Shopping Time! But Can We Carry It All???

Old Market – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Before we left Israel, one of our biggest concerns was what to take with us and what to leave behind.  You must believe me that before doing this journey, I had no experience in backpacking with the whole family for that long  (sarcastically said).  When we planned what to take, we want it all. We wanted to feel secure. We desired to be ready for whatever the road will bring us: all sort of cloths for climate changes, all cooking gear necessary, expended first aid kit, games, books, study material for the kids, self defense stuff, ropes, towels, sleeping gear, and you name it. And multiply all of this by 5. We are 5 people after all if I counted correctly. And in addition to all, everyone has its own special needs and it own special items. The kids want to take stuff animals.  You Should see how many. Gee!  Gabi loves reading so we need a portable library.  We both work online as we go and the kids want to keep in touch with friends so we have 3 laptops, 4 external hard drives, and two cameras. You get the picture? The list only gets longer.

The second part of the concern is what do about purchasing additional stuff as we go. We arrive to so many cool places and are being exposed to great cultures. Each destination has it’s unique style of art, music, and, of course, souvenirs. Isn’t where we travel after all? (sarcastically said).  It was such a crime to arrive to the market of north Ecuador, for example, and say “no” to so many great things we saw. And I’m not even talking about some great shopping malls we saw all round us such as shopping mall -Gallerian.  We were dying to have them all but could not. Our packs were over populated as is.

Market of El Quinche, North Ecuador

So what can we do to make this work? To begin with, we and kids came to understanding that they can take whatever fits their packs. Anything after that, has to go. On many occasions, they had to let go of old toys to make room for the new ones. Same goes for cloths. We each has small sleeping bag case that contain one’s clothes. If someone wants a new shirt, he lets go of  an old one. This system kept us buying things we wanted and at the same time, kept the volume from expending. A second options we found was sending things with people we meet on the road that soon go back to Israel. Using this method, we managed to send thing back to Israel 3 times. Yeah!!! The last method was simply packing some stuff we want to have or keep and mail the package back home. This is our least favorite and we will do this after exhausting all other options. Not only it is expensive but also there is not guaranty it will see daylight.  I guess that how it works in third world countries.

So as we are now in Cambodia, we did some shopping of local art and we love to send it back. It is heavy (especially the large and heavy wooden Bayon mask) but we were recommended NOT to send from here. We will double check this fact but we might have to carry this with us for a while until we find an appropriate solution. I am not thrilled to carry this since as a Nomadic Dad, I the a nomadic mule as well.  I guess I will have to purchase a donkey or two…

Image courtesy of digitalart at (Family in Shopping)
Image courtesy of Matt Banks at (Matt Banks)

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