ROAD TRIP FROM TEXAS TO FLORIDA

We had quite the adventure from Austin Texas, New Orleans, to Orlando and Miami. Here is a summary video of our road trip and experiences.

We had quite the adventure from Austin Texas, New Orleans, to Orlando and Miami. Here is a summary video of our road trip and experiences.

ABOUT US

– Written by Chris Sinclair

Our planet is an incredible place, and there is so much to learn from it; whether it be culture, experiences or people. Our world tells one never-ending story, and within it, we are a flicker. It seems crazy not to learn and experience as much about it as we can, and we want to share our incredible stories with you.

OUR LIFE IN A NUTSHELL

We have been together for over 11 years. Australia is our home, but the world has become our backyard.

Ever since Gabby was a little girl, her family have travelled the world. From Africa, America, Europe and Asia, no matter how many times she hopped on a plane, there was always a new adventure waiting for her. Carrying on into her adult life, she is now able to share her experience and adventures with me.

I grew up in a military family, which meant staying in one location was never an option, living all over Australia and the UK. Now in my thirties and with Gabby, I share this thirst for adventure and creating new stories.

Professionals in both of our fields, Accounting and Digital Marketing, we have worked extremely hard to start seeing the world together.

PASSION FOR TRAVELLING:

Our love for the world meant that getting married in our home country just wasn’t enough. As such, we upped and brought our friends and family across the globe to Amalfi, Italy in 2016. It was a day that neither of us will ever forget.

However, our adventures would not end there. From Italy to France, Japan to Malaysia and Sri Lanka, we have continued our journey to explore more of the world and create new experiences and stories. Right now, we are embarking on a round the world trip covering 4 continents!

We have learnt and continue to learn so much during our journeys and realise we have much to share with everyone else.

OUR BLOG:

Together we wish to inspire you to seek out new adventures and like us, create your own stories.

At the same time, we want to share tips, tricks and insights we have learnt along the way to make your travels easier and help you not make the same mistakes we have!

We hope you enjoy our stories and can take away something useful when you plan your next holiday adventure.

CONTACT US:

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions:
Instagram: @chrabbytravels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrabbyTravels
Email: chrabbytravels@gmail.com

HOW I TAKE SHOTS OF THE NIGHT SKY

As a night owl, I enjoy staying up late and practicing taking shots of the night sky. With limited tech, here are some of the tricks I use to get that perfect shot.

Picture of the Milkyway, in the night sky above the Train Cemetery, Sucre, Bolivia
The Milky Way over the Train Cemetary, Sucre, Bolivia

I’ve said this before, I’m not a photographer by any means, but I do love practicing and learning to take beautiful shots, and having even more fun editing them later. I have a lot of photography friends, both in my agency back home and others who travel full time. This makes learning about photography fun and easy.

I posted a picture a month back, you can see in the header of this post, and it went nuts. Since then, I’ve had a lot of questions on how I got this shot, so I thought I’d share this with you.

MY EQUIPMENT

Firstly, I don’t have a lot of professional gear. I don’t have a cannon EOS MK V, or a case full of lenses. I’m traveling for a year with a backpack! The last thing I need is another several kilograms of tech equipment. I have something simple but still powerful.

  • Probably the best point and shoot on the market, the Sony RX100 VI. With a 24-200mm lens, 8x zoom, and 2.8 aperture, it’s perfect for my long period of travel.
  • 128GB micro sd card for the camera, plenty of room for the camera
  • Phone, Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Small trusty flex-tripod
  • External battery pack, in case the batteries start to die
  • Torch/headlamp, to see in the dark
  • And laptop Surface Pro 2017, for editing after/on the go

CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOCATION

This is everything for shots like this. Unless you have a professional camera, for night shots you need it to be as dark as possible. If you’re close to a city with bright lights, don’t bother trying with a simple camera. The city glow will drown out any possibility of capturing that perfect night sky.

Make sure you’re taking photos at least 2 or 3 hours after sunset.

Similarly, it’s better if it’s moon free, as moonlight will have a significant negative impact.

SETTING UP THE CAMERA

You need to test what settings work best for your camera and the environment. So make sure you have plenty of time to play around before taking your final shots.

