We got out the door yesterday and made it to Chicago, where I’m typing this quick update. We’ll soon board a direct flight on Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa - a logistical luxury that we’re all thankful exists. Last night’s red-eye flight worked perfectly for us after a final marathon day of packing and cleaning and saying goodbye to friends.
Travel can be exhausting. And I’ve never hit the road with anything close to this pile of bags. So yesterday’s final stretch was as exhausting as it was exhilarating. 8 checked bags, all within a frog’s hair of the 23 kg international limit (around 50 lbs). Plus two carry-ons, my redonkulusly full camera bag, and backpacks for both Sarah and Maya. Do the math and you’re looking at over 500 pounds of stuff. We thankfully got lots of suggestions of what to bring from ex-pats and pro-traveler friends. Especially considering what’s hard to get in Ethiopia. Shampoo (not for me) and sunscreen (especially important for a pasty Scandinavian like me). Techie gear beyond belief. Then we used extra-large ZipLock bags to compartmentalize everything. Squeeze out the air and really lean into them and they come out looking like sous vide packs of tasty fabrics. The added benefit of the ZipLocks is that Addis is currently in its rainy season. And so perish the thought of our pile of bags languishing on the tarmac in a steady downpour. That would still suck, of course. But at least we’ve got some added protection, by way of an obsessive packing process back home in Seattle.
This is all prelude to the real stuff. Yet we can’t help but do a small pre-season end zone dance after getting underway in organized fashion. There will be many things we miss about Seattle. Which is why I’m going to throw up some rather random pics now.