play with was these 2 new toys, along with their favorite doll/stuff animal, paper and crayons, and the 2 toys that had fit inside their backpacks for the plane ride. Germany saw the addition of Playmobil people into our lives as both kids were enamored of the little people. See Week 3 post . Turkey brought geometric shapes (Tangrams) and more Playmobil for Michael and a collection of plastic horses and more Playmobil for Hannah.
Our plan is to recreate this simplicity. I’ve made 2 lists:
List 1 is what we’ll take over in our backpacks and duffel bags which should allow us to be very comfortable while waiting for List 2.
List 2 is what we’ll pay to ship (or hopefully have a shipping allowance). I got some rough estimates on-line and we’ll try to stick to between 1000-1500 pounds for this list
List 1 for each person: In duffel bag — camp chair, inflatable sleeping pad (from hiking kit so they roll up tiny), Turkish hand towel (x2), toiletry bag, hammock blanket, and clothes. *watch weight limit and put in books until less than 5 pounds of limit.
List 1 for the household: In a suitcase– 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 mugs, utensils, napkins, small skillet/wok and pot, small universal fuel camp stove (empty, with 2 new fuel bottles so they can go on the airplane), small Berkey water filter, kettle, coffee grinder, coffee press/filter, cooking utensil set, and spare solar charger. Pack in extra clothes *watching weight limit* to pad all the items.
List 1: Extra duffel for clothing, spare toiletry bag, (can add a few books if it looks like we’re going to be light on this bag.
List 1 for each person: In carry-on: kindle, laptop/iPad, solar charger, Sawyer mini water filter, Klean Kanteen, Stainless Steel lunch tiffin, yoga mat, Turkish bath towel, sleeping bag (these roll up tiny from our emergency bag/hiking kits), cards/dice for games, and a couple of outfits.
=6 duffel bags plus a carry-on backpack for each person
List 2 includes for each person: bed and bedding, small wooden folding table, solar lantern, and a medium footlocker with personal choices. (weight limit 200 pounds per person)
List 2 for the family includes: futon couch, 2 camp rockers, a cabinet my dad made, a plant stand/coffee table my uncle made, 4 poles, 4 boards, bike for each person, and a garden wagon
Footlocker 1: extra sheets, extra quilts, hammock stand, hammocks x2-4, 4 hanging closet organizer x4 + brackets
Footlocker/chest cooler 2: dry measuring cups, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoons, covered mixing bowls, cast iron dutch oven x2, half-size cookie sheet, silicone muffin tins, silicone backing sheet, large colander, small colander, more kitchen towels, cleaning kit (glass spray bottle x2, glass baking soda sprinkler, metal basket)
Footlocker 3: bike tool kit, spare tires and tubes for each bike x2, and a small household toolkit.
= approximately 1000-1200 pounds