A side note about packing. This time, instead of the Ecco shoes I bought for the honeymoon and repurposed in 2010, I’m wearing the Clarks loafers I bought back when Valley Fair was an interesting visit on my spring break away from DC. I would have taken them in 2005, but I couldn’t find them and thought I’d donated them. Instead, they’ll be the only shoes I take, because I’m planning on loading the suitcase with others. Not like Japan, when I brought a second pair of shoes just for the sake of a change (wearing those same Eccos for two weeks in 2010 was nightmarish down the stretch). I think a comfortable pair of slip-on shoes that don’t even necessarily require socks will cover me for a week.

No, the interesting thing to me is the phone. Like Japan, I’m only taking the iPhone and the Kindle. No Apple Watch, no Pebble, no iPad, and – surprisingly – no Moto X. I genuinely thought it would be the travel phone when I bought it, but travel didn’t work out quite like I expected, and if I’m going abroad I need the best possible camera I can have in a device. Unlike Japan, though, this time we have the opportunity to get actual SIM cards instead of a shared wireless hotspot, and we’ll each have something like 12 GB of LTE data to get through in a week for less money than most prepaid services in the US that offer less than half the data.

I’m taking the Kindle, of course – largely to see if the much-vaunted free lifetime 3G actually works the way I was promised all those years ago, but also to spare the iPhone battery on the flight over and have a reading option that doesn’t have to be flicked every 100 words the way the 4-inch iPhone SE screen does. But the daily loadout will be just the iPhone SE, the earbuds, and a lipstick charger – no Bluetooth headphones, no smart watch, nothing to require Bluetooth to stay on or prevent leaving the phone in low power mode the whole day, and we’ll see how that works out. I suspect pretty damn good.

Not only did I think I would take the Moto X on some notional future trip, I thought I would take the iPad mini – light, unlocked, data-able and virtually a full laptop replacement for me now. But in August, with no jacket, it’s too much to carry. I won’t need a bag at all during the day, I won’t want a bag at a soccer match or on the Tube or in the hustle and bustle of the CIty and the markets and just running through the streets with my sweetie the way I’ve wanted to for years. Just a phone in my pocket, and we’ve reached the point where that’s plenty.

it’s been way too long. I’m ready to go.

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