Written by: Anne Gavin
#2 in a series of Diary Entries documenting my May, 2016 trip to Scotland.
Go here for Diary Entry #1
Hello. My name is Anne and I’m an over-packer. They say that the first step on the road to recovery is to admit you have a problem. So, there. I said it. I am famously known among friends and family for packing for every occasion — known and unknown — and for traveling with at least 8-10 pairs of shoes. True confessions — I am also a shoe-aholic. But, reality came crashing in when it was made very clear by my Scottish tour guides that only one very small suitcase would be tolerated. They even sent acceptable dimensions. Bigger than the size limit (48 linear inches total) and you’ll be left behind. Gulp. Apparently they don’t have Sherpas in Scotland so we will be doing our own schlepping. OK. I can handle it. I can do this. Maybe..
During the trip prep process I stumbled upon this great web site and learned about eBags packing cubes. After watching a YouTube video about how to travel around the world with only 15 items placed in packing cubes and then inside a suitcase, I decided I could do this and promptly ordered the requisite number of cubes. This will be a first so I am curious to see how they work. I am thinking most of what I will bring is wrinkle proof so rolling up and stuffing into the packing cubes should be fine when everything gets unrolled on the other end. I’ll let you know how it goes!
And, finally, what about a back-pack to hold daily hiking essentials and also serve as “small personal item” to carry aboard plane? L.L. Bean to the rescue with an added monogram, of course! And, Etsy proved quite handy for some lovely leather monogrammed bag-tags to match my new suitcase.
This last one is important. I will be out of the country for THREE — count them THREE — episodes of Outlander Season 2. Not acceptable to miss them. I discovered this nifty service that will allow you to access U.S. streaming services via a secure VPN connection. Supposedly using this will allow you to by-pass network restrictions normally encountered out of the country where your streaming subscription resides. I’ll be interested to see if it actually works but the cost is minimal ($10-$12/month) and can be cancelled upon my return. A decent Internet connection will also be required and that is the biggest question mark of the trip. But, that said, I am sharing the link for those Obsessenachs also traveling abroad this spring/summer and who can’t fathom missing an episode of our favorite series.
As far as toiletries, make-up…I am really going minimal here. One small packing cube will be reserved for these items to also include Skin So Soft Bug Guard towelettes (I have no idea if midges will be encountered but I am not taking any chances and this Avon product comes highly rated); mole-skin and wrap for possible blisters; travel size Dry Shampoo (no blow dry bars in the Highlands, I am afraid!); small packets of Woolite liquid detergent to wash rinse clothes, undergarments, etc.; Motrin and Jet- Lag homeopathic remedies. Did I mention what horrible Jet-Lag I get? I’ll have two days in Edinburgh before my tour starts to get past any Jet-Lag so hoping I can power through it.
So, that’s it ladies and gents. I am as ready as I am going to be. Now I have to rely on the airlines to get me there safely and on-time. I have a lengthy lay-over in lovely Newark, New Jersey before hopping my overnight flight across the pond. So, thank you United Airlines for my pass to the United Club. However, until wheels are, in fact, up and headed in the direction of Edinburgh, I’ll be sweating it!!
You can follow my adventures in Scotland and receive alerts when new entries of the Scotland Diaries are posted by subscribing to the Outlander Cast Blog here. I do hope you’ll come along with me. T-minus 2 days!