How to travel like a twen­tysome­thing (sort of)

The Simple Things - - ESCAPE | EATING WELL | EXPLORING -

Erin’s ways to make grown-up back­pack­ing a lit­tle eas­ier

Ditch the wheelie bag and dig out the back­pack. I’m not say­ing you have to stay in a hos­tel (though you’ll so­cialise more and pay less), but there’s no deny­ing: the lighter your bag, the longer your days feel.

Pack light, then cut that in half. It’s hard to be in the mo­ment when your bag is dig­ging into your shoul­der.

Try not to plan, at least not ev­ery minute of ev­ery day. Leave some time to wan­der. You’ll see a dif­fer­ent side to a place this way.

Book ac­com­mo­da­tion that you’re com­fort­able in. If it’s a chal­lenge to show up to a new place with­out all the de­tails planned, I’d let where you stay be your respite from days with less struc­ture than you’re used to.

Bring a towel. More than any­thing else, it’s changed the way I travel. I have a thin Turk­ish ham­mam-style towel that packs up su­per small and can be used for any­thing – wip­ing things down, as a blan­ket or a bunchedup pil­low on a bus, to wrap things in when you pack, or to take to the beach.

To cut down on pack­ing, I sim­plify my skin and hair care by re­plac­ing prac­ti­cally ev­ery­thing with co­conut oil. It can re­move make-up, mois­turise, serve as shav­ing gel, con­di­tion wet hair…

Take just one book. I have only re­cently be­come more re­al­is­tic about how much I ac­tu­ally read when I’m trav­el­ling.

Set a goal for phone time. I ac­tu­ally feel less stressed when I am away if I al­low my­self to check and re­spond to emails ev­ery so of­ten. Do what­ever works best for you, but have a loose plan so you don’t end up down an In­sta­gram hole in the mid­dle of a beau­ti­ful for­eign city.

And fi­nally: be to­tally and ut­terly present. Breathe deeply. Walk slowly. Take pic­tures. Lis­ten more and talk less. Look up.

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