I'm balancing my equipment list between living in an apartment in the city and camping alone out in the woods. There's the potential to work, so I need a few outfits that would otherwise be too many for back country hiking, yet I cannot take so many outfits that it fills my pack and increases the weight, especially with the additional camping equipment.
With the help of Taobao (taobao.com), I've been able to purchase the following items:
• backpack cover
• Filtration water bottle (LifeStraw Go 2S)
• First aid kit
• Survival kit
• Camp stove
• Vibram Trail Ascent shoes
• DoTerra Lavender essential oil
• Dr Bronners soap (for skin, dishes and clothes)
• 10L Dry bag
• Inflatable pillow
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Outdoor cooking pot set
• 10,000 mAh solar battery pack
• Vaseline and cotton balls
Over the weekend, I was bored and curios as to the weight of my pack. I decided it'd be fun to pack up as if I was leaving that day and see how everything fit and what the weight was. I've been listening to this audiobook called Wild recently. The main character goes on a journey through the wilderness on the Pacific West Trail in the Western United States. She started out with a huge pack weight and had a very hard time lugging her it around, which must have been at least 60lbs! Having gone to India with 24lbs, I knew what it was like to carry a large pack and certainly didn't want any unnecessary weight while hiking in 40°C up a mountain. I'm very pleased with the outcome, take a look:
Unfortunately, I don't have a scale at home so I'm unsure about just how heavy it is. But while taking a small stroll with it, I felt confident I could carry this pack around while camping. The thing is, I still don't have my food, water and tent, which will add at least 10-15lbs!
The tent I will be using is made my Flying Tent in Austria. It's a versatile tent that will allow me to set the tent up as a traditional tent on the ground, use it as a hammock tent, or as a poncho during the rain! It's something I've had my eye on for over a year and I'm very excited for it to arrive in Vietnam! The tent is quite pricey, setting me back 349€!
Other products I've ordered online from iHerb have arrived in Vietnam at the address of my Airbnb host! Having just recently discovered the company, I wanted to take advantage of them right away. I placed an order of fish oil, zinc/calcium/manganese supplement and a glutamine muscle recovery supplement. The host informed me of their arrival and added that Vietnam charged a lovely 25USD import tax... the entire order was only 75CAD, so I'm a bit nervous about how much I'll be paying for import taxes on my tent!
With the count-down to my departure, I'm getting excited and ready for a change of scene. The allure of the things I took for granted in Canada tempt me with noticeable draw the same way they did when I first arrived. The clean air and water are definitely high o the list, but not quite at the top. The top spot is by far unrestricted internet access. Having such crappy internet the strong majority of the time is hard enough. The fact I need a VPN for pretty near everything now is infuriating. The second spot will be access to Netflix. The day I arrive in Hong Kong airport and perform a Google search without VPN will likely bring tears to my eyes.
Teaching English has been such as challenge because so many things that shouldn't take more than a few moments on Google take eons with the absolutely dreaded Bing. Even mundane tasks such as finding a PNG photo such as "ball" is a challenge. Bing photos are mostly low quality, jpeg, and if you try and load the site hosting the photo, it often requires a VPN. Bye bye to my efforts trying to come up with additional content for class. Finding a fruit focused word search and printing off copies for my kids with Bing is nothing short of a maddening experience that can take 30 minutes or longer. In 2017. Forget it.
I'm to leave China and take some time off. I've put in some serious effort here over the year and bit my tongue on a lot of things, but now, with my departure so nigh, I feel as if I'm unravelling and I must hold it together for the remaining few weeks. As of this writing, including today, I have thirteen more days of work, and twenty-three more days until I fly out. It seriously cannot come any faster! Just as my arrival, I depart on my own facing what comes next without really knowing all that's coming my way. But, isn't that the point of all this?