What did Jackie pack for a year long trip??

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So.  This was hard.  Really hard.  It’s still hard because just as much as I want some other items that I left at home, (i.e. perfume, Sperry shoes, long cotton blue and white dress, my straw beach hat,) I just as badly wish I had less to carry in my 80L backpack. It’s heavy! Just as the hotel front desk worker in India put it, “HOW do you CARRY that?!”  I ask myself that everyday! haha   Strong like bull.

So what made the cut:

  • 3 pairs of shoes – 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of flip flops, 1 pair of cute sandals –flats of course – I call them my Jesus Sandals, some of you may remember these 😉
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 light jacket with removable hood (this has been clutch since we don’t have an umbrella)
  • 1 long sleeved cotton t-shirt
  • 1 pair of (skinny and stretchy) jeans and 1 pair of long, white cotton pants
  • 2 pairs of Lululemon workout pants –1 capri type and 1 full length type
  • 2 pairs of shorts–1 pair of Nike workout shorts and 1 pair of khaki type shorts
  • 1 pair of light cotton pajama pants
  • 2 pairs of bedtime/lounge around shorts
  • 1 pair of khaki type capri pants (I wear these the most! wish I had another one!)
  • 2 skirts — both cotton, 1 full length and 1 above the knee
  • 1 beach cover up type dress
  • 3 (cute) short sleeve t-shirts –not the kind that are big, baggy and only worn to sleep in
  • about 7 or so tank tops, mostly wife-beater type
  • 4 sports bras and 2 regular
  • about 20 or so pairs of underwear (mine don’t take up much space so why skimp on that?)
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 baseball hat (SF Giants)
  • jewelry — 1 watch, 1 pair of earrings, 2 necklaces, 4 bracelets, and my FitBit (leaving out most of my jewelry was hard for me, but has given me an excuse to buy some along the way–hey, its a souvenir AND its something I can wear now!)
  • 1 paperwhite Kindle (thanks Odios!)
  • 1 iPod Nano and headphones, my iPhone, and 1 underwater, point-and-shoot camera (thanks dad!)
  • 1 (infinity) scarf — doubles as a headscarf while visiting Mosques
  • 1 makeup bag, 1 toiletries bag, and 1 medicine bag (I’m a nurse!)

What I’ve acquired along the way:

  • 1 long sleeved flannel shirt
  • 1 t-shirt from Istanbul that says “Hello Dear Ist” (Get it?! I love this! Sean said, “THAT’S  what you bought?!” after I shopped in one store for about 1.5 hours, haha)
  • 1 t-shirt that Turkish airlines gave me when they lost our bags (thanks guys!)
  • 1 travel journal from New Zealand that says, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” on the front  (Sean says, “Why don’t you just type it?!”)
  • Christmas ornaments (or trinkets that we can transform into a Christmas ornament) from each country we visit, including from Saudi Arabia even though we never left the airport — but it’s my favorite one!
  • 1 (engagement!) ring
  • 1 makeshift burqa from India to wear while in Saudi airport for 4 hours

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What I’ve ditched along the way:

  • The makeshift burqa, cus let’s face it, it was cheap, ugly, and I was never gonna wear it again
  • My Garmin, since it’s only capable of uploading U.S. maps on it (duh.  Should have checked this before leaving the states. Wah-waaahhh).

I’ve done really well with the clothes that I have, and wish I had more if we go to a nice place, (like 1 time clubbing in Turkey, or a nice restaurant).  In those instances I find myself wearing my “Donkey clothes” as I put it, but in reality, if I brought dressier stuff, I wouldn’t really wear them that much.  Besides, I hate wearing heels anyway! 😛

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My favorite store to stock up from before extended travel

The #1 Store

REI-Logo-400x300I have to make a special shout out to REI. With so many brick and mortar stores losing out to the web store-front, REI clearly demonstrates its value to exist. I was hesitant to even walk in the door at first, it seems more expensive and therefore more pretentious, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone we talked to at the store was a true-to-form avid outdoor type who loved helping people explore. As for price, you actually don’t end up spending more than most other places. As a member you get 10% cash back per year on your purchases AND you can return anything, anytime, in any condition, for up to a year for a full refund. Beyond the policy, the staff was incredible. I bought my first bag in SF and returned in in VA. The staff was always super helpful and informative in both stores! To retain a great customer service attitude 3K miles apart is nothing short than amazing. So, in short, I am a fan. If you haven’t yet, you should try them out.

#2 goes without saying. Of course, it goes without saying, there are something that you just can’t beat Amazon on. For any smaller items that don’t require a feel or explanation we got it delivered.