Sunday, April 1, 2012

Curating My Travel Wardrobe

According to the dictionary, curate means "select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition)", usually referring to a job responsibility of a curator in a museum or gallery.  My belongings don't come close to being artwork, but I believe I have taken the same meticulous process in selecting my travel wardrobe.

We are limiting ourselves to a small-frame, lightweight, backpack for the next 8 months.  This has generated more conversations of disbelief than I expected.  It also happens to be the number one reason most people say they can't take a trip like this; due to their inability to part with their large suitcases full of clothes, shoes, makeup, hair products, etc. Therefore, I thought that showing my "curated" travel wardrobe would be of interest to many.

CLOTHING.  I think I still have too many clothes.  Look for a future post on what I end up getting rid of, as soon as we hit the road!   The problem is, we will be in different climates.  South America will be headed into winter, while we need summer wear in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.  I know I can buy things along the way so it shouldn't be such an ordeal.  Figuring out the shoes has been the most difficult decision making process.  It may change over the next few weeks from the selection listed below.
  • Eddie Bauer First Ascent, Downlight Sweater jacket that folds into its own pocket
  • ExOfficio rain coat that folds up into 'nothing'
  • Eddie Bauer travel vest
  • Lucy Everyday pants
  • Lucy Trail pants
  • REI travel skirt
  • Cabela's travel shorts
  • Black sleeve-less dress
  • Button-down, long-sleeve (convertible into short-sleeve), collared travel shirt
  • Lucy long-sleeve T-shirts x2
  • Lucy short-sleeve T-shirts x2
  • ExOfficio tanktop/cami
  • Long johns
  • Swimsuit
  • Silk scarf
  • Eagle Creek Pack-It Slim Kit toiletry case
  • Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Folder 18 travel organizer
  • GoLite Jam backpack
  • Merrell's Mimosa Lace walking shoes.  I needed shoes that are comfortable for long-distance walking over variable terrain, city walking, and also flattering enough to be worn with pants, shorts, dress, skirt, etc.  That's a tall order.  I think I found those specs in these shoes.  I considered taking my Dansko shoes, but they are so heavy and not useful for hiking around...
  • Teva flip flops for beach and warm weather.
  • ExOfficio underwear.  Their motto: "17 countries, 6 weeks, 1 pair of underwear."  Okay, I'm taking more than 1 pair, don't worry.  But these are made for long-distance traveling...supposedly.  :)

MEDICATIONS: I wrote an extensive blog back in November about the "9 Steps to Knowing the Required and Recommended Travel Immunizations and Pills".  Here is the end result.  We are taking quite a pharmacy with us, but we want to feel prepared.  
  • Acetazolamide (Diamox) pills for altitude sickness
  • Malarone pills for malaria prevention
  • Cipro for traveler's diarrhea, except in Thailand
  • Azithromycin for traveler's diarrhea in Thailand
  • Epinephrine pen (I am allergic to shellfish)
  • 98% DEET mosquito repellant (the 98% may be rather excessive, but mosquitos love me and I get huge afterbite welts)
  • Treximet for my migraines
  • Prescription strength anti-inflammatory cream
  • Campsuds for doing laundry in the room.  Can also be used as shampoo and body wash in a pinch.
  • Therapik, a very interesting "pen" that relieves itch and pain from mosquito bites.  I haven't been able to test it out since we haven't had any mosquitos...'til last night while we were sitting outside on the patio.  I'll write a short review on its effectiveness, or lack thereof.  Jury is still out.
  • Sea to Summit waterproof drysack

ACCESSORIES: Not the kind of accessories you're thinking of, such as jewelry.  :)
So, those are my stuff.  All this is organized into the following:

  • All the clothes go into the Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder system.
  • All the medications and miscellaneous extras go into the drysack
  • Undergear stays in a mesh bag
  • Toiletries go into the Eagle Creek Pack-It Slim Kit
  • The black/red pack is my Eddie Bauer jacket
  • The black thing is my rain coat
Carrying one backpack is very liberating.  You don't have to check-in luggage at the airport and risk losing your luggage.  There isn't the annoying rattle of rolling a suitcase down cobblestone streets.  You can move around better with just one pack on your back.  It's also a safety issue for us.  We do not intend on parting with our backpacks on long bus and train rides.  We have heard too many stories of theft occurring while  luggage is unsupervised.

Here it is!  Everything I will own into one backpack.  How much does all this weigh?  13.5 pounds.  They say, one should be able to walk around comfortably for 2 hours with their backpack on, and that, I can do with this.  Happy Travels.  -Akiko