  1. Camera set to a wide shot and manual focus.
  2. Exposure set to 20 to 25 seconds. Any higher and you start getting a slightly blurry image as the stars move across the sky.
  3. Aperture set between 2.8 and 3.5.
  4. The camera is set to scenery mode.
  5. White balance set to 0, or auto if you like.
  6. ISO between 3500 and 6000. Depending on the camera, any higher than 6000 and you tend to get a grainy image.
  7. Make sure the digital screen is set to it’s lowest dim settings.
  8. Set your timer to 2 or more seconds, so that when you take the shot, you don’t bump the camera and blur the image.

Even better, if you can have a trigger to take the shot separate from the camera, this will prevent any concern of camera bumpage. I used the Sony Imaging Edge+ app. that works with my Sony RX100 Camera.

Set your camera into position, pointing at the sky (obviously).

Now is the hard part. As it’s night, your camera will possibly struggle to autofocus on the sky. Which is why you need manual focus. You need to try and find a star, and make sure that star looks as crisp as possible by adjusting the focus.

TAKING THE SHOT

With everything set up, now you can take the phot.
As mentioned above, this is a trial and error experience. Depending on where you are, you may need to adjust a lot of these settings. Give it a shot, try for a couple of hours, it’s great fun, and the end results are worth it.

EDITING AFTER

Once you’ve taken the shots, you may want to edit them slightly. I use Adobe Lightroom CC for this.

TRAVELLING WITH A JUMBLED MIND

My mind works a little differently to most. I want to open up about my challenges while travelling.

It’s been the cause of many shrugs, eye roles and cold shoulders over the last few months since commencing our year abroad. But recently it caused an argument, which was both a build-up of exasperated events. It’s been tough, and I’ve ignored it for so long, but last night I had to come to terms with it.

Firstly, my mind doesn’t work like most people I know:

  • I am often slower to complete tasks than most. While taking my time to make sure I am thorough or that I’m doing it right, else I will most definitely make a mistake, such as forgetting to bring something or lose it altogether.
  • I regularly mix up my words; most recently, this could be reciting places I’ve visited. For example, confusing Belize and Bolivia, which doesn’t sound all the unusual, but when it happens continuously…
  • I will confuse stories, reciting them in the wrong order or out of place. My memory in the long term is usually okay, but I will more often than not, mix up events.
  • My spelling is atrocious, and I often find pronouncing words a cause for embarrassment. This is emphasised even more when trying to learn a new language.
  • When I read, I’m slow, and if it’s a complicated or detailed piece, I will always reread it several times before it makes sense to me. You can imagine how long it can take to read long novels.
  • Worst of all is my concentration, and struggle to maintain focus for long conversation before I am distracted or my mind wonders. I don’t even realise I’m doing this half the time.

Consequently, high school and university were tough. So I chased other more creative avenues towards my career path; paths that suited how I worked. But even starting my career came with complications, that luckily I was able to overcome.

Staring out Inca Trail, Sucre, Bolivia
Inca Trail, Sucre, Bolivia

Over time I have been able to live without the need to openly admit my issues, implementing strict processes that manage how I operate. I use tools to accomplish tasks and assist in my writing. Morning and night, I will prepare what needs to be performed for days ahead. I would never go into a meeting unprepared with notes/insights, capable of predicting outcomes and actions. Design thinking methodologies help me a lot, mind mapping and step by step processes are used to help shape outcomes, inevitably using my creativity to overcome roadblocks.

I try not to stop. I exercise a lot, minimum five times a week, and most of the time a few extra hours in the office won’t bother me.

And with practice, it all becomes rhythmic, and the struggles shrink or disappear altogether.

But recently I’ve embarked on a journey around the world with the person I love more than anything in the world, and It has completely thrown my defences out the door. My procedures to help make sure I can operate like everyone else aren’t in place, or aren’t working for the new journey I’m on. Consequently, a change in scenery for an extended period has caused me to become ever more conscious of my struggles, bringing back my anxieties and doubt towards myself. Ironically, this then makes the situation worse.

