T minus three and a half days.
Getting ready for this trip has almost been a job unto itself. There was the proposal. Then forms for the university and forms for the government. Approval, then more forms. Finding a place to stay. More forms and sending an international money order to put a deposit on the place.
Oh goody, time to get my suitcases ready... oh wait, each airline has their own baggage regulations. And even though all flights were booked through Air Canada (and all tickets are under an AC number), I need to look through each airline's websites to find the info. Air Canada lets you take 2 bags of up to 23 kg each. Most Asian airlines let you take any number of bags, with a total weight of 20 kg. I've narrowed the luggage requirements down to: 1 bag of checked luggage (up to 20 kg), and 1 bag of carry-on luggage (up to 10kg).
I have the checked luggage bag packed. OK, it's a bit early, but I wanted to see what clothes I had, and once I had them all together, I figured that I should keep them together. It's a good thing I investigated, since I only have 6 pairs of white socks that don't have holes (or almost-holes) in them. I'm going shopping tomorrow.
In the interests of soliciting advice from anybody who's traveled more than me (i.e. more than once in the past eight years), here's my tentative list of what I'm taking:
- Clothes, hairbrush, hair ties, shaver, toothpaste, etc.
- Laptop (eee pc), power converter.
- Camera (an old digital camera with a 64-meg mini-SD card. For reference, I bought a 4-gig micro-SD card for my laptop last week for $9.99)
- Travel documents, copy of Master's degree, passport-sized photos for government documents, etc.
Of course I'm not bringing my interesting t-shirts, like my De-CSS or the FreeBSD Daemon one. People often ask me about books, but I'm not planning on bringing any. Academic papers are on my laptop in pdf form, and any fiction books would only last for half the plane trip over. I'm not taking any musical instruments, since I don't have any musical things lined up and that would make luggage exponentially more difficult.
I keep on thinking that I'm forgetting something, but whenever I look around my room for anything I'm missing, I come up blank. I think it's just that I have no idea what I'm getting myself into -- I think the farthest East I've gone has been Italy (for about five days), and now I'm flying off to live in Asia for five months.