Dave and I have planned a trip for our 40th anniversary for several years. We both love to travel and at different times in our marriage, one or the other has traveled quite a bit. I used to lead two trips a year for Habitat for Humanity, International to Central America, Eastern Europe and central Asia. Dave now travels often with and for his (our) company, Authentic Mexico Travel (AMT).
We have put money aside regularly for several years to be able to take this trip guiltless of the expense. We considered many destinations to commemorate our life together so far. We settled in on down-country Mexico, into new destinations for AMT, ending up in Copper Canyon. We are mixing a bit of Dave showing me where he regularly travels with me helping him define future trips to new places.
Packing lightly was a challenge. We will be in three different climates while we are here. Two weeks. And, it is a trip with my husband, so I don’t want to wear the same grubby garb every day. We are traveling by air, by private van, by two types of public bus, and on the only passenger train in Mexico. Schlepping bags and backpacks for two weeks can be exhausting. I have one carry-on sized bag that has served me well for more than 20 years. And I bought an over-sized shoulder bag at Goodwill for the trip (and whose straps are looking a little worse for the wear, but seem to be holding, mid-trip).
One nice thing about packing full at the beginning is that it limits purchasing along the way. I bought a hat at Monte Alban near Oaxaca City. First hat of my life, I think…. functional, considering we are heading to the beach. Truth is, I see things to buy. Chocolate drink tablets in Oaxaca and a special wooden frother to make it properly back home. Mescal for gifts. Clothing. There are lovely textiles here that I would wear back home. Blouses, skirts, wraps. We have grandkids we could take things to. I am always seeing items that make me think of one or another of our off-spring and their spouses or girlfriends.
In reality…we need nothing that I think I might purchase if I had more room. I know from experience that many things that look like a must-have in country will have little actual use at home. To be here and to fully experience being here is why I am here. Dave is working his magic with his camera so we will have accurate memories to savor for years to come. I am keeping notes of “bests” along the way.
We will have years of remembering this trip,
just as we have had years of planning.
Two-thirds of the way in to the two week trip, I have worn/used everything I brought along except for one pair of shoes I brought just in case Dave was serious about dancing on the zocalo (plaza) in Veracruz. We made a stab at it with sandals and were satisfied that we need practice. They were worth bringing though, just in case.