Well, I made it. At least I’ve made it out of Austin and onto my flight to Los Angeles. I’ve packed everything I could possibly need for 7 weeks in SE Asia and probably 50 extra items that are necessary but at the time they seemed crucial. I have two bags, one 60L backpacking backpack and a small day pack that’s about to burst at the seams. I attempted to pack light…. I only brought two pairs of yoga pants — it doesn’t get any lighter than that in my world. HUGE SACRIFICES were made when packing. I’m prepared to shed the things I don’t need when I get there are realize they’re obsolete.

Lesson #1: You Can Only Be So Prepared
It’s hard to plan for a trip over seas when you have no idea what to expect. You can ask your friends who’ve travelled to your destination, you can read hundreds of blog articles, read books, endless google searches, and you still won’t really know until you experience it for yourself. Note: Mosquito net is the most cumbersome stupid thing I’ve ever seen. I look forward to getting rid of it as soon as possible.

The Shit They Don’t Tell You #1: Packing Light.
If you’re like me and you plan to do video, photography, and computer work while abroad, you’re adding hella weight and taking up lots of space in your bags. Again, a sacrifice I was willing to take. I probably have 20lbs of electronics — oops! I realized that a fanny pack is a nifty little trick to keeping the essentials somewhere that’s easily accessible (passport, airline ticket, hand sanitizer, phone, etc). It also took some weight out of my back pack and made it much more comfortable when trekking around.

The Shit They Don’t Tell You #2: United Airlines SUCKS.
They charge $25 for a check in bag and I ended up on a United Express plane and it’s like being inside a shoe box. To put it into perspective… The center aisle is so narrow that I have to walk sideways because my hips don’t fit straight on without hitting every single person sitting in an aisle seat. Granted I have thunder thighs and wide as the ocean hips, still, I look like a duck walking down the center aisle dodging people.

On a positive note, today was the first day I have EVER been TSA Pre checked. Of course the airport was on the verge of being empty, but hey, I went down that Pre Check line with a big ol’ smile. Didn’t have to unload my bag or take off my shoes #winning #itsthesmallthings

I realized as I was boarding my flight that I left my brand new hammock straps in the car and my GoPro Hero 5 case at my apartment. Oh well, embarking on a journey where I’ll have to learn to work with less.

The Shit They Don’t Tell You #3: The People You Care About Most, You’ll Find Yourself Missing within Moments of Leaving
My mom and younger sister dropped me off at the airport. My mom cried. My sister squealed with joy about my decision to finally take this long await trip. Point is… I missed them both before my plane even took off. The most important people in your life rest close to your heart, so close that you’ll miss them the moment you part ways.