So I still haven’t had a chance to write a full post on everything I packed for this round the world adventure. Mostly because I would have to lay out all my stuff and take pictures and that task seems daunting. I probably should have done it when I was originally packing. Anyways, after being in South East Asia for 7 weeks now I can say I definitely made some errors in packing judgment.
I’m not a high maintenance girl. I can shower and get fully ready with hair and makeup in under half an hour if I need to. I can also take 2 hours when I want to too, I’m a girl so that’s my prerogative. When packing for travel, I try to narrow down my hair and makeup supplies because they take up a lot of room and I don’t want to waste precious travel time getting ready every day. But I completely underestimated Southeast Asia. The heat and humidity have made the majority of my girly products obsolete. So avoid the mistakes I made and leave these items at home.
Blow-dryer and Hair Straightener
It’s cute that I thought I would be using these items. Now if you’re one of those people with sleek hair that doesn’t frizz up to 10 times its size in the humidity (I hate you), these items might be useful. But for those of us with wavy hair, hot tools are useless. I have tried straightening my hair but in about 10 minutes of being outside the hairs around my temples all start to curl and the hair grows out like a chia pet. In less than an hour my hair is up in a top bun so I’ve just stopped even trying this step. The bonus is that it takes zero time to do my hair. Options are top bun or braid every day.
Even if you are one of those lucky b’s with sleek hair, the heat will make you rethink the blowdryer. If you’re in an air-conditioned room you can make it work but that’s a luxury and if you’re in a room with just a fan, good luck. You’ll be sweating just as fast as you dry making it a futile cycle.
So my advice, leave these bulky and heavy tools at home. Embrace the au naturel look and just think of all the good it’s doing for your hair not to be heat treated!
Now I love makeup, that’s no secret. I’m the person who puts on makeup just to go to the grocery store, not because I’m too insecure not to wear makeup but because I like it. I knew I would wear less makeup while travelling but deciding what to bring and what to leave behind was tough. In the end, I WAY overpacked my makeup.
It’s hot here, like really hot. Which means you’re constantly slathering on sunscreen and even with the most high-end makeup, if you put on too much you will sweat it off and look like a joker by the end of the day. So less is definitely more. Sure, I could put on more makeup in the evenings to go out but I just don’t care to. No one knows the difference and it’s kind of nice to be out the door 5 minutes after I shower.
On a daily basis, I use undereye concealer, eyebrow pencil, mascara and SPF lip chap. That’s it, that’s all I should have brought with me. Not the 10 makeup brushes, a palette of blushes, eyeshadows, and powder.
When you’re living a backpacker life your clothing options are limited. Generally what I always do is bring simple versatile pieces and then bring jewelry to accessorize and make the outfits look different. But I failed to consider my location.
Even though I only brought costume jewelry, any jewelry can make you a target for theft. I’ve heard of people having necklaces ripped off their neck by scooters driving by. You may know it’s inexpensive but others don’t. So for safety sake, it’s best to not wear jewellery.
In addition, just the nature of the activities that I’m doing don’t warrant jewellery – riding on a scooter, kayaking, trekking, and beaching. These things just don’t require jewellery. I wear the same pair of earrings daily. I brought out my other jewellery once or twice but have since given up on it too. In other parts of the world, jewellery can be a great accessory to bring travelling but for the backpacker in Southeast Asia, it’s additional weight you don’t need.
I’m certain every North American girl packs black leggings with her every time she travels. They are the perfect thing to wear during travel since they’re comfy and they can be dressed up or down making them versatile. I figured they’re so versatile I brought both a full length and capri pair. The capris will be perfect for visiting temples where you need your knees covered I thought….Wrong!
Because you know what happens to a pair of athletic black capris when you’re out in the hot sun all day sweating? They become like sausage casings on your legs trapping in the heat and when you have to go to the bathroom, it turns into a Ross Gellar from friends situation.
Suffice to say I wore my capris once and then did as the tourists do and purchased some loose fitting elephant pants for temple viewing.