Wait, what? How did this happen?  I’m leaving tomorrow and I have no idea how that happened.

Today was coffee dates with a couple of friends and a last family dinner to say goodbye to the cutest little nephews in the world (I actually got a real hug and requests for postcards featuring crocodiles and kangaroos). And I started packing. I have a 40L backpack, so I’m trying to keep things minimal. But that’s harder than I thought.

This is where I’ve gotten so far.

Jeans, lightweight/rollable pants, sun dress, skirt, shorts, leggings.

I know jeans are a no-no for backpackers, but I know myself and I know I’ll be happy to have jeans when wandering around the cities of the world. If they become annoying, I’ll leave them somewhere. My other pair of pants are light, dry relatively quickly and can be rolled into capris.

A summer dress and skirt will be handy for hot hot hot days and the beach.

My shorts were bought in 2003 and are still awesome.

Leggings will be useful if it gets cold, if I decide to do Pilates at some point, and as pyjamas.

Fleece, thin hoody, 5 t-shirts, 2 tank tops, bathing suit and bikini.

I know I’m only supposed to bring 2 t-shirts or something, but this all seems to fit in my bag. And these are mostly old things, so I don’t mind getting rid of a few along the way. A t-shirt can double as pyjamas too.

4 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of underwear, 3 bras.

Because I’ll be doing laundry, but not every day.

I am obsessed with things that go in pouches.

All pouched up! Rain jacket, backpack rain cover, travel towel, day pack.

A crapload of contact lenses, my glasses and new prescription sunglasses.

My plan: as I travel, I’ll use up my daily contacts and slowly free up room in my bag, room I can fill with things that are more fun than contacts. And no heavy solution to carry around.

Flip flops, sandals, running shoes.

Picking which footwear to bring has been stressing me out for at least 2 months. But I think this combo will be ok.

Netbook, camera, iPod, USB key, plug adaptor.

Other things not pictures:

  • itty bitty umbrella
  • UK mobile phone (can be used as alarm clock/watch), much smaller and lighter than my current phone
  • combination lock
  • notebook/pens/tape/scissors
  • passport and other important documents
  • foreign currency
  • travel clothesline
  • toiletries (toothbrush/toothpaste/floss, prescription medication, face-wash, shampoo/dry shampoo, razors, deodorant, Gravol, sunscreen, elastic bands/bobby pins, Body Glide, nail clippers, mascara, tiny tin of Vaseline, Tylenol, band-aids, eye drops…)
  • snacks for the 4-day train journey

After the bag is packed, I’ll need to leave my living space in a presentable manner, which is why it’s a good thing my train only leaves at 10pm tomorrow. Just got butterflies in my stomach as I typed that.