The Evolution of Packing

I wasn’t always a backpacking traveler. Being from a tiny affluent country in Europe, it’s pretty normal to go on holidays abroad (privilege!) and I personally don’t know any of my fellow same-passport holders who hasn’t been abroad. Travel has been a part of my life since birth. Normally, we’d travel by car, giving us plenty of room to bring Stuff™ and sometimes we’d go by airplane. Only for the latter we’d have to really think about what to pack as there’s limits to how much Stuff you can bring. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, July 2011. I’m flying to Argentina for five weeks to learn Spanish. My premature birthday present: a huge, lime-green suitcase for checked-in luggage. The weight limit is 23kg and that’s what I’ve loaded into it. Dresses, shoes – yes, even make-up – goes in there. I have to sit on it to close it. I drag the dead weight on the scales for luggage drop-off. Weighing the suitcase at the airport brings the total weight a little under the maximum. Success! Or not…… Read more >

Copan to Kapan: nine months of travel, summarized into oblivion

Today is one of those days on the road to reflect on what you’ve done, where you’ve been and what is ahead of you. These days are the worst and the best, but mainly the worst. Since the 29th of December 2013 - minus 10 days in my Passport Nation (PN) - I have been traveling 2,5 continents by anticipated happenstance, sporadic opportunity and a shameful slice of manipulation. That is already nine months of growth, but it would be silly not to acknowledge the decline as well. Many things and people have suffered by me putting my thumb up somewhere on the globe and blogging about it; that is not a side effect. Apologies. Tonight I am writing this in the middle of Mordor (a fine place, a.k.a. Meghri) on the Armenian side of the border to Iran, in a surprisingly un-mediocre motel. I can feel nothing but gratitude while acknowledging my privilege and suppressing my oppression. And no,… Read more >