Keep Calm and Carry On
Considering I love examining (and subsequently tearing apart) other people’s packing lists, I thought it would only be appropriate to put mine up here for the killing. I’ve had fun packing this time around - I’ve learned heaps about what I actually need (vs. want to lug about!) after our RTW lat year. This trip is all about the hotness, and packing for warm weather is so much funner than packing for all conditions. The biggest challenge this time around is my aim to be fully-loike carry-on. Partly because I stuffed up my Darwin—>Melbourne leg and didn’t book for any luggage, and partly because I’m interested in seeing how difficult it would be to survive on less than 10kg=56cmx36cmx23cm.
What you see above, from right to left is: 1xdress, 1xhippie pants ($1 at the op-shop after some other person’s visit to SE Asia!), shortsx2 (one pair will potentially be thrown out after Darwin because the arse is pretty much ripped out), 1xblack stretchy skirt/boob tube, 1xjammie-shorts, high-top sneakers, Birkenstocks (if stinky after ten months of constant wear, I recommend cleaning them with a nail brush and some wool wash. I can’t stop sniffing mine), 2xmerino wool singlets (go Target! $13 for merino is a revelation!), 1xpolka dot shirt (sleeves=good for Vietnamese temples), 1xflowy top/short dress thing, 1xlong sleeve light cotton top. Clothes to wear on the chilly night in transit at Tullamarine: 1xmerino top, 1xmerino leggings, 1xlong skirt, 1xsilk top, 1xpurple cardigan, 1x cotton scarf to double as a sarong. Other than that (rather extensive list now I write it down!) I’ve got a couple of bikinis, ten pairs of knickers (you can never have too many pairs of underpants!), medical kit, cords’n’chargers, a couple of books, head torch, sleep-silk, iPod Touch. Oh, and my toiletries bag. That will contain a few of my favourite travel products like Moroccan Oil and some teeny-tiny sunscreens.
There are a couple of themes going on here. One is: I embrace natural fibres. Merino and silk are magical - they keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm. Plus they hardly hold any stink which is perfect for warmer climates. Give tops a hang overnight and they’ll be ready to go again. And if I need to wash them, the singlets in particular are quite light and should dry out much easier than a cotton t-shirt.
Two: layer, layer, layer. I have packed a lot of different pieces of clothing. It’s a long list, as typed out above, but most items pack down small and are light - with the intention of layering them all together. Every piece of clothing (in my crazy dress sense of an opinion!) matches with everything else and can be worn in multiple combinations.
Three: I wear clothes that make me happy! I know I’ve waxed on about this before, but I cannot fathom why those people that have special travel wardrobes. All that high-tech, quick-dry, khaki coloured stuff - does it really make for a more comfortable trip than a regular singlet top and shorts? If you choose your fibres right (see above!) and shop in the right places (oh op-shop, you know I love you!) you can have a functional, good-looking wardrobe that’s cheap, too!
I like bright clothes. I wear bright clothes at home. I’m going to wear bright clothes in Darwin and Vietnam. As I did in Istanbul, Vancouver and Honduras. If my bright clothes do not suffice, I will buy some bright, appropriate clothes wherever I’m at on the road. Nothing stands out more than a traveller in a vented shirt. Always remember that.
This brings me to the bit that gets me back to that voyeuristic habit of looking at other people’s packing. It is a personal choice and I know not everyone is going to agree with what I’ve said here. I don’t mind too much what you want to wear either, I just like to have a look and reflect on what works for me. Just don’t be the person in pure North Face, lifting your eyebrows at me and I promise not to say anything about your “practical” pants and their bottom-flattery. Deal?
Could I cut it down more? Most certainly. Do I want to? Not really. I want to have more than one option to wear to the pub in Darwin. I really need that beer now!