Packing List for Indefinite Leave

I will be gone a long time, probably a minimum of two years, and a maximum of forever. What does one bring on a trip which potentially lasts a lifetime?

He's got everything he needsI like monks. I have heard and read stories about traveling monks who go around with little more than what they are wearing and a small kit of personal care items: things like a razor and toothbrush. Anything else they may need can be bought, bartered for, or is provided by monasteries or friends they will visit. This is admirable! How simple your travels would be! It is true that the majority of things people pack can be seen as luxuries, conveniences, or time-savers. Travel shops are full of travel-sized crap to make travel a lot like living at home. Fun-size hair dryer? A monk just shaves his head and is done with it. Someday I hope to reach monk-like packing thrift, but that day is not today. My goal is for my full pack to weigh less than 25 pounds. Continue reading

Migrant Medicine: Vaccines and Pills

Drugs, Chemicals, Bandages

Part of going to faraway, perhaps less civilized lands, is the need to prevent contracting a whole bunch of diseases. Where water is cloudy, where insects bite, where food is prepared with the same hands that wipe butts are places where harsh bacteria, viruses and other parasites concentrate and try to kill us all. Fortunately, this age where equally harsh drugs and a bit of mental preparation can be employed to see a traveler thrive in a less-than-health-conscious place. Continue reading

Balm for the Spartan World Traveler

Bathing in a river. Seoul, Korea

In observing my fellow travelers, I have found that people bring any number of different soaps, cosmetics, lotions, de-funk sprays, and makeups. Some bring toiletry kits bigger than their heads packed with a nauseating combination of scented body goos. Others are satisfied with nothing more than a sliver of soap in a bag.

Personally I am among the latter group of light-and-fast travelers, employing a minimum of personal care products. Even with very few bits and pieces rattling around in my toilet bag, I believe that hygiene is important when traveling, for impression making and simply for health. My kit usually consists of  the following essentials: Continue reading