It would be ideal if we could use all of the foodstuffs, cleaning supplies, and paper products that we acquired when spending up to three months at each location. Each time we move into a new location, we’ve found that we spend a fair sum to stock the new home with the basic necessities.
Our goals are simple; don’t be wasteful and, don’t be wasteful with our money. However, we must admit that we’ll be leaving many items behind that are both impractical and costly to pack.
Although we try to gauge how much of any item we’ll use, it is frustrating to have purchased grocery items we never used, ingredients for a specific recipe that we never made but purchased with the best intentions. It is those very items that often filled our kitchen cabinets anyway, stuff we may never use, eventually to be donated or thrown away? Besides, no matter where we live, I’m not exempt from the occasional “impulse purchase.”
When we arrived here, I jumped at the chance to purchase a large bottle of organic “real” vanilla extract for KES $520.50, US $5.76. ‘d hoped to find unsweetened “real” chocolate so I could make our favorite sugar free, low carb fudge. Never found the chocolate. Never opened the bottle of vanilla. So it goes. I won’t bore you with several other such items we’ll be leaving behind.
Then, there’s the bigger expense that we’ve incurred while in Kenya, the purchase of “scratch-off” cards for data to “top off” our Kenya SIM cards for our two MiFi devices for Internet connectivity. These are useless to us once we leave Kenya. They don’t work outside the country, typical for SIM cards in most countries, tricky for us world travelers.
Another area of concern is the disposal of clothing that has either worn out or we’ve found to have no occasion to wear.
The question for today: How will we dispose of leftover, unused, unwanted, and no longer relevant items which we have no desire or intention of packing?
The food items will be left behind informing Hesborn or Jeremiah to take any of the items they’ll use and either leave the balance for future renters or if they choose, for Hans and Jeri.
When we left Italy, we’d posted photos of a pile of clothing and shoes we’d left behind for Lisa and Luca, the kindly landlords, to either keep, give to family or friends, or to donate which they gladly offered when we mentioned this dilemma.
The clothing, yet to be sorted, is much smaller now that we’ve narrowed our clothing down to one large suitcase each. Some worn items will be tossed. In a concerted effort to reduce the weight of our bags, we’ve decided to ship ahead a few boxes utilizing the Ukunda post office that will allow us to insure the contents of the boxes. Alfred will drive us to Ukunda on Friday to ship them off.
At this point, we have no idea as to the cost to ship these boxes within the continent. The fact that we’re willing to ship them by the slowest possible method to save on the cost should result in our receiving them within a month or so, which is fine for us.
Why not toss these items? The biggest issue is the difficulty in finding clothing to fit me. I’m tall and wear an odd size. My inseam is 35″ (88 cm). Do I want to take the time to find a pair of pants or dress long enough not to embarrass myself? No. In all of the countries we’ve visited thus far, the women are shorter than I (here’s a chart of the average heights of men and women worldwide).
In only nine months I’ll need the to-be-shipped clothing items and shoes for two upcoming cruises. One of the highlights of cruising for us is dining in the main dining areas which typically don’t allow jeans or shorts.
We don’t want to be forced to eat at the buffet for dinner due to our lack of proper clothing, which we’ve only done twice on our eight prior cruises, each time, much to our dismay; once when returning late from an excursion with the main dining room closed and another, on the night of a Minnesota Vikings Playoff game when we loaded trays filled with food to take to our cabin to watch the game. (The TV signal was lost almost entirely throughout the game and, surprisingly, ha, Minnesota lost).
Yes, I know in a prior post, I’d mentioned my willingness to forgo style and selection in my attire. But when on cruises, one surely desires to get their money’s worth of the meals already included in the fare in the main dining areas. Were it not for this fact, I’d gladly dispose of my few remaining dresses, and matching sandals. In any case, we’re shipping all of those.
We’d already ditched all of our “formal attire” for the dress-up nights, falling back on our basic inventory for those evenings since formal wear is not mandatory on most cruises.
In essence, it’s clothing and shoes that we’re shipping. I have six pairs of shoes in my possession and my beloved safari boots. That’s all I own: one pair of Keds leather slip ons, one pair of tan 3″ heels, one pair of water shoes, plus three pairs of Clark’s sandals: black, beige and white. (I left my bulky workout shoes in Italy. These can easily be replaced once we’re near a health club again).
Tom, on the other hand, has four pairs of shoes: one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of water shoes and two pairs of Cole Haan, one dressy, one casual, and of course, his safari boots.
Start adding up shoes alone and they consume an entire carry on bag. Ah, the challenges of stuff, continues to play a role in our lives, although considerably less than it used to.
The end result of our clothing issues; we’re shipping ahead enough weight in shoes and clothing, weighing everything on our portable scale, in order to avoid paying excess baggage fees when we fly to South Africa a week from today. Once these boxes are shipped, we’ll share how much we paid for the shipping.
The final items that we’ve contemplated over these past few weeks, was the remaining data left on our SIM cards on my MiFis. As of today, Tom has 8.7 gigabytes, remaining and I have 9.1 gigabytes remaining, more than enough for Tom to watch the Minnesota Vikings game and for me to download several TV shows and movies.
We carefully tracked our data usage since arriving in Kenya, in an effort to ensure we didn’t leave the country with too much paid-for but unused data.
We’ve determined, via our recordkeeping that our combined average daily usage is approximately .5 gigabytes resulting in our ability to save enough data for the layover at the Nairobi airport. Once we arrive in Johannesburg our devices will no longer work containing the Kenya SIM cards.
We’re pleased that in the past month, it wasn’t necessary to purchase additional data by carefully monitoring our usage: no videos other than downloaded TV shows for our evening entertainment and Tom’s Minnesota Vikings games. Avoiding the download of Facebook videos was most instrumental in us having ample data to get us through this next week.
Yes, we still may have unused data remaining at the end, which we hope to use to download movies and TV shows.
So, there it is folks. The process of winding down appears more complicated than it is. It requires careful thought and planning, neither of which is foreign to us. As we maneuver our way to yet another country in our ongoing quest for exploration and wonder, we can smile, knowing that we’re doing everything we can to make the transition as stress-free as possible.