In 2016, bloggers Laura and Chris decided to make the plunge and pack their belongings into their bags and travel for 12 months, covering four continents and 13 countries. Along the way, they learned a little bit about how to organise their things when on the road.
It was the beginning of 2016. Laura and I were both working shift work: night-shifts, weekends, public holidays, and there was a whole lot of not seeing each other. That lifestyle left us longing for something more. It was a reality that saw us earn good money and comfortable lives but as it turned out not a whole lot of enjoyment in the routine. Bogged down in the fatigue of the mundane and with a desire to seek more in our lives, it was in that moment we decided we needed a change. We needed more than a change of pace or a temporary relief. We needed a complete shift in perspective, one that some people obtain through a lifetime of meditation. We figured twelve months of backpacking around the world might have a similar effect.
We decided to document our travels through social media by starting a YouTube & Instagram page so that we could show our friends and family how much fun we were having! In the planning phase of our journey, we realised we would be heading across polar opposite weather systems that required everything from snow and rain-resistant clothing all the way through to boardies, singlets and thongs. So how do you organise, let alone pack for, a year away?
Imagine this...you have a backpack the size of a golf club bag that's holding everything you own, all crammed inside in no particular order. You’re at the check-in counter for your flight when you suddenly realise you will need a jumper for your flight. It’s buried deep in the pile of non-deodorized jocks and socks from a week ago. Jump to an image of you spreading your stuff out across the airport floor like a street vendor hoping for a sale. You miraculously find the item of clothing before it suddenly hits that all your stuff has to go back into your bag. Perhaps you will buy that Marie Kondo book at the airport bookstore after all.
Introducing, packing cells: a traveller’s best friend!
These inventions not only simplify packing but they make it easy and quick. They made us feel good, too! Depending on the size of the cell, each is made from recycled plastic bottles; the bigger the bag, the more recycled plastic used. They allow you to compartmentalise everything you own into smaller, manageable spaces, and let me tell you, manageability is a godsend when you live out of a backpack.
The over-exaggerated example I used before of the panicked traveller in line at the airport is what happens when you don't manage your ‘stuff’ well. I had once forgotten a pair of socks and a jumper in my bag just prior to checking in and saying adios to my bag for eleven hours. The flight was cold, but Melbourne was hot, and had I not carefully organised my cells into similar clothing items, I would have looked like the vendor in the airport selling his clothes.