Sunday, December 28, 2014
Christmas is over, presents have been exchanged, many fine meals consumed, and the children and grandchildren have departed for home. Now is the time to make certain that every contingency has been anticipated for our four months away from home and country. Only a minimal amount of packing remains to be done since the bulk of our luggage departed almost two weeks ago, but what remains is critically important. Now we must be sure that anything not already shipped is included in our carry-on luggage and our one checked bag. Passports, boarding passes, schedules, calendars, excursion vouchers and most importantly camera equipment and supporting electronics must be packed and accounted for.
Since photography is not only a hobby but also a passion while traveling, my carry-on consists almost entirely of equipment. I have limited myself to ONLY three cameras. The Nikon D-750 and 3 lens, 16-35mm, 28-300mm and 50mm f/1.4, is my primary camera. I am also carrying my Sigma 2x tele-extender. The second camera is my Fuji X-E1 with its 18-55mm lens. This is a great mirrorless camera which is small enough to almost carry in your pocket. The third camera is my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS25 which is truly a pocket camera. Along with the cameras comes the supporting equipment: GPS; tripod; monopod; laptop computer; 2 external hard drives; over a dozen cables (I always carry extras); extra batteries; chargers for each camera plus a spare; and numerous other required items from sensor cleaning supplies to filters and lens shades. Yes it is a lot of STUFF and a headache to keep up with but for me this is an essential part of my travel. There might be enough spare space for my medications and a change of underwear.
Trying to anticipate the unexpected while away has been the most difficult part of our planning. Our mail is being forwarded to our son Dave, and instructions have been left with him for paying unexpected bills and purchasing our auto tags. Almost all routine expenses are paid automatically, but you can never be sure to have anticipated everything.
Arrangements have been made with Top Hat Limousine service for pickup next Sunday morning for transportation to the airport. We are looking forward to dinner Sunday evening with fellow travelers sponsored by our travel agency, Cruise Specialists, and then being transported to the MS Amsterdam on Monday for our scheduled departure around 5:00 PM. We anticipate being reunited with our luggage at that time.
I am finally really beginning to get excited about the trip. In the beginning, 11 months ago, it seemed so far away as to be unreal. Since that time life goes on and the planning part of the trip was simply a lot of work. Now I can begin to look forward to reaping the rewards of the wait an effort.
I expect my next post to be after our arrival in Fort Lauderdale. So for now, I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year.