This is it. The big trip is over. Just as I said on Instagram, it is a goodbye to island life, endless summer nights, heat and sandy toes. Just as I am always intensely melancholic when a trip is over, I am also filled with new experiences, good vibes and an infinite energy taking me through everyday life.
After this trip, I am also smarter. You think I’m bragging? Well, this was my first backpacking trip so I feel I learnt a lot. There are numerous things that your travel guide will never tell you but you’ll experience anyway. I will definitely cover these experiences in one of the upcoming blogposts! And you are most likely to have overpacked even though you solemnly pledged to only take the bare necessities with you. As promised, this is a review of how I packed and what I really needed from it.
First and foremost – I packed too much. Too many clothes. Even though I thought I’d selected every item carefully, it was still too much. Take fewer shirts and rely on cotton as it really is more comfortable in the heat. Make sure the clothes wash easily and stains get off quickly (Asian countries often wash their clothes in cold water!). One thing that I did not wear once was the long sleeved shirt, which I took additionally to my black cardigan. I thought it’d be handy as mosquito bite protector but that’s unnecessary. If you have one long sleeved item and a good mosquito repellent, you’re good to go.
In terms of the toiletries I packed, there’s nothing to complain. I did not use nail polish or other luxury beauty items as much but I still would take them with me again next time.
Medication – the bacteria to prevent traveler’s diarrhoea came in super handy, we didn’t have any problems during the whole trip. Make sure to take something like a first aid kit with you that has bandages. I had a tiny accident with a scooter by the end of the trip and it’s easier when you have these things with you. It can be a bit adventurous trying to explain to the pharmacy sales personnel what you need. Also, do not take too much mosquito repellent with you – one bottle suffices. Buy the rest over there, they have much cheaper and better formulas then us over here.
Travel/Miscellaneous – everything came in super handy. I would recommend every single item on that list. I was especially happy to have brought a microfibre towel (so good at the beach, the sand doesn’t get stuck in the fabric!), the inflatable neck pillow, the sleeping bag inlay, the flight cover for my backpack and the flashlight (the Gili Islands don’t have street lights so if you have to find your way home in the middle of the night a good torch is essential!).
Also, I was super happy with my Gregory J53 backpack. It had the perfect size, wasn’t too heavy and packed easily. It is the perfect companion for a backpacking trip where you stay in hotels and hostels. I am not sure whether I would recommend it for trekking. It is not sturdy enough to carry a tent and other equipment you might need for such a trip.
Even though we just came back from our trip a week ago, I can’t wait to plan the next one! Since I just finished my master’s degree, I am now on the search for a job. Maybe my next trip will take me to a new home and a new life?! Who knows!