I leave for Kyrgyzstan in less than a week - meaning that I am totally packed and ready to go right now. I am an obsessive packer and re-packer (at least when I'm getting ready to go somewhere exciting), and I've been working on my packing list for some time now. I may have had some items in the suitcase for over a month or so at this point. :-)
I'm flying in on Turkish Airlines. As you may remember, I took Turkish Airlines the last time I flew to Kyrgyzstan - which was all well and good until they lost one of my suitcases and took over a week to get it to me. Now, if I'm moving somewhere, and am therefore traveling with two ginormous suitcases full of everything I could possibly need (and will be living close to the airport), being out one suitcase for more than a week isn't the end of the world. When I'm only planning on bringing one bag and when I'm planning on spending the first two weeks in-country traveling all over the place (ie, nowhere near the airport), if my bag doesn't arrive with me, this would be pretty problematic. As such, I've decided to bring only a carry-on. Plus my camera backpack as my "personal item." I'm kind of stretching things a bit, and I am seriously hoping I don't get forced to check anything, but in theory I should be OK. I should also mention that while I'm going to be racing around the country for the first two weeks, I'll be spending the following nine weeks being relatively sedentary, living out in the boonies, and teaching English. As such, I have to pack work-acceptable clothing and some teaching materials as well.
I'll update you when I get back on how the whole carry-on thing worked, as well as on what I forgot/wished I'd brought/wished I'd left at home/etc. But for now, here's what I'm packing: