What travel gear do you take with you when you are planning to travel the world continuously?? This is obviously a question I asked myself and below you’ll find what I took on The Happy Nomad Tour.
Teva Omnium Sandals – These sandals will keep me light on my feet, comfortable in all the hot places I’ll visit, and mobile. I have been using them at home already and they are very comfortable and easy to get around in. They are also easy to take on and off, which will be convenient when I get to Asia.
Teva Waterproof Shoes – The rainy season has not been kind to me. I have hit rain each place I hit and often had to alternate between my shoes and sandals each day to allow time for each pair to dry. They often never fully dried. A pair of comfortable walking shoes that are also waterproof would have made a world of difference.
Sea to Summit Pack Cover – My backpack is not waterproof. This will keep the water out and my electronics safe. It’s lightweight and shrinks into an incredibly small carrying bag. If it seems like I am paranoid about water damage, I am! I was in Iceland in February and the backpack I had got completely soaked. Nothing got damaged, but the potential was there for sure. I, literally, can’t afford for that to happen on this trip.
REI 65 Liter Backpack – This backpack is meant for teenagers, but it’s the perfect size for me. I didn’t want a backpack bigger than this and 65 liters was a perfect fit. The price, size, and support was right. I’m not a fan of the color, but that’s not very important to me.
Timbuk2 Lightbright Swig Backpack – This will be my normal backpack. When I’m settled in a location, I’ll need a smaller backpack to carry my cameras around in, plus whatever else I need. This one was much more expensive than I wanted to pay, but it’s surprisingly hard to find waterproof laptop backpacks.
Samsonite Silhouette Suitcase – I grew tired of carrying a backpack and switched to a carry-on sized suitcase about a year into The Happy Nomad Tour. I was then able to organize my “home” into my suitcase and my “office” into my Timbuk2 backpack.
ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxers – Two pairs of these is all I need for the trip. They are anti-bacterial, dry quickly, lightweight, and are ideal for the hot weather I’ll be facing in the near future.
Sea to Summit Travel Liner – This is like a very thin sleeping bag that’ll allow me to sleep pretty much anywhere comfortably. If the cleanliness isn’t up to par, or I fear bedbugs, this thing should keep pests away from me. It’s designed for hot and humid weather.
Ultra-light Super Absorbant Towel – At 19″x19″ or 48cm x 48cm, this towel is tiny! Yet I can easily use it to completely dry off my body after a shower with room to spare. It’s amazing. It weighs almost nothing and is very thin. Truly amazing!
HP Pavilion dm1z – I got this laptop because I wanted a netbook-type computer, but I did not want a 10-inch screen. This was the compromise. It is very lightweight and the screen is 11.6 inches.
Steripen Handheld UV Water Purifier – I’ll be going to a lot of places that may not have the cleanest water. I’m sure my body doesn’t have the immunity built up to stave off Montezuma in all his various forms. So I can use this pen to kill bacteria and most viruses.
Spanish-English Dictionary/Translator – Unfortunately, I didn’t focus on learning Spanish during my time in Madrid. Big mistake! So I’m taking this dictionary/translator with me so I can easily look up words I don’t know. Becoming fluent in Spanish is a major goal of mine and this will help me work toward that goal while I’m out and about. And I can give it to someone learning English when I leave Latin America and head to Asia!
Apple Ipod Shuffle – I’ve had the first generation Ipod Shuffle since I lived in Spain. I use it for podcasts only and it’s the primary way I follow the news and topics that interest me. The battery still lasts forever and I expect that this little silver box will continue to inform me what is going on in the world.
Amazon Kindle – I got a Kindle last year and it changed everything. All of a sudden I could live anywhere and buy books in English at normal prices. When I lived in the Middle East, I would buy books online and have them shipped to my parents. Then my parents would ship them for $80-$100 in postage. Now I can buy pretty much any book and start reading it immediately. The classics out of copyright are free. But most importantly, I’ll have one small device where I can store thousands of books. Without this, I would probably be limited to just one book at a time due to space and weight constraints.
Verbaitim 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive – I got this small external hard drive so I could backup all the pictures, video, and writing I do. You can never be too careful with data, so this will give me some peace of mind.
Sony Cybershot DSC-WX300 – I need megapixels and zoom since I like taking random pictures of stuff. I feel like my camera often tells a better story than I can, or at the least we are a team. So far I have been very pleased with the great quality out of such a tiny camera.
LED Headlamp – This would have been handy when I lived in the country side of Yoloaiquin, El Salvador or Chichica, Panama. But when I think of the numerous times I’ve used my cell phone as a really bad flashlight, even spending a half an hour looking for light switches in Managua, Nicaragua in a house I’d never been to before, this would have been extremely handy to have – and at my first chance I picked one up!
First Aid Kit – Pretty self explanatory. You never know what can happen on the road. This has the basics: a cold compress, gauze, tape, etc. Better to be safe than sorry in a pinch, and maybe I’ll end up helping a fellow traveler in an emergency.
TSA-Approved Lock – I never lock my backpack when traveling, though this lock allows me to do so. Instead, this lock has a nice curved lock and uses a combination to open (not needing keys is a big plus). I could have used this on lockers in Tayrona National Park and in the hostel I stayed at in David, Panama.
Health Insurance – I didn’t just get this insurance. I had it from the beginning of my trip, but I forgot to include it here. It’s not something physical I am taking, but it’s obviously a very important thing to have.
Business Cards – Lastly, I ordered business cards I can share with people on the road and a t-shirt I can wear while traveling from Vistaprint.com. I know, very corporate tool of me, but old habits die hard sometimes!