Have Backpack, Will Travel: Gearing Up for Dublin

I have started the countdown. Ten weeks from today I will be in Dublin! Once I looked at my pocket calendar and counted the weeks and realized that the trip is only ten weeks away, the anticipation really kicked in. Then once I opened the backpack that my sons bought me for Christmas, I even further realized I was going places! This is no longer a trip far off into the future and buried a bit in the back of my mind as getting through the holidays monopolized the forefront. When I booked my flight a couple of months ago, March 2011 seemed so far away. Suddenly the trip feels right in front of me, and, whoa, baby, am I excited!

This trip to Dublin is my test trip in a way. It's my easy one-stop beginner trip at stuffing a week's worth of clothes into a backpack and hoofing it alone. It's the confidence builder that I am hoping will lead to backpacking from one magical stop to another all across Europe at a later time.

And I think the biggest challenge of all will be determining what to put in the backpack. For the first time ever, I will be taking a trip without the usual six or seven pairs of shoes. Is that even possible? Sure, I could give in and take a larger wheeled suitcase overfilled with a new fresh outfit every single day with perfectly matched shoes (heels, of course), but then what's the point? I want to learn how to keep it simple, to learn how to travel without a big hulking suitcase, to be able to grab my bag from the overhead compartment and bolt. I just think there must be something so liberating about living out of a backpack.

Sure, maybe I am romanticizing a bit. But I am convinced that less really is more.

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