I like pretty dresses, with matching purses and shoes. I like to blow dry my hair every morning and sometime give it curls. Fresh ground coffee beans are a great way to start the day or perhaps a home made espresso on the stove, brewing away. In the winter time, colourÂ coordinatedÂ scarves, mittens andÂ toquesÂ are a must. I like matching pillows and curtains and a house decked out with plants. To pass the time, I knit, sew, play the piano or simply cozy up on the couch to watch a movie on a 46″ flat screen T.V.
I used to cry when I lost a ring, or broke a glass or plate. I use to get upset if I ruined a piece of clothing,expensive or cheap. But over the past five years I have grown away from the materialism of my childhood. Sure, I still like nice things, like pretty dresses, matching shoes, purses and blow driers, but like many good ol’ cliches makeÂ referenceÂ to, Â “They aren’t going to make me truly happy”.
I don’t need pretty dresses, matching pillows or an espresso to survive (well, maybe the espresso). They are just things. Things can be replaced. Things, like money, come and go. Jobs come and go. When I return back home to Canada, there will be jobs to be found. I will not look back and say, “Ah! I wish I didn’t travel to Turkey, India, Greece, Italy, Nepal and move to Thailand. I should have taken that job in Canada.”
So alas, my adventure has begun with my husband. From the day I met him, both of our spirits have always been up for an adventure. A chance to learn and see something new. The past five years we satisfied this urge with weekend to ten day trips, mostly based on weddings we were invited to or seat sales we found.
This time we bought one-way tickets and we are only taking one bag each, a carry-on nonetheless. So even though I like all the pretty things of “What a girl wants”, I had to think about it, do some research and some select shopping to determine just “What a girl needs”.
What a girl needs (Laura’s new closet/new way of life)
I suppose I could do with only one pair of shoes but I have huge feet and from past traveling experience find it difficult to find shoes that fit.
Okay. So here’s the list of things you see in the picture.
- Rain coat (orange)
- Hoodie (Blue -Â fleece)
- Money belt
- Two lenses
- Battery charger for camera
- CF cards (I’ll bring a few more than shown)
- Merrell sandles (more supportive than flip-flops, good for showers and hot weather)
- Hiking shoes (comfy, broken-in and I’m not concerned if I have to ditch them somewhere)
- Belt (not essential, but don’t you just hate it when peoples butt cracks and underwear show?)
- Mummy sleeping bag silk liner (to help protect me in hostels)
- Pillow case – MEC- (I’ll stuff it with my clothes to make a pillow at night)
- Superstore extra small black shopping bag (I’ll use this as a day-bag, if it is possible for us to lock our bags up in a locker at a hostel of hotel.)
- ~50 tampons and ~50 liners (Damn girl stuff taking up space, but apparently tampons can be extremely hard to find and expensive in some places we are going.)
- Mesh blue bag (For putting dirty laundry in – we’ll be washing our laundry in the sink mostly and theÂ occasionalÂ laundry mat.)
- Toiletries (contained in clean, plastic bag)
- Medicine/1st Aid Kit (contained in clean, plastic bag)
- Two bras (black & white)
- Bikini (bottom, top and mesh wrap around)
- Bike pants (black, MEC, bike pants I will use as long-John’s and PJ’s)
- TupperwareÂ container (small blue container for left overs from restaurants)
- Panties (two pairs, on special Tilly brand, quick drying pair)
- 3 thongs (Synthetic – no cotton – apprently the synthetic fabrics dry faster)
- Tank top (wickingÂ material, fast drying, with built in bra)
- Dress shirt (collored, long sleeved black dress shirt)
- Helly Hanson long sleeved shirt (pink in colour, wicking material, and fast drying)
- Pants (black MEC, fast drying pants, that zip-off into shorts)
- Skirt & shirt (my fancy outfit for restaurants, interviews etc.)
- Shawl (black shawl to act as aÂ scarfÂ and head cover in someÂ countries)
- Towel (MEC travel towel, fast drying material)
- CAMEL water bottle (green)
- Wool socks (1 pair)
- Bamboo/rayon socks (2 pairs, black)
- Zip-lock bags (3 large bags for packing clothes)
- ElasticsÂ (~12 to help make clothes smaller)
- Glasses (extra pair)
There you have it. The complete story from “What a girl wants to what a girl needs”. Â Ciao for now. -Laura-
It’s been almost 2 years since we left for our 8-month journey and I just had a friend ask me any advice on traveling and packing. By the end our trip the list of things we had and thought useful to carry had changed from our original list, like in this post.
Therefore, here is a revised list. Some things I listed in the “Things to bring” post were actually quite useless…..like:
1) money belt (they are kitchy, uncomfortable and it’s easier just to carry your money in your normal wallet and a few different pockets if your worried)
2) Rain coat (barely used it and when we did it was hot, sticky and uncomfortable, so I’d recommend a poncho and an umbrella instead)
3) Sleeping bag liner (used it once because we were staying in a dirty hole and I was affraid to put my head on the pillow, but i could have just used a shirt or my hoodie for this)
4) Wicking, special fabric clothing (does’t work that well….plain ol’ 100% cotton shirt is better any day)
5) Pillow case (not necessary)
Good things to bring:
1) small flashlight
2) detergent in the shape of a bar of soap
3) those brushes made to loop on your fingers so you can scrub the nails on your other hand? This brush was the most marvelous invention for hand washing clothes in the sink or shower with the bar of soap detergent.
4) UNIVERSAL DRAIN PLUG (VERY IMPORTANT!)
5) bathing suit
6) travel towel that dries quickly and is not bulky
9) a small backpack would have been easier to carry compared to my 30L duffle bag, but just having a bag that is one big “pocket” is fantastic!
10) black scarf ( was the most versatile things I had. It was my scarf in London, my suntanning blanket in Thailand, my head scarf in Iran……)
11) Pants that zip off into shorts (have lots of pockets)
12) 2 – 3 carabiners
13) Nalgene water bottle that can attach to your bag with a carabiner.
14) Mesh bag for dirty laundry (is great to have)
15) Zip-Lock bags were my favorite to wrap everything I owned in and then tighten with elastics to make my stuff as compact and possible to and help waterproof.
16) Rain cover for bag – would have been useful in S.E. Asia in the rainy season but otherwise useless, and even without it was survived just fine.
17) A small “day bag”….for me this means purse, but you could usa a thin, small compact backpack to carry your water, camera, hat…etc. for the day while you lock up your bag at your hotel.
18) Lock and wire to secure bag to furniture in room and lock the zipper (could also use to secure a closet door so no one could open it)
very nice article, giving some explanation what i search before
Nice post, Laura 😀 I love the before and after shot. You guys must be getting so excited!
I swear Laura has way more shoes than are shown in that closet picture. She didn’t post a pic of her shoe closet, but it’s at least twice as big as that closet. 🙂