Stanley Other leaving party
Stanley was dressed in a hemp poncho that was the colours of the gay pride flag. This wasn’t how he normally dressed. He normally looked quite normal, and wore a normal shirt and plain trousers. His friends didn’t know quite what to make of the whole thing. He had invited them to the pub, saying he had something important to tell them and they had all thought that it was that he had got a new job. But it had become quite clear to them upon arrival, that he had in fact totally lost his mind. Although in a fun and entertaining way to them, they weren’t genuinely worried about him, as he had announced to them that he was setting off the next day to travel the world, on a slight whim.
It was 10 o’clock, and Stanley was quite drunk by this point, as were many of his friends. Half had got into the same mood as him, and were kind of dragged along in his overall excitedness, the other half were sat there quietly, shooting bemused looks at each time one of them said something outrageous. The pub had filled with warm cheer, and outrageous belly laughs, the kind you only got In the deep of the shire. Stanley was stood on the bench, declaring he had a speech to make. His nervous, excited voice cut through the natter of the small crowd as he addressed them:
“THERE will come a day,” he said,”when a man is grown, and no longer has the will to explore new lands. But today is not that day. When he takes pride in being always supportive to others. When a man’s lust to travel is over come by the need to support his family. But today is not that day! This day we explore. This day we embrace the diversity of culture in the world, and the age of global mobility that we live in! This day we are FREE!”
The Benefits of Packing Light:
- You have the security of being able to take all your baggage with you on treks and excursions – you don´t have to leave it somewhere where it might be at risk of being stolen!
- You don’t have to carry a heavy bag around.
- You have a smaller number of possessions to worry about.
- When travelling on coaches, buses, and Taxis, you can keep your bag with you – you can store it between your legs and don’t have to put it in the trunk or overhead locker, only to worry that when you fall asleep it may get tampered with.
- A smaller pack is more inconspicous in public places – you draw less unwanted attention holding a small bag, and are less obviously carrying around all your most important possessions.
Hand luggage? No problem!
What to Take: Criteria
- Enough layers for the climate you are travelling to – across multitude of climates, you will need suitable clothing to keep warm and cool – the most efficient way to do this is to carry layers – then you won´t have to carry bulky items such as thick coats when you are not using them.
- The importance of a little safeguarding and redundancy – will give you peace of mind and prevent catastrophy – for example, if you take two devices for emailing/skyping your family, then if one gets lost or stolen, you can still use the other.
- No valuable items – as little as possible you can afford to go without – with exception of passport etc – for peace of mind and safeguarding against loss
- Peace of mind – you want this to enjoy the experience and take in as much as possible – get the full benefit of travelling without having to worry or be in too much discomfort.
With that in mind lets get into the specifics:
1 – A good sturdy pair of trainers. Sturdy enough for a mountain walk, but also suitable to get into bars / nightclubs. Walking boots can also be a good shout, however they are heavy to carry, and not particularly suitable for cities!
2 – Light breathable waterproof jacket
3 & 4 – One pair of shorts and one pair of chinos. Chinos suitable for border crossings and other situations where it helps to looks smart.
5 – One Smart shirt – again useful for looking smart at border crossings and airports.
6 – A decent sturdy pair of flip flops or sandals. For more casual wear and to allow your feet to breathe around the hostel or hotel – get a good sturdy pair that will last the whole trip.
7 & 8 – A Polo shirt and T-shirt
9 – A Good strong leather belt
10 – $300 in cash – A decent wad of the world’s most stable (and recognisable) currency in case you have any trouble such as loose your credit card. This can be divided into $50 bundles and hidden around your person and luggage. Some people may feel $300 is too much- the important thing is that you have some hard cash to fall back on – enough for a few nights in a hostel and a coach trip to your nearest embassy is a must.
