Monday, October 24, 2016

Packing for 6 months in Asia: The results

Packing was one of the aspects of my trip with which I was most concerned.
What if what I brought wasn't enough?
What if I bought a bunch of stuff and couldn’t fit it into my suitcase?
What is I get sick of wearing the same clothes for six months?

Well, now that my trip is complete, I have answered to all these questions, and more!

I am proud to say that, thanks to my meticulous research, my packing list was damn near perfect. I had everything I needed for the entire trip. That being said, I absolutely did get sick of wearing the same clothes everyday for 6 months. I was thrilled to be able to throw my ratty tanks tops and shirts into a trash can when departing from Chiang Mai with only the clothes on my body, and return to my home in Portland where a treasure trove of clothing awaited me.

I am also proud to say that I did not buy that much. I mean…compared to hauling an extra suitcase home from Dubai, what’s a couple magazines and fisherman pants? I sent one box of stuff home, and carried the rest with me. I do wish I had been able to buy more, but in retrospect, I didn’t really need anything. Having to travel light kept me from making unnecessary purchases.
Although I had everything I needed, there were a few things I did not use, and therefore would not bring on my next trip:
  • contact lenses (wore glasses every day)
  • goggles (didn’t swim much)
  • money wallet (not needed)
  • business cards (gave out, like, 2)
  • sun visor (used twice)
  • portable charger (everywhere had outlets)
  • Sseko sandals (wore tennis shoes the whole time)
  • Rain jacket (didn’t rain much)

There were also some things I am really, really glad I brought:
  • an entire roll of hair ties (because I wore my long hair up every day, and I lose hair ties all the time)
  • acne cream (because sure enough, my skin broke out all the freakin' time)
  • twist ties for my electronics cords (they really kept cords from getting tangled)
  • advil (for period cramps)
  • tampons (they are really hard to find in Asia!)
  • my small black pouch (used almost everyday)
  • long sleeve shirt and hoodie (it got cold!)

If I could do it all over again, these are the things I wish I brought:
  • cold and cough medicine (I got sick twice)
  • more T-shirts and less tank tops (for modesty and sun protection)
  • more socks (three pairs was the bare minimum)

There were a few things I got along the way, but I would bring them next time:
  • plastic bags (for shoes and dirty laundry)
  • a tote bag from freshness in Myanmar (used as a gym bag)
  • face wash (my sensitive skin broke out a lot on this trip)

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