When my wife and I first decided to go on this trip, I was excited, but if you asked anyone back home in Australia, it didn’t ever show. And that was because of my fears. I had been doing well at work, becoming successful in my career as a digital consultant. I am lucky to have found my niche, something I loved a lot and played well to my strengths and creativity. But I knew that if I went travelling, I would lose that comfort and it would be hard work to maintain my defences. Consequently, I would need to find new ways to manage my weaknesses. Even scarier, I had to deal with the possibility of losing/forgetting how I had already got to where I was previously.

At first, I buried and tried to ignore these fears. I thought, surely it’s just in my head, and everything will be fine. And you know what? For the most part, this was true. But last night made me realise it’s going to be tougher than I had thought, and perhaps my concerns weren’t for nothing.

For my wife, Gabby, I understand how difficult I can sometimes be. But we had our first heated argument during this holiday I now I feel I need to work harder (and she admits the same, but that’s for a different post).

Let’s jump into her shoes for a moment. Imagine you had at some point embarked on an incredible experience with the person you love, and you wanted to talk about that memory with said partner. But reciting the happy memory, you had to continuously correct or remind your partner what had happened – because what they had thought had happened was in a different order or was intertwined with other events incorrectly. For Gabby, I could imagine it would be like talking with a loved one who has early onsets of Alzheimer’s.

I don’t want her to feel like this, but nor do I want to feel anxiety or stress that I’m just short of getting something right. Particularly if that feeling is met with anger and frustration from my partner.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Now I’m not saying my life is terrible or hard, because that would be a lie. There are people with far worse conditions and struggles, and until now, I’ve been more than successful at managing how my brain works, as I had mentioned above. My life is excellent, privileged even. I have beautiful people in it who love and support me, no matter what. But between all the good, there are the flashes of bad, and sometimes this can make you feel like you’re one hundred steps behind where everyone else is. And that’s where this is coming from.

This trip is one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. It scares me each minute we do something new, but I know that each new step is guiding me to be a better person. And while my wife and I work to be a stronger couple, over the course of this trip, I’ll work to be someone she can rely on and share these significant moments with.

That’s what this blog is about for me. A memory. Order to the chaos. And hopefully something I can share with anyone else who reads it. It’s a message; to not be afraid to get out and see the world, no matter your fears and worries.

WHAT TYPE OF TRAVELLER ARE WE?

– By Gabby Lee-Sinclair –

We’ve often found the hardest part about researching itineraries and reading other people’s commentary on places they’ve visited and travel recommendations, is knowing what kind of traveller they are and if we have similar interests, expectations and budgets.

Below is to help give you a flavour of what type of traveller Chris and I are:

Chrabbytravels sitting above Machu Picchu, Peru
Sitting above Machu Picchu, Peru

LONG TERM VS. SHORT TERM TRAVELLER

Although we would love to spend months exploring a single country, the reality is, our bucket list is long and our time to see it all not endless.

We don’t try to do it all, but rather pick our ‘must see’ cities/sites within a country which usually means we’ll spend on average 2 – 3.5 weeks per country.

BACKPACKER OR LUXURY HOTELS?

We have a budget we need to stick to, but gone are our backpacking days!

We always have private rooms (sometimes with shared bathrooms), and our preference is for lower – midrange Airbnb’s or 3-star hotels when we travel. We do splurge on more luxurious accommodation in the form of more delightful Airbnb’s every so often 😊

AirBnb, Iguazu Falls, Brazil
One of our nicer AirBnb’s, Iguazu Falls, Brazil

COMFORT OR COST?

Like many others on a budget, we try to find the cheapest option and are happy to take public transport around.
We do however, weigh up our time against cost, and if it saves us a considerable amount of time or effort for not too much more money, we’ll pay the extra.

PAID OR FREE ACTIVITIES?

We love free activities as much as the next person (hello walking tours!), but alas we have found often things in life (and travel) are not always free.

We budget for activities in every country we visit, and while we don’t do activities just for the sake of it, we pick and choose those we are genuinely interested in. Often, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for us and what’s the point of travelling all that way to only see it from the outside?

Quarry Trail hike, Peru, Machu Picchu
Quarry Trail hike, Peru

OUTDOOR OR CITY FOLK?

We really enjoy the outdoors. I would not describe ourselves as die-hard campers, although the occasional trip is very enjoyable, we do love going on nice hikes, especially when on holidays – even more so if the views are worth it!

