What I’m Packing For Four Months of Travel

YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW what you’re going to need for four months of nomadicness. I still don’t. But I found it helpful, when prepping for this trip, to search for what others brought, so I figured I’d add to the continent of information out there and toss up my own belongings.

  1. Three quick-dry t-shirts
  2. One button-down collar shirt
  3. One underarmour shirt
  4. One half-t-shirt, half-long-sleeve roll-up thingy
  5. One pair shorts
  6. One pair cropped pants (strikingly Korean)
  7. Swim trunks
  8. Four pairs undies
  9. Four pairs ankle socks
  10. One pair old but mighty running shoes
  11. Flip-flops
  12. One breathable jacket
  13. One fold-up smaller backpack

And a slew of electronic thingies, like:

  1. SLR with 18-200 and prime lens
  2. iPad and comically tiny keyboard
  3. Cracked-screen iPhone my friend gave me almost for free
  4. Small tripod

Two things stand out to me when I look at all this laid out: first, that my photo resembles an H&M ad, and second, that I have probably too many shirts. To address these: H&M makes shockingly efficient and effectively stylish quick-dry t-shirts, so I bought two. (The collared shirt has sleeves that roll and button up, so I thought it was a good call; whatever, fuck me, I like the brand.) As for the shirts issue, devoted readers will recall that I’ll be in Europe in November and Iceland in December, so layering pieces like underarmour seem like worthy sacrifices re: clutter in my bag now.

A lot of stuff doesn’t appear in that photo, either, like sunblock (don’t worry, Mom) or my bag lock (don’t worry, Dad), but the gist is there.

There’s a weird sort of pride that comes with seeing all your possessions lined upon a mattress for the first time. It’s like, “Hey, I can live off of this stuff. This is my stuff. Who needs anything else?” The sad irony being, of course, that I already sent back swaths of personal shit in about four large Korea Post boxes last week. Living light is easy when your heavy stuff if safe at home.

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