A quick update about my current activities and my next evil plans: After spending two weeks with my family and typical autumn activities (picking mushrooms in the forest, cycling and ice cream, looking for a Dirndl, Oktoberfest, Shape Note singing, looking for a camera without success) I’m taking a plane to São Paulo.

Last weekend I went for some serious Shape Note singing in Munich that had some consequences for my voice for a few days. The singing group in Munich organized the singing on the same weekend as the last days of the Oktoberfest, so I had a great weekend with wonderful people who joined from all over Germany. I’ll write more about Oktoberfest soon when I will have been to the one in Blumenau, Brazil.

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For those who are not familiar with Shape Note (or Sacred Harp) singing, it’s a singing tradition that originates in the 19th century in the US and that spread in Europe as well recently. The aim is basically to get together, sing and have fun, with everybody having the possibility to lead songs. This was my first time singing in Germany actually, but I met a lot of people again who had been at Cork singing conventions before, hooray 🙂

And to get back to the hand luggage, I’m surprised how easy it is to pack stuff for three months into a small backpack (28l) and a handbag (hand tailored expandable volume).
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-I just left the stuff I don’t need at home! It’s (almost) as easy as that actually… (as advised in this blog for example http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/99-best-life-and-travel-tips/)

E.g.: A haircut before the trip and no silly hair dryer anymore. Trainers instead of boots because I hate hiking boots anyway. A cardigan + bolero instead of several long sleeve tops. No travel pillow because I always use my jacket anyway. 3 pairs of shoes only: Shoes that pack small in the backpack (ballerinas), flip flops on the outside, trainers worn while travelling. I didn’t bring a toiletry bag and I’m using the zip lock bag from security check throughout the trip. Etc. And by the way, it’s true that most travel gear that’s supposed to be useful is actually useless, so I left it at home.

-I took only a few pairs of socks and underwear and that all dry easily (like most of my clothes), this way I simply wash them while I’m in the shower and dry them over the side of the bed. Saving the laundry line 🙂 (one of the almost useless travel gear items)

-I always check weight and volume before I buy something, I’ve done this for years and didn’t have to think much when I packed. I even brought much more than I thought I would! I also find that being a woman makes finding light weight + small volume clothes easier (ballerinas, tops, skirts that transform into dresses, etc.)

-Straps on the outside of the backpack help to carry additional stuff, should I buy anything.

-Coming back to the handbag (thanks to Katrina who had it tailored in India 🙂 ), I love mine more and more because it can hold a lot or only a little without looking silly. Should I need to store the bag away (because of silly hand luggage restrictions or whatever) it folds really small.

For more randomness, here is an extract of my activities in the last two weeks

More news soon from Brazil.

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