We are both young and relatively fit professionals so generally seek the more ‘active’ option in most scenarios.

Inca Trail, Sucre, Bolivia

EARLY RISERS?

We are night people!
This means we love a good sleep in, but at the same time we know the value of “the early bird catches the worm”, so when it is worth it, we’ll be there bright and early!

SXSW 2019 – EXPERIENCING THE FUTURE OF TECH

Some of our tech highlights from South By South West (SXSW) 2019

South by South West (SXSW), probably one of the worlds most significant industry events, stemming across marketing, media and advertising, music, wellness and what I’m yet to experience (but honestly most excited about) gaming. Sweeping the many different aspects of industry types, people from all over the world travel thousands of kilometres to attend. It brings with it a chip on the shoulder, an excitement of participating in something quite unique, something that I can only say is similar to the unique emotions people seem to share with me about events like Burning Man: “you have to really experience it to understand it.” Albeit an entirely different experience, I would think.

It is my first time attending SXSW, and it has so far had it’s up and its downs.

The ups come in the form of sitting and listening to some of the brightest and interesting people from around the world. From the inspirational to the innovative through to the future thinkers, I have yet to be in a room where have I felt I had to walk out before I fell asleep – despite the intense jetlag I was definitely feeling.

SXSW is not just about the speakers. It’s also about the unique experiences you get along the way. Snapchat set up a shack/bar, which provided free alcohol and food. Amazon created a garden to chill and listen to some mellow music while promoting its new shows. Netflix, a private bar, with live roleplaying game experience in a 1930’s setting.

Then there are the display rooms, showing off an array of the latest tech trends and start-up businesses traversing the globe.

Here are some of the things I encountered and/or items that stood out for me:

MAGIC LEAP

Magic leap is a similar premise to Microsoft’s HoloLens. A cheaper, and less advanced version, it’s one benefit being compact and lighter.

Putting on the goggles, you’re suddenly surrounded by bright lights as the device configures its surroundings. Within minutes, you’re looking at your usual surroundings with augmented grass and flowers set up all over space. Reaching out, you can make the flowers and grass move with your hand (no gloves needed), and little sparks fly off into the air as you touch them.

A kind of space alien creature, a floating jellyfish, moves about and you’re hinted by the device to follow it around. But nothing really happens…

I see the potential for this device, but the inspiration of the demo was a huge miss. The graphics were choppy, and the colours very bland. Perhaps it is yet to have any engaging content to test, but if Magic Leap is to compete with the likes of Microsoft’s HoloLens, it needs to step up its game.

ROBOTS AND AI

Who doesn’t love robots! From fun educational robots, teaching our children of the future how to learn and write code. Robots were showing off how they are going to improve our medical practices and robots that will be sent to space, through to robots just playing random music…because, why not?

We’ve all seen the future of robotics, and it was in plentiful amounts here at SXSW.

VR & AR EVERYWHERE

I’ll be sharing a separate post on this later, but wow. VR is at every corner of SXSW, and I loved it. Jump behind the wheel of a fast-moving vehicle, venture into outer space, see what it’s like to operate heavy machinery, or just watch some fresh videos. If you’re not on this bandwagon yet, please get on it!

I controlled a space ship landing! And I got to see the sun in all its fiery glory while traversing a collapsing space station – and wow did it feel, despite being virtual, amazing.

VR and AR and is the future, and the potential for this to change how we work, how we socialise and consume entertainment is only going to be held back by our imagination.

LIFELIKE SOUND

Sound is an integral part of my life. I enjoy listening to my music, and I enjoy experiencing movies with the best audio I can afford (which my wife would say is too much).

Nura is a headphone that adapts to your ear. Their design is somewhat confronting to some people, with a mixed over and in-ear cup. But once you start up the app, and the headphone customises itself to match your ear patterns, the audio it delivers into your ear, is next to nothing I have ever experience.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m about travel for 7months and have little to no space in my backpack….I would have bought them on the spot. I guess I’ll have to wait until I get back.

8K TECHNOLOGY

Beautiful, sweet, delicious 8K….Sony had a screen. A screen that would crush all other screens…. 440 inches of just pure high-resolution quality video.

