First of all, “Why did you take a suitcase over a backpack?”
Well, I didn’t feel like digging into my bag every day for eleven months to find my stuff. It’s OK for a couple of weeks, but not more. In addition, I’m not planning to trek with all my stuff, so wheels are more than welcome in the cities where planes and trains stop. I don’t feel anymore the need to look like a backpacker.
How many kilos ?
Twenty. usually, I travel with 15/16 kg when I’m away for one month. What makes it different here? Well, I will face different climates and my pharmacy pack is really huge.
What kind of shoes ?
One pair of flip-flops for bathrooms and beaches, one pair of light sneakers for warm countries and evenings, one pair of trail shoes to walk all day long on different surfaces. After three months of trip I confirm it was a good choice.
Well, everyone does what they want but in my case I prefer to be sure that I’ll be self-sufficient for a couple of weeks. And, ladies, do not forget sports bras. They can be useful for 4×4 rides and other shaking transportation means.
Any performance apparel?
1 fleece (polaire) because it’s warmer and easier to clean than any wool.
1 strong and light windbreaker (coupe-vent) and raining trousers.
2 short leaves breathable tee-shirts for very hot situations (climbing a mountain in the summer, motorbiking with a jacket under the sun).
2 long leaves breathable tee-shirts for very cold situations. I’ve already used them in Russia, and do not regret I had two. I also had leggings, perfect. Uniqlo has cheap and efficient apparel of that kind.
Nope, only electronic books. But hard copies of my travel books, yes, it is still easier to manipulate. You can buy Lonely Planet books everywhere.
Do you really need a phone?
I would say yes. Now that Wifi is everywhere, you can surf online for free, send Whatsapp messages to your folks, use the GPS in critical situations, and read books when your screen is big enough. I’ve sold my old IPhone and bought a Samsung Galaxy III. Cheaper, and perfect. The screen in good enough to read a book.
A tablet or a laptop?
Depends on what you are planning to do.
In my case, I wanted to: do internet searches, type texts, crop pictures, edit short videos, skype with my folks, watch movies. I finally thought a tablet wouldn’t be enough. Besides, when you add a keyboard to a tablet it weights only a few grams less than a small laptop. I finally bought a second-hand MacBook Air 11”, that far very efficient. And an external hard drive where I’ve put dozens of films and series and where I will save all my pictures.
Good to rely on different Operating Systems (in my case Android and MacOS) because sometimes, Wifi will work with one and not the other. Do not forget cables and adaptors of course.
The rest is here :
What did you put in your pharmacy case ?
Well, according to my friend GIl, who travelled a lot with me over the last ten years, my pharmacy boxes always look like field hospitals!
Again, this is very personal and depends on your general condition as well. I was leaving France exhausted by an heavy schedule and stress, I was gonna cross countries with very various climates, I would sleep in trains and dorms, I would ride a motorbike for several weeks…
Did you pack any food ?
Nope. Globalization. You can find everything everywhere.
I remember Kit Kat vending machines in the middle of rice fields in South India.
Though, my colleague Valérie nicely prepared some dehydrated soups for me, in case Russian people wouldn’t feed me – THank you Val !
Do not hesitate to send me your questions, I will post the answers here !