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USA

One Foot Out the Door (Micah)

Adventures in deconstruction: Five years stuffed into 3 hours.

sunny

Joanie's packing skills persevered yet again. After a week of deciding what to keep, what to sell, stuffing everything into boxes, recruiting friends and strangers to save all the stuff (clothes/records/kitchen supplies, etc) we don't want from the trash - we're all moved out.

Our new home (for everything but our travel gear and my record collection - which is house sitting at a friend's apartment in Brooklyn) is a 5' x 10' storage unit in Ridgewood, Queens. I doubted the space was big enough for everything (you accumulate a lot of crap living in one place for 5 years) but Joanie the Tetris Master packed it all in in 3 hours with enough room leftover for a the bed and dresser we gave away earlier in the day.

The loft - pre move.

The loft - pre move.

One final look at our denuded loft.

One final look at our denuded loft.

Just a few more things to accomplish before our China Eastern Airways flight on Sunday: 一路平安 (bon voyage) party at the Williamsburg Beer Garden, call everyone to say I'll talk to you on Skype, get our anti malarial pills, take a deep breath and embrace the unknown.

I'm looking forward to the blank slate ahead of us. The pit in the stomach after arriving in a new city, no reservation (disclaimer: we do have the 1st night reserved in Beijing, but that's it the entire trip), not knowing where we're headed or where exactly we'll end up.

It's human, elemental survival: struggling to find ourselves amidst the swirl of the new, unknown, explored, but not by us. There's a new person on the other side of this abyss, the most beautiful, alluring, humbling place one could be and i look forward to meeting him (and her).

Two more days.

China here we come.

Posted by bucketbath 13:14 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Downsizing for a Bucket Bath (Joanie)

From a duplex loft to a 30 L backpack

sunny 81 °F

Packed and ready to go

Packed and ready to go

====News Alert!====
Micah and I have both quit our jobs (in my case MANY jobs), the lease on the loft is up, and we are backpacking across southeast Asia for 7 1/2 months. In 1 week, we are going to be boarding a plane to Beijing and in April 2012, we are planning to fly home from New Delhi, India!

We've been planning this trip for months and it's hard to believe that soon we'll be jet setting across the ocean to explore a new continent. It doesn't feel like reality yet. What are we thinking? We are busy New Yorkers! I have a business and 4 other part time gigs. We have friends and a social life and an amazing loft to come home to at night. The entire world is a subway ride away. But as most NY'ers know,(NY artists anyway) living here is a love/hate relationship. I, personally, have been experiencing a little bit of "struggling artist" burn out and am ready to experience life at a different pace for awhile. I'm even more excited that Micah and I can do this together!

The thought of picking up and moving has been a little stressful, but downsizing has been less complicated than I thought. Luckily, I went through the experience of ridding myself of about 70% of my personal belongings during my last move less than a year ago. Most of my life is still in boxes and I haven't missed a majority of it. I'm ready to shed completely and start with a fresh slate. The biggest challenge has been figuring out exactly what I'll need to pack into my 30 L backpack and not carry more than absolutely necessary.

The whole concept of living out of a bag on my back reminds me of a turtle shell. Yes, it's nearly 8 months, but do I really need a full wardrobe, accessories and an armory of sudoku books? I'm beginning to realize that this turtle is probably only going to be concerned about being able to maintain an acceptable level of personal hygiene every day. Thus the name of our blog: Bucket Bath. That's code for exciting, unpredictable adventure...much like trying to bathe in a bucket!

I have agonized and revised shopping lists for months on what to pack in my "shell", without having to compromise too much fashion sense. I know, I'm showing my true girl colors right now, but I refuse to be the American traveler in the T-shirt, cargo pants, Chacos sandals and a bucket hat. Wait! I now own cargo pants and Chacos...but I'm NOT wearing a bucket hat! (The day I made the Chacos purchase in EMS was a very humbling experience.)

I'm happy to say, my packing is finished, and my trusty, new "home" is sitting in the corner ready to go. :) It's actually been ready to go for 3 weeks now. Girl Alert!-I even started putting outfit options together and cataloging photos so I have options to choose from while on the road. I'm amazed at how many combinations you can make out of 2 pairs of pants, a pair of leggings, a t-shirt, 2 tanks, a tunic, 2 dresses, and a long sleeved shirt! I have 25 combinations so far. Lucky magazine, eat your heart out! (Micah is slapping his forehead right now) Micah hasn't even started packing. It's ok. I'll graciously help him strategically choose outfits when the time comes. (Again with the forehead slap)

We're excited to go, but sad to leave all of our friends and family for the next few months. We're hoping to keep you connected to our lives as we document our "Bucket Baths" across southeast Asia - fully clothed, of course. Please keep us updated on your home adventures. We've started this blog to keep in touch. Please leave us comments. Send us emails. Send us an address and you may even get a postcard! Stay tuned for what I'm sure will be humorous video posts as well.

-Joanie

Posted by bucketbath 20:50 Archived in USA Tagged travel packing nyc beijing bath asia southeast bucket moving clothing Comments (5)

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