“To pack for a lifetime” – just to hear that sentence makes me feel exhausted. How would it ever be possible to fit a whole life into a 40L backpack? To choose a too-big bag and to bring too many things when you have decided to leave your stationary life and go nomad is the worst thing you can do. The backpack will be a nightmare to carry around and you will end up throwing everything out.
At the same time, to bring only amazing travel gear and nothing personal or stylish, you will feel like you have lost who you are on the way – and you won’t have anyone else there to remind you. To create a successful packed bag for a lifetime is to combine these two categories. This is what makes the difference; everything in between you can bring, swap or buy on the way.
10 MOST IMPORTANT (and functional) THINGS TO BRING
1) Menstrual Cup
If you haven’t tried this before – BUY ONE NOW. This is a miracle for all bleeding creatures out there. Especially when you travel. You only need to bring one. You will forget about your period. And you don’t need fancy toilets with bins.
2) Aleppo Soap
All natural soap from Syria that can be used as face wash, body wash, shampoo and for your laundry. It is also very long lasting.
3) Travel Yoga Mat
Always prioritize your health – both physically and mentally – when packing your travel bag. Some people bring running shoes, I bring a yoga mat.
4) Kindle or similar
I love real books. I love the smell of them. I love how they get all dirty and messy in your bag. I love how they make me look intellectual. But when I travel – I love my E-reader. I can use my library card online from any country and borrow new books for free every week. It is so worth it.
5) Passport Photos
This is to be able to apply for visas quick and easy, wherever you go. And when you are tired after a 10 hour bus journey, the last thing you want to do is to find a photo booth place.
6) Laptop with Dropbox
A small, lightweight laptop is for me necessary to be able to do work from anywhere. Depending on what you do, you can go really small. I also use Dropbox as an extra desktop where I save everything I do. From photos and work to scanned documents of passports and library cards. This makes them easy accessible from everywhere.
7 ) Sawyer Filter
This is pure magic. It is a water filter that makes it possible to drink the water wherever you are. From the lake when you are hiking to the tap water in Asia. A great way to consume less plastic bottles and take care of the world we are traveling in.
For obvious reasons. Make sure to get an extra battery in case you don’t always have access to power. Get yourself a camera that is small and cheap enough for you to carry around your neck all the time, without hesitation.
9) Lightweight Daypack
A small lightweight backpack for day trips. Easy to forget, but very important. Even better if it is lockable.
10) Power bank
You want to be able to be spontaneous and at the same time have access to power for your computer, Kindle and camera. To buy a power bank will save you when your camera is running out of batteries right on top of the highest mountain. There are also solar driven power banks if you don’t have access to power all the time.
5 LESS IMPORTANT (but personal) THINGS TO BRING
1) Red Lipstick
A strong coloured lipstick is for me what makes the difference when day turns into night. Or when I just want to look more powerful.
2) Neck Kerchief/Scarf
This is my best travel friend at the moment. I use it as a headband. As a hair scrunchie. As a belt. As a scarf when it is cold. And over my shoulders when I’m not supposed to show your shoulders.
3) Statement earrings
A piece of jewellery will do that twist to any of your few outfits without taking much space. Don’t go for the most expensive you have – you don’t want to loose that.
4) THAT dress
For me this is a printed silk maxi kaftan dress. For you it’s probably something different. But it should be a dress with that amazing feature that you can wear it to dress up for a night in the city, or to dress down when walking to the beach, and either way you will feel comfortable and stunning.
As with your health, you should always prioritize your creativity. Computers are great, but sometimes you need more. To bring a notebook or sketchbook is an easy way to use your hands in a creative way while traveling.
Photo source: Unsplash