#DoYouIndie Days 11 & 12 of Bootsnall’s Indepenent Traveler Challenge actually asks the same question twice:
WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER ONE THING YOU CANNOT TRAVEL WITHOUT? BESIDES YOUR PASSPORT AND MONEY?
My Answer: Besides the legal and financial means, I suppose clothing becomes the next logical answer – simply for comfort and modesty. But, emotionally…..some way to record or share my adventures would be the answer. Sure, paper notebooks can be bought anywhere and computers can be rented by the hour. But, we’ve outgrown those temporary conveniences and need our own internet connections always on our person.
Probably, a camera is the answer! Even better, if it is a combination of phone, computer and camera in one compact unit. These are so personalized, that public rentals don’t suffice and we’re all now addicted to reading our email before breakfast. I remember the old days, but am thoroughly digital by now.
WHAT IS IN YOUR PACK NOW FOR A LONG-TERM TRIP? PACK A PRETEND BAG FOR SIX MONTHS.
This would be a boring exercise, not worth hauling my new, 65-litre backpack out of my Mexican closet for. Less than a month ago, it transported all of the clothes, socks and underwear that had survived my severe, moving-day culling. “Mexico is warm! I won’t ever need winter clothes again! Oh, maybe a sweater and a light jacket…..” I’m in the mountains. I’ve worn both frequently.
The truth is, that if you make a packing mistake, you can rectify it fairly easily. You can buy anything in your new location, so why travel heavy? Strangers can’t tell if you wear the same thing frequently, especially if you hand wash it in the evening. Picking up new tee shirts bearing local place names is half the fun. My “I Love Uruguay” shirt gets comments in Mexico. Conversations follow. So, recycle your old clothes and leave most of them at home.