In less than a fortnight’s time, this very backpack will be accompanying me to various foreign lands. I am spending three weeks Interrailing with the chap, and it’s thrilling!
The backpack is my new best friend, but it’s not exactly the largest of companions. I need to be minimal in order to lighten my load. It is very revealing how little you actually require when you need to pack it all up in a single backpack. Aside from the obvious clothing and toiletries, here are some things I cannot live without.
My notebooks: Notebooks are not light, they are positively cumbersome. But to go off travelling without a journal of some kind is unthinkable. I have kept diaries and journals for many years, they are therapeutic to me. Plus, I can pretend to be a cultured travel writer when I’m noting down my adventures.
Miniature hair straightners: I don’t wear a lot of make-up, I’ve never worn foundation. I don’t buy expensive, labelled clothing, except items I can get cheap at CK. I don’t spend large amount of money on personal grooming. But my vanity is associated with my hair. I like using decent products, but I only purchase them when they’re on offer. Herbal Essences and Pantene are two of my favourite brands. I have additional serums and sprays that I douse my locks with. I have a lot of time for my hair, often enjoying the ritual of washing, drying and straightening. If I returned from my trip with hundreds of photos featuring a frizzy-haired mess, I’m not sure I would want to display them. We all have superficial pride in something, for me, it’s my hair.
Cross stitch kit: Cross stitching has been my main hobby since 2004. It is mostly a pointless activity, as many of the projects I complete end up languishing in a drawer. But I’ve got a couple decorating my walls and I’ve donated a few as gifts. Although I have little room in my backpack, there will always be space for cross stitching. For me, it’s a relaxing way to pass the time, ideal for long train journeys.
Even though we are away for three weeks, we don’t need much to get by. We have the basics to have a comfortable journey. And I’m travelling with the most important person in my life. This is a dream of mine that is slowly shifting into reality. What more could I need?