The day before I travel, I am always nervous with an upset stomach. I don't think this nervousness is about flying, but about what I won't take that I will need and will take that I don't. This is uncertainty - I don't deal well with uncertainty but I love to travel - I love arriving at a new destination - so I take drugs to keep my stomach calm.
I try, I really do, to keep my luggage at a minimum but always fail. This trip we will go from Rio to Panama City, to tropical temperatures and a formal society. (Compared to Rio which is informal - you are just as likely to find someone dining out in shorts as a cocktail dress) This means that I will need a dressy pair of slacks, good shoes and a couple nice blouses for the 3 days in Panama. I'll also need daytime cloths that will protect my skin but will not be to warm in the tropical heat and comfortable walking shoes.
Then we will go to Bogotá, Columbia. Higher elevations means cooler temperatures and a first communion to attend means a need for a dress or skirt and a light jacket. AND enough things that I will not need to do laundry during the 10 days we will be in these two cities.
In mid May, I'll go on to Houston; HOT temperatures, casual cloths, workout cloths and shoes to match. Sometime during June I will travel to Michigan, cooler temperatures, need for pajamas, walking shoes, nothing formal.
After I think I have the packing under control, I find that the suitcase is already too full and I don't even have all the slacks packed. So I guess I will spend tonight unpacking and reevaluating everything and putting it back in the suitcase - this step is always were I mess up and leave something behind or end up with blouses for brown slacks and 3 pair of black slacks.... (probably the drugs – remember for the stomach)
I have a friend that used to write a list of everything she took in her suitcase for each trip. When she returned she would put a neat line through what she didn't need and file the list. She still has all her lists, but no longer travels.... I don't see how this would help me now and definitely is a bit of busy works because if I take the same trip in 3 or 4 years I won't have the same cloths (I hope) or we will go in winter instead of summer.) Forget the lists.
Tomorrow morning before 7am I will put my makeup bag in the suitcase and sit on the lid to try and zip it closed, praying that no one at the airport asks me to open the bag - then we will be on our way. "on the road again!"