Traveling forces us to really understand what we can and cannot live without. It helps to pare down all of our possessions and carry only what we need upon our backs. When out and about traveling these are the things that I have found to be the most valuable.
As a woman, don’t leave you house without one of these. One of the most versatile objects you can carry with you. You can use it as a blanket, a pillow, sit on it, use it to carry many objects, to cover your head and shoulders in case of cultural traditions, or sheld you from the rain or sun. Try to pick a color that will go with all of the clothes that you packed.
There are so many benefits to writing everyday. Not only does it help you to decode the world around you and your reaction to it, but later it will be an invaluable resource to recalling certain stories and can help you or others plan a rerun trip. While I am a fan of large heavy bound journals at home – they are not practical for traveling – either find something light and small, or do some research into the Evernote application which allows you to write from any device anywhere whether or not you have internet capabilities.
I am not enough of a word smith to capture the true essence of my surroundings – sometimes while traveling it really takes a photograph to express that moment. Today cameras are everywhere. You do not need to carry around some heavy DSLR to take a good photograph – many phones these days take perfectly fine photos – as long as you know how to use them. Carrying some form of camera with you will really help you document your trip – I highly reccomend it.
In traveling, so much of your time will be spend surrendering to long waiting in cues or on transportation. I always keep a book with me to carry me through these times of waiting. Keep an eye out – many times at popular hostels there are book exchanges that will keep your reading list interesting and diverse.
Finding power can be more of a challenge in some destinations than others – but before you leave for your trip, make sure that you have done the proper research to make sure you have to correct adapters, cables, and converters so that you can keep all of your electronics powered properly on your trip. It can be a real struggle to find these things once you leave.
Good small backpack
A huge and heavy backpack can be really cumbersome while on a long trip. Make sure that you also have a small daypack for those short adventures into the city. I reccomend looking for a backpack that also has straps that clip in on the side – you can use these straps to clip together your zippers – creating one more step a pickpocket would have to go through to robbing you of your things. It won’t protect you fully – but maybe just make it that much harder that you can realize what is happening before it is too late.
Especially useful in all travel. Can be used for anything you could think of. Some places, like Uganda, in fact it would be unthinkable to leave home without one.
While in bustling city places – it is never wise to bring out your entire wallet for people (theives) to see. Always have a little bit of small notes that can be easily reached for some things like taxis or a snack – that way you do not need to open your bag and dig for your wallet. Women, try the Ugandan style and just keep some small notes in your bra – easy to access but very hard to steal.
I am a huge promoter of learning as much of the local language as possible. Not only do I believe it is a great exercise to keep your brain smart, but it really does transform your interactions with the people around you. If you can get your hands on a small dictionary that translates from your language to the local one – grab it. It will be an invaluable resource. In case it does not exist (like for so many of the languages in Uganda) try creating your own mini phrase book. It will help you a lot.
Pictures of your loved ones
People love to share their stories and culture with travelers. It is also very interesting for them to be able to learn about where you come from and the people you hold close. By printing and bringing a few photographs tucked into your wallet or book – you can really show them and it is a great conversation starter.