Friday, August 15, 2008

Working for the C.I.A.

On Saturday, I was told that a man figured out that I work for the C.I.A.

"WHAT?!" was my near-shrieked response. "Where did he get THAT from?"

"He said it's because you keep clothes in your car top carrier. He said you do it so you can make a quick getaway if you have to. I've been meaning to tell you about it, but I kept forgetting until now."

I laughed and she did too, because we both know what a big fat liar he is even without this huge whopper.

"For the record," I said, "No, I don't work for the C.I.A. and never did and no, I don't store clothes in my car top carrier."

Maybe this is a signal that it's time for me to redo my packing list. I thought about it before, but hadn't actually started working on it. For years, I traveled at every opportunity, usually taking a few vacation days to pad a three-day weekend to get enough for a short trip without feeling rushed. I gradually accumulated things to keep in my bag so all I had to pack were my camera, clothes, makeup, and medicine, if needed.

Generally, I took only a carry-on and my camera bag. The exception was Hawaii because it's home. For those trips, I packed a suitcase into another so I'd have one checked bag going and two checked bags coming back full of gifts and goodies I missed and couldn't get in fly-over country where I live.

For road trips, I added a six-pack cooler for my film, another for canned drinks, a battery recharger, and a sack of canned meats, vegetables, crackers, and soups to help keep my expenses down.

Over the years, my situation changed along with what I took. As a result, when I packed for my last road trip, I had too much of some and none or too little of others requiring me to buy stuff on the road or do without.

I also bought things because what I had wasn't working for me as well as I envisioned or simply because they looked kewl and I wanted to try them. It's a good idea for me to sort through everything, regroup, and pack what I can to be ready for my next trip like I used to do.

I plan to post my packing list in sections as I go through them. Maybe my rambling through my packing list will help you plan for what you should take on your travels in the future. If not, oh, well!

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