June 2015

Though I’ve come to consider myself a savvy packer over the last few years with frequent trips to NYC, southern California and the occasional jaunt abroad, I quickly realized upon googling ‘packing for long term travel’ that preparing for this adventure would be unlike anything I’d faced before. Not one to sacrifice style for comfort, I just didn’t (and still don’t) understand the popularity of “convertible” pants or anything with a cargo pocket! Could there really be no mention of joggers in modern day international travel blogs?? Before spiraling into total madness at the thought of trekking through urban Europe and Southeast Asia in hiking boots I stepped back and made a list of factors to consider while packing for this trip:

     – I’ll need to prepare for a complete range of climates including rain (United Kingdom) and cool temps (Norway) to extreme heat and humidity (Egypt and Asia).

     – I’ll need to be able to easily carry everything on my back if needed. Nothing ruins a trip faster than a sore back and defeated spirit from schlepping a heavy pack around all day.

     – Laundry is my friend. With downtime planned throughout my trip as well as washing machines available at many of my pre-booked Airbnb stops, throwing a load of dirty socks in the wash (or hand washing a top or two in the sink) will be pretty easy.

     – Lastly and most importantly, if I won’t wear an item at home in California, I more than likely won’t wear it in Spain or Australia. (I mean, let’s be real.)

Keeping the above points in mind, I set out to essentially pack for 26 seven day trips. By removing the intimidating ‘long-term travel’ label and instead focusing on easy layers and pieces I already frequently wore, I was able to pull together the below items to all conveniently fit in my new carry-on sized Osprey 50L Convertible Bag (pictured in the top left) that will take me from the rainy streets of Dublin to the beaches of Dubrovnik and beyond.

Packing List

Unfortunately there’s not a lot of extra room for souvenirs, but at the end of the day memories are what really matter, right?

xo Carrie

I remember growing up oftentimes being overwhelmed by my desire to see the world… Inspired by everything from Japanese trinkets scattered throughout my childhood home from my parents’ years living abroad to the brilliant photography coming through in Patagonia’s monthly catalogs to learning foreign capitals when playing Carmen Sandiego, my dreams of adventure ebbed and flowed through years of teenage angst focused on more pressing concerns like middle school dances and passing Calculus.

The dream was always there however, patiently waiting, slowly taking form. After successfully blocking out the majority of my high school years, I was amused to recently find my Bellevue High senior yearbook. ‘Yes!’ I thought, ‘I’d completely forgotten my years in the Earth Club!’ quickly connecting the dots to what would be my extremely hippie-influenced college years in Bellingham, Washington followed by a five-year stint in the birthplace of hippie subculture, San Francisco, California. Even more telling though was my senior page quote, referencing a lyric of one of my favorite songs at the time: ‘All the world to see is too much sometimes for me.’ (Clearly I was both poignant and worldly beyond my years, even at age 17, but I digress…)

Fast forward fourteen years, through two universities, three cities, four jobs, and a handful of relationships… and I’m now ready. Standing at the intersection of purpose and opportunity, I’ve made the thoughtful decision to get this show on the road and see the world already. In two short weeks I’ll be packing up all my worldly possessions and leaving the amazing city of San Francisco to travel solo around the world for six months.

Scared/sad/excited beyond belief doesn’t even begin to cover the gamut of emotions I’ve been experiencing on an almost daily basis as I prepare for this adventure which, all considering, feels about right. I’m starting this blog to better keep in touch with family and friends back home and to share my journey with you all. Please follow along and don’t be shy in leaving comments! I’ll be thrilled to hear from each and every one of you.

xo Carrie