Packing is probably the thing that premotes (Remote Year participants who have not left yet) worry about. It’s easy to get caught up worrying about how to pack your life into one 40 pound suitcase. The best advice I got, and I will pass along to anyone else looking for similar guidance, is that you won’t pack perfectly so quit worrying about it. I must have read or watched 100 different pieces of content with advice on how to pack for a trip like this. Every one of them was different, and every one of them was wrong for me. The reality is, you know you best – and you’re still going to get it wrong.
So without further ado, here are the top five items I packed for my year abroad.
1. USB fan – I lived in a lot of places without AC this year, so having this little desk fan made life much more bearable. It was lightweight, required only a short USB cable, and was powerful enough to cool me off quickly.
2. Roost laptop stand – there are a lot of office conveniences you don’t have as a digital nomad, and not every table or desk is ergonomically correct. This laptop stand goes a long way towards making working on a laptop less painful. Note: you’ll likely need a bluetooth keyboard with this.
3. Heys luggage – I bought the “World’s Lightest Spinner – Xero” set from Heys in 21” and 26” sizes. This was a great investment, as a lighter suitcase meant I had more weight available for packing. They don’t look like the most durable suitcases, but they lasted for the 35 countries and 50ish flights that I took.
4. Photo string display – this was a nice piece of home to carry around the world. I would encourage you to think of a small item that will make your space feel like home, whatever that is for you.
5. A year’s worth of mascara – this sounds ridiculous to most people, but I am particular about my mascara and I knew I’d have trouble finding it abroad. Taking 20ish tubes of mascara was a fairly small sacrifice, space-wise and weight-wise, but it gave me a creature comfort.
6. Bonus item: a foldable duffle bag – on flights that I was able to book business class, it was nice to have a second bag to check so I could take some weight out of my carryon or just worry less about the Tetris of fitting everything in just so.
Your favorite items may be different (and they likely are). But I encourage you to think about what would really make your life better while you’re gone, and bring it – even if it seems ridiculous to others. If you can see yourself using it and loving it, then it’s worth the space in your suitcase.
What items have brought you joy while traveling?