Hi. I'm Beth. I live north of Boston, Massachusetts.
Until about eight years ago, I very rarely took international trips, except for a few childhood excursions. But then I started a job which requires regular flights to West Africa. The first time I went, I packed a humongous suitcase, which held (seriously) an entire coffee pot, among other things. My colleagues thought it was hilarious, but as far as I was concerned, I was venturing into unknown territory and needed to be prepared.
Since then, I've really caught the travel bug, and try to plan trips to new countries whenever I can. It helps that part of my family relocated to Brazil! I am in equal parts terrified and thrilled when I wake up in a new city that I've never seen before and go out to explore.
Needless to say, I have learned that it is easier to pack lighter, and after a disastrous domestic trip where my suitcase went missing for half a week, have learned that it is better to carry on. However, I'm still inching my way towards this goal. I can still point to a lot of packing failures, and am determined to do better on my next trip. Tips from this forum have been very helpful, and fun as well.