In a private showroom, Sony was excited to demo its new 8K streaming capability that it had started to launch in Japan. It was crisp, clear, bright, and huge. I could only dream of pulling out my PC or many consoles and it up to that beautiful 440inch screen to play a bit of Apex, Skyrim or Super Smash Brother (regardless of the resolution limitations of the latter).

The future of high-resolution content is upon us. Although we’re still catching up even on the 4K front, 8K is closer than we think.

I’m reminded of the Futurama quote between Leela and Fry.
Leela: Fry, you’re wasting your life sitting in front of that TV. You need to get out and see the world.
Fry: But this is HDTV. It’s got better resolution than the real life!

WHY GETTING UP EARLY WHEN TRAVELLING IS THE BEST

Peru, Lake Titikaka

I do not like getting up early. I love sleeping in. I’m a night owl, stay up late, wake up later. My best work is usually done late in the evening. But even though I feel this way, I can not ignore how good it feels to get up early and to be the first to get to something special before anyone else.

Crowds are the least most exciting part of travelling. Waiting in lines to get on the plane, or to get on a ride at a theme park, it’s like that annoying nephew who picks up a box of lego, pores it all over the floor, and leaves it for you to have to pick it all up piece by piece.

I’ve mentioned this previously, I will be first to say I’m not a photographer in the truest sense of the word, but I love trying to chase the perfect shot. To create that lasting memory exactly the way it felt at the time and how my eyes percieved it to look.

Arriving late to a location, for me, has resulted in disapointment as crowds of people are marching all of the place. As such, it’s never going to be possible to get the shot I want. Instead, you’re stuck with pictures of people zooming around behind you trying to do the same thing as you.

 Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Was the first in line at opening time!

Morning also presents one of the best times of the day to take pictures. The sun isn’t too bright, and the nice shade creates images rich in colour. The same can be said for the evening sun, but again it presents the issue of crouds of people interrupting your shot.

So why do I enjoy getting up early when I’m travelling – becuase I can avoid lines and crowds, enjoy the activity with minimal to no people, and get that perfect shot I enjoy chasing.

Packing For A Lengthy Travel

– By Chris Sinclair –

It’s the big question we all ask ourselves when we decide to take a long holiday; what do I pack? How do I simplify the things I think I need each day of my life?

FIRSTLY, THE BAG

Well, here is a guide for things I packed for our one year of travel. Perhaps this can help you pack for your next holiday.

Probably one of the most important decisions to make when considering your travels. If the bag is too small, you’re not going to pack enough or have room for things you pick up along the way. If the bag is too big, you’re going to end up overpacking, with way too much “stuff.”

Strolling through national parks of Manual Antonio

Considerations we made:

  1. The bag needs to be easy to carry and versatile enough to be utilised in any situation.
  2. We wanted it to open from the front, unlike a rucksack at the top, so it’s easy to pack and unpack.
  3. Needs a detachable backpack, for that extra bit of storage and carry on.
  4. Durable, to last the whole trip.

Verdict: Osprey Farpoint 70L
(If you need the extra space, you can get away with an 80L instead, but we wouldn’t recommend going any larger)

The Osprey brand is excellent, and if you do a bit of research, it comes out as the top brand for travel bags. Reliable, comfortable and convenient, it has everything you need for your trip.

I then purchased some packing cubes from Amazon, which were perfect for organising my bag, and keeping everything firmly compact.

WHAT TO PACK FOR THE LONG HALL

Now for the tough part, limiting what to take on your trip. I spend weeks looking at what I want to bring. Laying it out, packing it, having a good think about ‘if I really need everything’, unpacking it, going away to think again and so on; until it’s just right.

Some considerations:

  1. Weather is the most significant consideration here. If your changing climates, you’ll need a mix of cold and hot gear. Cold gear especially, can fill up your bag quickly.
  2. Comfort. You don’t want clothes that are going to leave you feeling uncomfortable, especially on long walks, bus rides and plane trips.
  3. Environmental conditions, such as rain, mud, and even insects.
  4. Length of time wearing clothes, particularly if you’re hiking or camping. You’ll need clothes that don’t get dirty quickly.
  5. Lastly, hobbies and gadgets, such as photography, games, reading etc.

