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Official Packing List!

After months of careful consideration, I formulated my packing list. Deciding what to take on a month-long trip through 2 different climates was no easy task. At the moment, it’s the monsoon season in Asia, which means that I’ll be roasting in temperatures of up to 33 degrees celsius. Fast forward a little over 2 weeks into my trip, then it’s fall in Europe, with temperatures dropping to 10 degrees celsius in Venice, and even lower in Switzerland.

I wanted a nice combination of casual clothing, but also a dash of fashion for my nights out. After all, I’m on vacation! There was also the Mediterranean cruise to consider, and of course I wouldn’t want to look too out of place onboard. There are formal nights to consider too! That may sound all fine and dandy.. but then there’s a constant reminder that I’m packing really light, so I need to keep my backpack under 15 pounds. Sigh.

So with no more delay…. (drum roll please¬†ūüėÄ ) Here’s my list:

Clothing

2 tank tops, 2 dressy tops, 1 long-sleeved top, 2 tees ( only 1 pictured above)

1 pair of Bermuda shorts, 1 pair of leggings, 1 pair of jeans, 1 mini skirt

1 black tube dress, 1 hot pink dress

1 jacket, 1 hat, 1 purse

1 bikini set

Not pictured: 6 underwear, 3 bras, 2 pairs of socks

Footwear

1 pair of flip-flops, 1 pair of heels, 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of Birkenstocks sandals (here)

Cosmetics

1 solid deodorant, 1 mini lotion, toothpaste & toothbrush, 1 chapstick, contact lens & case, eye drops, 1 small grease

Not pictured (2 of my favorite eye shadows, 1 tube of lip gloss, bar of soap with soap dish, 1 hair brush)

Electronics

My latest toy, Sony Cybershot H55

2 cameras, 1 kindle, 1 blackberry curve, 1 iPod classic (160gb for storage) and chargers

Miscellaneous

1 small umbrella, 1 underwater camera case, 1 kindle light, ear buds, 3 Master locks

Extras

A few other things are on the list, which aren’t pictured above. They include:

1 sleep cap, 1 shower cap, Charmin toilet seat covers (purse pack), band aids, pain killers, 1 wash cloth, 1 sarong, 1 pen, 1 notepad, cash, credit and debit cards.

Documents

1 passport, insurance documents, 1 doctor’s letter with prescriptions, printed flight and hotel reservations, 4 passport photos.

All packed! 1 day and 10 hours left to go! 

My backpack has wheels, so I can roll it along in airports etc, and the small shoulder purse has my documents, kindle and phone.

Capture the Moment

For the past week or so, I have been focusing on a very important aspect of any RTW trip. Photography. It is one thing to travel around the world, see amazing sites and landscapes, sample a wide array of cuisine and have many great experiences, but what about the memories which we have on film or our SD cards?

This factor is surprisingly not often considered, and it’s rather sad. Many travelers simply pack the smallest digital camera that they can find and simply take random shots of anything that they find interesting. Little or no thought is given to technique, such as using specific angles or focus. I am by no means, anything close to being a professional photographer with the very best gear. I have simply developed an appreciation for bloggers who try to be creative with their photos. It’s not hard to tell the difference between a person who is interested in making wonderful memoirs, and a person who just points and shoots.

It is my goal to have great photos after my trip has ended. They will be my most precious souvenirs which also has a $0 price tag. However, a large amount of research and practice is necessary for this to happen. I have been reading many articles online for the average photographer newbie, and I’ve begun to take photos of any and everything on my island. I’ve invested in a compact camera since I’m traveling light, but my new Sony has 12x optical zoom, and that’s good enough for me! I can honestly say that after countless attempts, my photos have improved in quality, and I am so proud!

Another factor which motivates me to upgrade my photography skills is my website. I want to give nothing but my absolute best to my readers. I know that I appreciate the efforts made by other bloggers, whose articles make me feel as if I am actually traveling along with them. Living vicariously through the awesome travels of others is quite the universal hobby for travelers either temporarily at home, or those who are currently working… (to save money to travel even more!)

Therefore I consider it only fair that I try to do the same for others! 23 days and counting… trip here I come!

Lights…Camera…Kindle? Check!

When it comes to packing electronics for travel, there are several basic necessities. The universal ‘musts’ that we’d be crazy to leave at home. The camera, I believe, would top most other devices on a packing list. Come on now, you’ve travelled how many miles to get there, and you’re leaving with no proof???

However, I would like to introduce my new best friend: The Kindle.

I bought my kindle during my last trip to New York in early February 2011, and I’m now totally addicted. Honestly, the only other two devices that have my utmost devotion, are my blackberry mobile and my Macbook Pro. Now, I know I said that I planned to pack extremely light on this trip, but what am I to do during long haul flights?? I have not one, not two, but THREE long haul flights within my 4 week trip, and I will be traveling solo for two of them. This is where my kindle will save the day.

Pros

* Size and Weight – Regardless of how light you need to pack, the kindle weighs less than most books at only 8.5 ounces.

* Battery life – With wifi turned off, the kindle will keep going and going and going, up to 2 months! Great for travelers, since we won’t always have access to charging facilities.

* Digital Companion – Will keep me company on seemingly endless flights and bus rides, and will possibly make me look like less of a loner while sitting at a cafe or in a park all by myself. Yes, I’m pretty sure this is one of the downsides of solo travel!

Cons

* If you allow yourself, you could get pretty much wrapped up in the kindle, thus missing out on all of the fascinating things which your new destination has to offer. (Wouldn’t want to risk reading while walking…then tripping and falling over!) Try to limit usage to travels in transit, or just before bed time.

* The books for kindle are available for purchase once you are connected to wifi. This will demand self control, as your budget could take a small hit if you’re not careful. Luckily, most kindle books cost less than regular paperbacks.

Conclusion

My kindle already has its own special place in my backpack, and it’s most definitely coming along! I highly recommend it.