Continued from page 1
“I shall bring only one guide book, not one for each country that I MIGHT see.”
“I accept that I will come home wearing something I didn’t take and will have lost/traded/burned much of what I did take.”
For female travelers and, okay, occasional male,
“I will not bring high heels or a gaggle of make-up.”
Admittedly, chanting these mantras will not bringing you immediate enlightenment. Fret, not. You can always throw items away or send them home in a box to your parents/friends/parole officer. For resourceful backpacker, it is not unheard of to send particularly smelly/discolored/toxic clothing to an ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend/little brother. Follow these practical guidelines and you will soon happily be speaking in a loud voice to make foreigners understand you.
This is hard part for most travelers to wrap their minds around. You will forget those special moments of your trip when you met hunk Sven or babe Svenetta from Sweden and had a romantic evening/danced night away/got arrested in Ios/Ibiza/the airport. Maybe not immediately, but you will eventually forget.
You will also forget or lose contact information of people you meet, despite meticulously writing it down on back of a coaster/napkin/your hand in a bar/poetry reading/jail at three in morning. Surprisingly, said coaster/napkin/hand often survive night/day/weekend and get deposited in your already trashed backpack. Of course, their presence is often forgotten when you later put a Oktoberfest mug/wet towel/toothbrush in. The extra padding at bottom of your pack is specifically designed to deal with decomposing result. Still, information is gone and so is your future with Sven/Svenetta.
To properly record magical moments of your trip, you must take a diary or journal. Don’t worry, you can burn it later before you get married/your parents get nosey/you have kids. You want a journal in a water/beer/sweat resistant case. Of course, I prefer a Nomad Travel Journal, but just make sure you take something. When you have some extra time in bus/train/jail cell, you can record how you got there and people you met.
Trust me, when you, Sven/Svenetta and your nine children are sitting on porch 10 years later, you will greatly enjoy reading your journal. Of course, that assumes you didn’t burn it.
Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - Preserve the experience with writing journals for traveling, hiking, rock climbing, fly fishing, bird watching and more.