I am packing for my next trip – again to the US. This trip, as in the last year, will be a combination of business and private. My parents are moving to a new place and I will help them to move. I was thinking about flying down just for it, but luckily their move coincided with a conference. So I not only have my business clothes but also have all the gifts, I got for them over the last few months, from here as well as from India.
Flying to US used to be a pleasure – with 2 luggages of 32 kilos each, you could practically shop for the following year and still wonder what else you can find to fill the two suitcases. However, this was the time when the US Dollar to Euro conversion rate was not favourable for us, the poor cousins of those working across the Atlantic. So, shopping was done with diligence a few years – very often suitcases travelled west in hope and returned half empty in despair.
Along with the currency (dollar) crash came the luggage crash as well. As soon as I could afford to start shopping in US, the airlines reduced the luggage by first bringing down the weight to 23 kgs per piece and then reducing the number of free pieces to 1. So I try to pack everything into a very limited luggage space each time. My heeled shoes for the customer meetings, comfortable shoes to run around all day at the conference, business clothes, clothes / shoes for warm weather, clothes / shoes for extremely cold weather, gifts, DVDs for parents, gifts for nephew, official paraphernalia, toiletries, medicines – all vie for space inside a 292 cm dimensioned suitcase.
Now, I have the privilege of bringing an additional suitcase on my way back – to bring this, I need to carry it from here without carrying two suitcases. Here I am trying to juggle all the luggage and an additional suitcase all into the single big suitcase perhaps just over 292 cms.