I’m having an I-can’t-believe-I-live-here moment. From the day I moved in with a blanket, a laptop, and a garbage bag of clothes, I knew I wanted a giant mountain scape headboard and a huge branch in my bedroom. This past week I finally made it all happen, and I’ll walk you through all the little pieces necessary to make it happen. I broke them into three separate articles:
Planning on traveling abroad and not sure what to pack? I did a 30-day-16-cities backpackathon and here’s what I recommend:
A sturdy backpack meant for backpacking – not your book bag – that is small enough to be used as carryon
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of shorts made of a quickly drying material
2-3 tshirts or tank tops
1 super lightweight button down shirt
1 nice shirt
5 pairs of underwear
1 pair of shoes that are versatile and don’t require socks (I brought my TOMS)
1 solid shampoo
1 hand towel
1 water bottle with carabiner to hook on the outside of your backpack OR a platypus water bottle
1 small journal
3 safety pins
1-3 feet of duct tape wrapped around said pencil
1 unlocked smart phone with a SIM card slot and its charger
1 lightweight thermal zip-up
1 small tin of lotion or salve (i.e. the Nivea tins)
1 travel-size bottle of sunscreen
1 tube of antibiotic cream
1 pack of anti-diarrhea pills (not kidding)
1 small tin of toothpaste (1 tbsp = 1 week)
1 travel of ibuprofen
1 travel sewing kit
1 shaving razor
1 nail clipper
1 small flashlight
1 small day pack, like a drawstring bag
2 TSA approved luggage locks (with tumblers, not keys)
1 Master Lock
Travel pack of tissues
1-2 photocopies of each: passport (the page with your info), driver’s license, any necessary visa papers, any credit or debit cards you plan on bringing – make sure to shove these all the way at the bottom of your pack or put them in a hidden pocket
2 compression bags that do not require a vacuum
Any medications, contact solution, glasses or other medical necessities
1 scarf (optional: for warmth, and if you’re a lady and wearing shorts, there are many times when you may be asked to cover up your legs or shoulders in places like old churches)
1 pair of nice, flat sandals if you’re planning on going somewhere nice
1 comb (brushes take up too much space)
1 tablet or netbook with charger to get on the internet
1 travel-size umbrella
This set of items will keep you prepared while keeping the weight down and even saving a little room for knickknacks bought along the way. The liquids/gels listed will fit into a TSA-regulation-sized plastic bag so you can walk right onto a plane with your pack.
The key is to find as many multi-purpose items as you can, for example solid shampoo can be used to clean your hair, body, and clothes. A bandana can be used to keep sweat off your face, blow your nose, temporarily cover a wound, or dry off after a shower if you can’t fit a hand towel in your pack. Nail clippers can clip your nails, thread, zipties, and bags you just can’t get open.
A good rule when trying to decide what to pack and what not to pack is if you haven’t used it in at least the last week, if not the last couple days, you really don’t need it. If you find yourself abroad and without some absolute necessity, it’s okay, you can always buy whatever it is when you’re there (people live there, too, you know).
Fellow nomads, did I miss anything really important?
Why guinea pigs, you ask? Originally I got them because my landlord doesn’t allow dogs, and I’m allergic to cats. I’ve found that guinea pigs might be my spirit animals though. They make all sorts of cute sounds, sometimes get so excited they popcorn, and can’t stop exploring.
Here’s a cute video of popcorning
(it’s when they jump and wiggle at the same time because they’re so excited they can’t contain themselves)
This is the first time in about six years that I’ve felt settled. I signed a lease for my first grownup apartment (I have a living room AND a dining room, WHAAAT?!), so I’m really actually not going anywhere for at least a year.
For those of you who know me well, I can’t sit still in the same country, let alone the same neighborhood, for more than a few months. On top of that, this is the first time I’ve ever really been alone. This stands as the perfect time to start fresh, look inside myself, and really figure out who I am without any external influence.
Things I’ve found out so far?
I didn’t actually know how to use a drill
I love working with my hands
I missed being outside
I need to actively tell myself to take breaks
Having a work-from-home job isn’t as great as it sounds
Color-coded, prioritized to-do list whiteboards should be kept in your bedroom where the majority of your house guests can’t see the full extent of your crazy
Also, now that I don’t do web design for a living, I’ll try to get back to doing it for fun. I realized this week that my website has been broken for about a year now haha
Hopefully I can start blogging about some of the home DIY projects I’ve been tackling and the little bit of leisure travel I’m able to fit into a person-with-ten-vacation-days-per-year lifestyle.
I went to Goa for a few days with some friends from college. It’s an awesome place if you like hanging out on beaches, cheap shopping, riding motorcycles, and clicking pictures. Oh, and you can get a King’s beer for the equivalent of about fifty cents. Plz enjoy some snaps I took with my manual Pentax