With only 2 weeks left, i’ve started unloading some of my packing gear along the way. Certain things don’t need to come back with me (e.g. hiking stuff) so i’ve donated quite a few bits to the homeless to keep them warm or provide them with new(er) shoes than they currently have…
But downsizing is also making me realise what i have not been able to live without this trip. Yes, the obvious ones of phone / laptop are up there, but below are my alternative things which i have been grateful to have with me this trip…
In no particular order…
This has been a surprising one! But i’ve had many uses for this superglue during my trip. Firstly- it glued my inner soles into my shoes as they kept slipping out. Then it fixed my Panama hat when a small hole appeared out of nowehre. And then it helped me fix my big over-ear headphones that Sofia had kindly donated to me. So all in all… it’s been of great use. And takes up no space too which is even better!
My external battery charger. I ended up getting a rather large one that could charge 2 devices at the same time, multiple times on one charge. Not knowing what my agenda was throughout the trip, i thought i may be without power at some point and be grateful for this. And apart from 3 days camping i’ve been near plug sockets pretty much all the time, However it’s still come in handy on those long bus days when the ipod/iphone battery dies so fast (as they do!). It’s also been a good convo starter in some places too!
My sea sickness bands. Ironically they have been more use on the buses than in the boats! The roads (at times) can be just awful. Potholes, gravel and Very bumpy – sometimes for hours on end… a good few of us felt queasy at times, but I soon realised that these bands were good for All types of travel- not just boats!! So they got put to great use and i was eternally glad for them!!
Tissues. A very simple thing, but SO needed in South America. Firstly, you never know if the toilets are going to have toilet paper or not. Never assume. Nice place or not – it guarantees nothing. (Plus the toilet paper in South America isn’t anything to shout home about!) Secondly, no-one really told me that i’d be blowing my nose more in this place. A combination of altitude, and differing temperatures meant my nose didn’t know if it was up or down, so having tissues handy was certainly a good thing! (Side note: altitude does some freaky things to your nose blowing – i wasn’t expecting it, but after a chat with others, i wasn’t the only one – phew!!)
The humble hair clip. I’ve had my hair cut twice (so far) whilst i’ve been away. Partly just to feel normal again, partly because I’ve needed it! But the last hair cut in Ushuaia ended up with me getting a shorter fringe than i had planned. My hair plan had Always been to keep it long enough to tie back… but the Argentinian hairdresser didn’t know this plan and had other ideas. Enter stage left – the hair clips! They’ve been really useful and stopped me looking like i’ve been dragged through a bush at times! But really – i’m just waiting for my fringe to grow back into my plan…
Whilst we’re on the subject…. Surf spray. For my hair. I knew it wasn’t taking my straighteners with on the trip, but i needed something to tame my hair. And Bumble & Bumble’s surf spray was my saviour. It gives my hair a bit of a wind-swept look, and minimises the “i-havent-brushed-my-hair look”. In fact, i may not use the straighteners so religiously when i come back – i’ve come to terms with my ‘natural’ hair style now!
The saviour of chapped lips, grazes (i fell on one hike) and sore noses when you’re full of cold. I usually have Carmex with me in the UK too, but boy was i happy to have it with me on this trip too!
My Swiss Army knife. My cousin (Aviva) had bought it for me after she stayed earlier in the year. I wasn’t sure how much i’d need it – but the winescrew aspect has been VERY helpful whilst navigating myself through my trip – Mendoza particularly!! But its actually been a good thing to have on the trip… you never know when you may need a tooth pick 🙂
Hats! I’m not a hat person- never have been! I have never really suited them – i have a very round face, and just am not comfortable in them…. or never was! Then i discovered my Panama hat and things changed! It’s useful against the sun AND looked ok! Fast forward to the cold weather times, and my ear muff and beanie hat were then the order of the day. Some days i may not have looked my best, but hats are actually pretty damn useful! (The Santa hat was for Secret Santa a couple weeks back – but i’ve kept it for the 25th too!)
My water bottle. Firstly it has a filter in it so i can drink pretty much ANY water and it will purify it for me. I saw it at a travel show and bought it. And really like it. But what makes it is the way i can clip it onto my rucksack and have it within easy access. That is a Dad-Hack. He took a shoelace, tied it round the head and attached a carabiner clip to it. That’s what Dad’s are for, no?! Such a simple idea, but Very effective. I may patent it!
Finally, another Dad-hack. My rucksack has wheels which is awsome. The only thing that was frustrating was that I was about 1-2 inches too tall to pull it along so had to get into an odd position to drag it along. But no… Another Dad-hack and i got a handle attachment and to increase the height! Ingenious!
So there you go – quite a random list, and i wouldn’t say that everyone needs to take these 11 things with them, but they ended up being my surprising top items for my trip!