Let’s start with hobbies and gadgets.

Gizmo and gadgets that have come with me on my journey
  • My mobile phone.
    Nowadays, cameras on modern smart devices are even better than most point and shoots, so you may not even consider taking the below.
  • My cameras. I’ll be the first to say that I’m no photographer, now would I ever call my self one. But I do love taking great photo’s and sharing them with people, friends and family.
    I have with me the incredibly compact Sony RX100 vi. It’s a fantastic camera, that is the closest thing to a DSLR, without being one.
    Then there’s my Go Pro Hero 7 Black, perfect for the adventure aspects of my travels.
  • Small camera tripod.
  • Laptop/tablet. I would recommend one or the other. I have the Surface Pro, which gives me a two in one experience.
  • My Kindle! We all ready, and this is the best/easiest way to carry all my books.
  • In-ear headphones; small lightweight, noise cancelling and sound great. 1More Quad drivers.
  • External battery, 26,800mAh BatPower ProE, for charging everything I have on the go, including my Surface.
  • Charging cables for phones, laptops and cameras with a pouch to carry it in.
  • Universal adapter, with dual USB ports.

Clothes and toiletries

Getting down to it, most of this doesn’t need explaining:

Clothes, toiletries and packing cubes.
  • Toiletries bag includes:
    • Toothbrush & toothpast (with an additional travel size for the plane).
    • Hair product.
    • Facecream/sunscreen (a must)
    • Vitamin C/Zinc tablets
    • Deoderant
    • Shaver
    • Shampoo and facewash
    • Clothing detergent, for washing on the go (small powder cubes)
  • Medkit with:
    • Bandaids
    • Panadeine and ibuprofen
    • Tape
    • Bandages/strap
    • Charcoal tablets, just in case.
    • Mosquito repelant
  • Clothing:
    • 4 T-shirts
    • 2 long sleeve shirt
    • Thermals, marino wool leggings and shirt
    • 1 pair of jeans
    • 1 pair of hiking pants (which conver to shorts)
    • 2 pairs of shorts
    • 2 singlets
    • 1 nice shirt
    • 1 pair of swimmers
    • 10 days of underwear
    • 6 pairs of socks
    • Sneekers
    • Day shoes (very compact if needed to be)
    • Flip Flops (or thongs for fellow aussies)
    • Sunglasses
    • Wide brim hat
    • 1L bottle of water
    • Very compact down jacket
    • 1 hoodie
    • Rain jacket
    • Plastic compressable poncho

Some additional, but not necessary items:

  • Compressable duffle bag, for when bag space gets tougher.
  • D-Ring Carabinas, to hold the odd thing off your belt/bag.
  • Bag locks, to secure your bag during transit.
  • Torch/headlamp, for camping and hiking.
  • Nintendo Switch, which is probably my most shameful item. But what can I say, love gaming, and it’s perfect for the long bus and plane trips.

That about sums it up.

It seems like a lot, and every person is different with regards to their packing needs. It’s about taking your time, and asking yourself the hard question – do I really need this?

Check out what Gabby packed on our trip here.

PACKING FOR A LENGTHY TRAVEL (HIM)

– By Chris Sinclair –

It’s the big question we all ask ourselves when we decide to take a long holiday; what do I pack? How do I simplify the things I think I need each day of my life?

FIRSTLY, THE BAG

Well, here is a guide for things I packed for our one year of travel. Perhaps this can help you pack for your next holiday.

Probably one of the most important decisions to make when considering your travels. If the bag is too small, you’re not going to pack enough or have room for things you pick up along the way. If the bag is too big, you’re going to end up overpacking, with way too much “stuff.”

Strolling through national parks of Manual Antonio

Considerations we made:

  1. The bag needs to be easy to carry and versatile enough to be utilised in any situation.
  2. We wanted it to open from the front, unlike a rucksack at the top, so it’s easy to pack and unpack.
  3. Needs a detachable backpack, for that extra bit of storage and carry on.
  4. Durable, to last the whole trip.

