What’s Still in My Pack, 6 Month Later?

I’m not a big fan of packing lists. Or at least of publishing them on the internet. You work so hard on figuring out what you want to bring with you and then everyone comments and tears it apart because- oops, different people need and want different things. What I thought would be more useful would be to tell you, after the fact, what I brought and what worked for me.

You can view my original post on the hell that is packing here.

And here are the contents of my pack (at least the clothing) 6 months later.

What did I end up tossing?

Quite a few things actually.

First to go were my ballet flats, just a month or so in. I almost exclusively wear flip-flops now (incidentally I’m on my fourth pair- two were stolen and one pair broke).

Once I reached Thailand most of my warm weather clothes were just wasting space, so little by little I shed my long-sleeve shirt, my jacket and most of my socks.

I’ve had to replace a few t-shirts that got worn out, and I threw out one unflattering skirt in Thailand after two seperate people asked me if I was expecting.

What Did I Add?

Maybe I am still a shopper at heart. Particularly after my shopping frenzy in hoi an I think I now have more clothing than I left home with. I added two new shirts, a casual dress and a skirt (mostly replacement items).

new clothes!

Pretty early into the trip I aquired a pair of sweatpants (stole them from my boyfriend) for lounging around in hostels, and bought a sarong in Australia that serves an endless variety of purposes from beach dress to towel.

I also bought a cheap blue dress that can be dressed up for going out, and I’m toting around the silk robe I had made in Hoi An because, well I like to feel fancy too.

What am I glad I brought?

My jeans- I know people are always arguing that they aren’t necessary, but they’ve been a real lifesaver, both on chilly days and times when I wanted to look dressed up.

Also my blue scarf has served me incredibly well. It’s an ultimate multi-purpose tool. I use it around my neck when I’m cold, as a blanket on buses, as a pillow, as a shawl to visit temples.

What would I do differently?

I wish I’d brought a second bikini instead of trying to force a style on myself that didn’t fit.

I REALLY wish I’d brought more underwear, as that’s harder to buy in the correct sizes and I HATE running out ever 7 days. One of my bras broke a couple of months ago and now I’m hoarding the other two because my boobs are just TOO LARGE for asian sizes.

Nivea Skin Whitening
photo credit: kalleboo

Other things for the ladies to stock up on beforehand: tampons, razorblades and moisturizer (unless you want to be a guinea pig for “whitening cream”).

And I just don’t know what I was thinking bringing so many socks!

Of course now I’m headed back to China, where I’m told it’s still very much winter. May have been too soon to toss all of those cold weather clothes. One thing that’s lucky about East Asia- the shopping is cheap.

Maybe that was all a bit TMI, but hopefully there are some pearls of wisdom in there for those of you still packing for your big trips. My advice is to really think about what YOU need and will use, and not what other people think you might need.

What would you have packed differently in retrospect?

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21 thoughts on “What’s Still in My Pack, 6 Month Later?”

  1. Totally agree with the packing whats right for you and generally packing lists, in terms of clothes, wont do you much good b.c. its so personal for each person.

    That being said though, one thing I love about packing lists is the non clothes items that remind you of multipurposes things to bring like duct tape and dental floss. Those I think can be helpful for most people regardless of preference, you’ll always find SOME use for duct tape.

  2. Just 2 weeks ago I sent home 3 kgs away from my pack. The keen amphibious pair of sandals were among it. This is the second time I sent those pair home. The first time was almost 2 years ago. Last Christmas we visited our hometown and somehow I got the idea that the pair could be useful, not burdening, this time. Turn out that it’s way too fancy for Central America. While it’s great, I’m afraid I will be a target of crime just because my sandals are flashy.

    1. Isn’t cleaning out the dead weight from your pack the best feeling though? I love package days for that reason.

      I’d never really considered how clothing can make you a target but in some parts of the world that’s probably a very real consideration.

  3. I am an accidental whitening cream guinea pig. The stuff works. I wrote a post about this a few months ago. I had an ugly, pretty dark (for my fair skin) sunspot on my left cheek, plus freckles on my forehead which plagued me for years. Three separate laser treatments at a total of $300 for that sunspot did nothing. Then I spent three months in the UAE, where whitening products are way, way more plentiful than in Asia, and the spot and freckles are completely gone. I purposefully bought products that did not mention that they had whitening cream in them, because I didn’t want it on my skin. Even with these supposedly non-whitening products, my face was wiped clean of pigment. I’m still using face products I bought in the MidEast and SE Asia, so I’ll see if the pigment comes back when I run out.

    1. That’s pretty alarming that even the products that dont state they have whitening cream could have such a profound effect. The last thing I wanted was to come back from Asia MORE white than when i left!

  4. I’m a carry-on only girl and I’m sticking to it for my upcoming trip. Which is becoming more and more scary, even though I’m still months away from actually leaving. I’d love to bring jeans but I think they might just take up too much room. I don’t understand how so many people can walk around for hours and hours in flip flops, my feet would be covered in blisters in no time. Sneakers are a must for me. I was planning on only bringing a week’s worth of underwear but after reading this, it really sounds like more would be a better idea. I’ll just keep reminding myself that most things can be purchased on the road.

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