In my mind I am a cool digital nomad, travelling for a living, whenever and wherever I please – with my little carry-on sized backpack.
Reality differs quite a bit from this mental image of mine:
I’m what a friend lovingly calls a “corporate slave”, working a 40-hour job at a consultancy firm.
For now (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).
Still, I travel as often and for as long as my budget and boss will allow – from day trips to Bratislava to weekend-long stints in Europe and more extended holidays beyond. Luckily, Mr A also likes to travel even if our style and sense of adventure somewhat differ (while I’m still much of a backpacker, he never was).
When it comes to packing I am not nearly where I would like to be.
I don’t and possibly won’t ever fit everything I think I’ll need into a carry-on sized backpack. However, I’ve come a long way since my RTW-trip in 2006/2007 when my backpack weighed up to 26 kg at times and I also carried a daypack.
For last year’s 5-weeks-trip around New Zealand I managed to reduce my packing weight to 15 kg even though I generously packed for a winter destination. I was very pleased with myself.
For holidays over 2 weeks I liked to pack 7 days’ worth of clothing (plus what I’m wearing) while for anything shorter I’d bring as many outfit as there were days.
After Portugal, I’ve reduced the timespan to “longer than one week”. I travelled with a full-sized suitcase and clothes for 2 weeks and was very unhappy with the bulk and weight.
To me, at least one small “luxury item”, i.e. something I don’t strictly need but something that will make me very happy, has always made its way not necessarily on my packing list but definitely into my pack: Be that my favourite hand cream, nail polish or something sweet from home (Manner Schnitten come to mind). Sometimes the feeling of treating yourself to something special is irreplaceable.