Verdict: Osprey Farpoint 70L
(If you need the extra space, you can get away with an 80L instead, but we wouldn’t recommend going any larger)

The Osprey brand is excellent, and if you do a bit of research, it comes out as the top brand for travel bags. Reliable, comfortable and convenient, it has everything you need for your trip.

I then purchased some packing cubes from Amazon, which were perfect for organising my bag, and keeping everything firmly compact.

WHAT TO PACK FOR THE LONG HALL

Now for the tough part, limiting what to take on your trip. I spend weeks looking at what I want to bring. Laying it out, packing it, having a good think about ‘if I really need everything’, unpacking it, going away to think again and so on; until it’s just right.

Some considerations:

  1. Weather is the most significant consideration here. If your changing climates, you’ll need a mix of cold and hot gear. Cold gear especially, can fill up your bag quickly.
  2. Comfort. You don’t want clothes that are going to leave you feeling uncomfortable, especially on long walks, bus rides and plane trips.
  3. Environmental conditions, such as rain, mud, and even insects.
  4. Length of time wearing clothes, particularly if you’re hiking or camping. You’ll need clothes that don’t get dirty quickly.
  5. Lastly, hobbies and gadgets, such as photography, games, reading etc.

Let’s start with hobbies and gadgets.

Gizmo and gadgets that have come with me on my journey
  • My mobile phone.
    Nowadays, cameras on modern smart devices are even better than most point and shoots, so you may not even consider taking the below.
  • My cameras. I’ll be the first to say that I’m no photographer, now would I ever call my self one. But I do love taking great photo’s and sharing them with people, friends and family.
    I have with me the incredibly compact Sony RX100 vi. It’s a fantastic camera, that is the closest thing to a DSLR, without being one.
    Then there’s my Go Pro Hero 7 Black, perfect for the adventure aspects of my travels.
  • Small camera tripod.
  • Laptop/tablet. I would recommend one or the other. I have the Surface Pro, which gives me a two in one experience.
  • My Kindle! We all ready, and this is the best/easiest way to carry all my books.
  • In-ear headphones; small lightweight, noise cancelling and sound great. 1More Quad drivers.
  • External battery, 26,800mAh BatPower ProE, for charging everything I have on the go, including my Surface.
  • Charging cables for phones, laptops and cameras with a pouch to carry it in.
  • Universal adapter, with dual USB ports.

Clothes and toiletries

Getting down to it, most of this doesn’t need explaining:

Clothes, toiletries and packing cubes.
  • Toiletries bag includes:
    • Toothbrush & toothpast (with an additional travel size for the plane).
    • Hair product.
    • Facecream/sunscreen (a must)
    • Vitamin C/Zinc tablets
    • Deoderant
    • Shaver
    • Shampoo and facewash
    • Clothing detergent, for washing on the go (small powder cubes)
  • Medkit with:
    • Bandaids
    • Panadeine and ibuprofen
    • Tape
    • Bandages/strap
    • Charcoal tablets, just in case.
    • Mosquito repelant
  • Clothing:
    • 4 T-shirts
    • 2 long sleeve shirt
    • Thermals, marino wool leggings and shirt
    • 1 pair of jeans
    • 1 pair of hiking pants (which conver to shorts)
    • 2 pairs of shorts
    • 2 singlets
    • 1 nice shirt
    • 1 pair of swimmers
    • 10 days of underwear
    • 6 pairs of socks
    • Sneekers
    • Day shoes (very compact if needed to be)
    • Flip Flops (or thongs for fellow aussies)
    • Sunglasses
    • Wide brim hat
    • 1L bottle of water
    • Very compact down jacket
    • 1 hoodie
    • Rain jacket
    • Plastic compressable poncho

Some additional, but not necessary items:

  • Compressable duffle bag, for when bag space gets tougher.
  • D-Ring Carabinas, to hold the odd thing off your belt/bag.
  • Bag locks, to secure your bag during transit.
  • Torch/headlamp, for camping and hiking.
  • Nintendo Switch, which is probably my most shameful item. But what can I say, love gaming, and it’s perfect for the long bus and plane trips.

That about sums it up.

It seems like a lot, and every person is different with regards to their packing needs. It’s about taking your time, and asking yourself the hard question – do I really need this?

Check out what Gabby packed on our trip here.