11 – A Sleeping bag liner – this will be useful if you end up staying somewhere where the bedding is not clean or of good quality, or in case of emergencies and you sleep somewhere where they do not provide bedding. Also can be useful for sleeping on long coach journeys, as you can put all your stuff in it and then get in it – thus making it difficult for somebody to steal any of your stuff without waking you up – although you would only need to do this in extreme circumstances.
12 – A Compact travel towel – these are light and small but not particularly comfortable to use – just a security measure in case you stay somewhere where you can not rent towels.
13 & 14 – Two half zip microfleeces: These are good quality and light / easy to wash and dry quickly. Very easy to pack small. Not the warmest things in the world but easy to layer and wear under jackets.
15 – Hard copy Travel documents in a waterproof wallet. It is sensible and cautious to have these stored also on one of your electronic devices and somewhere on the internet. Photocopies, or carefully taken high res photos of these are fine.
16 – Assorted medical supplies. I may have gone a little OTT here and am slightly concerned about getting these all through customs, however, as long as they are sealed in their boxes with the original instructions we should be OK. I’ll take you through what I got but it is different for everybody. These include:
- Two boxes of Malarone – At £46 per box, and with enough medication to cover for 2 weeks in the jungle, this is probably more than needed for most people. Most excursions into the jungle are for 2-3 days, but we’ll see what happens, these can always be gifted to another traveller should they not get used.
- Ten days worth of Penicillin – Probably unnecessary for most people – however as I recently had a small operation on my tonsils, I am at increased risk of tonsillitis, and also, not covered on my medical insurance for tonsillitis. This is just a security measure to avoid having to pay £££ in the case of getting tonsillitis, but if you have any pre-existing medical condition it is worth getting some reserve medicine, and checking with your insurance company if you are covered for this, to avoid having to shell out a lot of money to see a doctor for something you are not covered for.
- Immodium – For a dodgy stomach resulting from bad food. Anything very extreme seek medical advice!
- Bite cream – For insect bites
- Paracetamol and Ibuprofen – Generic pain relief medication
- Small medical kit – containing plasters, bandages, antiseptic wipes, and anything else to patch up any injuries.
17 – Kindle and Galaxy tab – Both of these cost under £100, so loosing either one does not present a huge loss. If you like reading, it makes sense to take more than one reading device in case you loose one, and you can fit far more books onto a kindle than you can fit into your bag, and buy any English kindle book you want from anywhere with an internet connection. Although they both need power to be used, the benefits are overwhelming. A tablet is also useful as a personal computer, to Skype family, take and edit photos and for entertainment during long journeys.
18 : Electrical goods:
- Ankor mini portable charger and USB cable – This portable charger is the size of a large stick of lipstick and holds just over one full charge. This should cover you for emergencies whilst on the road and is very light and compact to travel with. It is a simple way of charging a device on the move too – in case you don’t want to leave your £500 smart phone on charge at the hostel while you are out for the day you can just leave this charging as it is low value, and then use this to charge your phone in your pocket when you are out and about. It has a USB slot on it, so is suitable for charging anything by USB.
- Lenzyme LED Torch – This is a very bright, long lasting and compact torch, chargeable by USB. Suitable as a bedside light, or for exploring at night, or to provide a little extra security when walking home in the dark. If you were to be attacked / mugged at night then you could use this to temporarily blind your assailant which may give you just enough time to throw them off and get away.
- Travel Plug Adapter
19 – Smart phone with USB cable and charging plug. Some more redundancy here, a means of communication for emails etc, if the Tablet gets lost somehow, or breaks. Also a spare charging cable to charge the other USB devices, in case one of them gets lost.
Some other, non-material, things to take:
- Redundancy in knowledge – there is no harm whatsoever in taking in as much knowledge as possible before you go. Knowing something about the language, culture, landscape and nature of the place you are visiting will certainly not do any harm, and could come in extremely useful. You do, however, need to make sure that you roll with the punches and except that some things are beyond your control.
- An open, humble mind
- Good physical and mental health.
- A strong immune system – get your jabs!
What do you reccommend taking travelling?
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