Rods….check.  More rods…..check.   Reels…..check.   Ridiculous amount of flies…..check.    Boots….check.   Passport….check.   Camera stuff….check.  All the fishing crap the guides on the island requested from the shop….check.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc. 

I am packing for my fourth trip to Alphonse Island in the Seychelles.   Pretty Sic, huh? 

Every time I visit a fishing lodge I always offer up the following to the head guide or manager:  “Make sure to let me know if there is anything you need from the States.  I’d be happy to bring some tackle, smokes, whatever”.   Half the time the response usually involves a request for a couple dozen flies or something simple like some sun gloves or some Copenhagen.  The other half of the time the requested items require a slow boat shipping container.    Aside from the cumbersome rods, reels, waders, fly lines, rain jackets etc…..  Some of the weirder stuff includes:  Boat parts and electronics to the Seychelles, a Starbucks thermos to Argentina, a salad spinner to Venezuela, smuggled camera to Kamchatka, as well as Christmas decorations and children’s school books to Belize.  I am of course happy to do it, but I often feel like Tenzing Norgay, the famous Sherpa who carried Edmund Hillary (and subsequently a bunch of other rich white British guys) up Everest along with all their gear not using compressed oxygen.    Being in the travel business requires my brain to always be sorting through the details.  As 95% of the travel I organize for our clients does not include planning details for myself, I always seem to forget that I too need to prepare for a trip.  I am super concerned about everyone else’s details…not my own.  As is usually the case in the past, I am running around the office tying up the loose ends on the day of departure without even knowing where my fishing stuff is or what time my flight departs…  Somewhere between failing on my promise to my wife to be home on time and forgetting to return two phone calls, I make it to the house and throw together my gear (at least everything I don’t forget).  

Now that I have a 1 year old daughter on the ground, my disorganized pre-trip mayhem must change.  (My daughter, Lynsie, actually turns one year old the day before departure – more on that later.)  When you have a kid you must plan four days in advance just to use the bathroom.  You can imagine the anxiety preceding a 10 day trip to the Indian Ocean.  For that, I must raise my glass to my bride, Melissa, for taking care of Lynsie and my old geriatric Labrador while I am away. 

So, I am a week and a half out and the process has begun.  I have all my fishin’ stuff laid out in the guest bedroom and have a very official to-do list organized.   Stay tuned for more pre-trip mumbo jumbo.