O Sunscreen, Where Art Thou?

Dear Reader, we returned to Shanghai early this morning.  When I told colleagues we had spent the weekend in Xi’an, they were aghast.  A visit to Xi’an usually lasts three-to-four days, not a short weekend.  We had a fabulous time there.  Our trip within a trip ended without any major incidents, although our schedule was somewhat compact.  I will write more about our Xi’an trip soon, because unfortunately I have very little time to blog today.

This trip reminded me of something that happens without fail during travel–packing the right items is a very challenging endeavor.  Have you ever traveled and left behind something important?  Have you ever lugged around something that you thought you needed and didn’t need after all?  We thought the weather in Xi’an would be cool, so I packed a sweatshirt.  It’s April, and central China can be cold in the springtime.  My sweatshirt ended up sitting in the suitcase during the entire trip, unused, taking up valuable space.  I should have left it behind!  On the other hand, I forgot my sunglasses and sunscreen.  I didn’t bring either item with me from Seoul, and both would have come in handy.  The weather was spectacular, and on Sunday when we visited the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and his army of terra cotta, my skin turned from suntanned to sunburned.  Fortunately, the burn isn’t bad, and in a day or so it will fade into a nice suntan.  In the meantime, I will wear my sunburn as a trophy from Xi’an until it disappears.  If I had left my sweatshirt behind and replaced it with sunscreen and sunglasses, I would have had more room in my luggage.  You just never know what you’ll need when you travel.