So, one of my posts has caused a bit of confusion.
When I first introduced my new Raja bag from Ethnotek (I like to think of it as my batik buddy), I got more than a few replies – online and in person – wondering if it really holds everything I have. For someone currently backpacking the world and carrying their entire life on their back, is that tiny thing really it?!
The answer, basically, is yes.
While I do carry a purse which contains my DSLR, my iPod, a book or two, my wallet and passports and other purse-y things, the Ethnotek bag manages to fit all my other possessions inside.
Now, I’ll show you how I go about with ultralight packing for my RTW trip.
The above picture shows everything in my Ethnotek bag.
Yes, that’s really it.
Two things were done for this packing style: one, is packing ultralight; and two, is laundry bags.
As for the first, I normally do very minimalist packing, because when it comes to clothes (which tend to take the bulk of your luggage) I usually pack just a few pieces of clothing which I like and are interchangeable in a number of outfits. This way, I have a few outfits and styles that don’t take a lot of different pieces of clothing. Dresses are nice but take too much room and can’t be combined with other pieces, so I stick mostly to skirts and tops. Boleros can also dress up almost any top you have, plus they’re a lifesaver if you want to wear a tank top but cover up at the same time (think hot and muggy small-town SE Asia, or Turkey in summer)
I also try and condense all electronic chargers if I can, and using those tiny travel size versions of cosmetics and toiletries are a given.
As for the second, laundry bags are an ultralight backpacking lifesaver. I have three: one for tops, one for bathing suits and accessories, and one for underwear and socks. Having everything organised into these bags means that anything I need is crazy easy to find, and packing and repacking my bag takes less than a minute.
I will never, ever travel without those bags again!
And this is how everything looks unfurled from the bags. See how much space they create?!
For those interested in the nitty gritty, here’s the breakdown of how I pack light:
– 3 long-sleeve shirts
– 1 blouse
– 2 short sleeve shirts
– 2 boleros
– 5 tank tops
– 2 skirts
– 2 dresses
– 1 pair skinny jeans
– 2 pairs shorts
– 1 pair yoga pants
– 3 bathing suits (a mild indulgence)
– 2 bras
– 5 pairs of underwear
– 1 travel towel
– 1 belt
– 1 pair tights
– 1 scarf
– 1 pair sandals
– 1 pair flats
– 1 pair fugly trainers (tied to the outside of the pack during travel days – I keep it classy)
– 1 pair boots (not pictured, worn during travel days)
– 1 jacket (not pictured, worn during travel days)
Toiletries & Accessories
– 1 toiletry bag
– 2 small bottles sunscreen
– 1 bottle aloe
– 1 makeup bag
– 1 jewelry bag
– 1 sleep mask (I’m a delicate lady)
– band aids
– 1 sewing kit
Electronics & Misc.
– 1 external hard drive
– 1 50mm lens
– 1 laptop with case
– 1 folder of important documents
– 1 copy of diploma (for on-the-road job searches)
– 1 Pacsafe portable safe (so handy for hostel life!)
And there you have it. It looks like so much more once written out, but that’s everything I have to my name. There are clothes for most occasions, an on-the-road office, and all my important files and documents. I have my whole life on my back, and yes, it all fits into that Ethnotek bag.
And as for how my new Ethnotek batik buddy has held up after a month on the road? Still going strong, even when stuffed to the gills. It’s been thrown on busses, in trains, and airport cargo holds, and yet it’s not showing any sign of wear or tear. The only failing, again, is the lack of a waist-strap – without it, the bag can be troublesome to carry for long periods of time on end, especially stuffed with an entire life (no matter how minimalist). However, I still wouldn’t trade it for anything – between the quality, the design, all the secret pockets and the portability, it’s perfect for me and my trip.
And for my entire life, stuffed inside!
(This post is written in partnership with Ethnotek, one of my new favourite organisations. All opinions, however, remain always and forever my own!)