I am flying back to London this weekend to get my OCI card. OCI stands for Overseas Citizen of India. Since I am now a British national, I’ve had to surrender my Indian passport (as India does not allow dual citizenship) and in return I get an OCI card which is like a life-long visa to enter motherland. It gives me the same privileges as an Indian citizen except that I cannot vote or own agricultural land, neither of which I am fussed about it.
My plan now is to go to London, collect my OCI card, back to Germany, then to India and then SE Asia. For the last 2-3 months I’ve mostly carried around stuff for cold weather but when I go back to London this time I need to bring back some stuff, that I have stored at my friends place, for hot weather for when I go to India/SE Asia. I asked myself a simple Q; do I need a check in bag while coming back to Germany? This got me thinking; while going to London, I’ll have a cabin bag + a big purse which will contain some clothes to wear in London. So will I have enough space to bring back my summer clothes and “any other things” from London? I know what clothes I need in India but what will I need in SE Asia? My guess was shorts and tank tops, end of, but let’s ask Mr Google. After reading a LOT of blogs, I found most of them advising to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders when out and about. And here I was thinking teeny-tiny clothes will be enough! This made me realize that I haven’t given planning for my trip much thought!
And wait, what about stuff besides clothes, like toiletries for eg. Ok, let’s make a list. Face cream, body lotion, face masks, hair masks, manuka honey, aloe, face oils, aromatherapy oils, organic shampoos… Errrmmm. Seems a *bit* too much. But the list is not even complete yet! One thing about me is that I love my skin care and hair care routine and most of what I use is natural and organic and there are some things I can cannot shall not travel without! Surely I can buy these things in SE Asia or should I buy all of this from London? So I started looking up what I can buy while in SE Asia and what I should bring with me. This research brought up stuff like how I should carry razors, sun creams, some female hygiene “stuff” and a lot of other things that are very difficult to find! Oh dear, panic setting in.
Hold on, I also need to buy a backpack! But if I don’t know what I can/should take carry with me then how do I decide what size backpack I need?!?! And I’m only going to carry a backpack and a small day pack. No way am I carrying more than this coz I did that in USA/Canada and man, how I hated packing repacking every few weeks! My solution to that dilemma was to carry less in the first place.
So before I leave for London this weekend I must decide what I am carrying to SE Asia, which means planning for may be a 6 months (or 8 months or 12months, god alone knows!) trip in only 3 days. That will then help me decide how big a backpack I need and that will help me decide if I can fit all my backpacking stuff in my cabin bag while coming back from London or if need a check in bag! Oh wait, I think I lost sight of how this all started. Let’s backtrack. Do I need a check in bag while flying back from London to Germany? Sure. It’ll cost me just 15quid and that way I can have 3 months to properly plan my SE Asia adventure!! Ha, easy-peasy!