If you’re anything like me, packing is a one-hour affair, whereby I’m convinced I’ve lost everything important, regret not doing anything sooner, and slowly realize that it’ll all be okay. I mean the beautiful thing about living out of a backpack is that you literally carry everything you’ll need to go about any regular day, on your back. There’s little debating as the day progresses, “What should I wear out tonight”, “I guess my only pair of jeans and dress shirt!”. The simple lack of options and ease of choice help you to realize how ridiculous these things are to fret over in the first place.
MAKE A LIST
However, what you pack from the start does matter and although I’m someone who leaves things to the last minute I did something a little different this year. I made a list, WEEKS in advance. Just a small list ranging anywhere from number of socks, to hats, to a toothbrush. When you’re farther away from your departure date you can choose more objectively what you need to bring and what can be left behind. We have odd attachments to certain clothing items, and without a list you definitely end up packing way more than you need. You know the saying, “pack you bag, then remove 50% and that’s what you should take”, it’s completely true. Make a list well in advance and stick to it, because you’ll thank yourself for it later!
Truth is, whether you’re going for 6 weeks, or 6 months, the amount you need to keep in your bag is exactly the same (aside from prescriptions). As a general rule, in my opinion, you should never need anything over a 65L pack when travelling abroad, and 65 is on the high end. Especially if it’s your first time heading abroad to travel on your own, one thing many people fail to realize is that you can obtain almost any item you need in the country you’re visiting; be it Kampala, Lombok, or Jakarta. So pack a few comfort items and know that whatever small item you may have missed, you can easily get one in the country you’re travelling in.