My friend Derek Hughey and his new wife Shanna just began a round-the-world journey. Since they were living a few miles from my house before storing their possessions into storage and hitting the road, I checked in to see what travel gear they were packing.
The contents of these backpacks were a gadget-lover's dream, mostly because our newlyweds were able to register for lots of cool but useful wedding gifts. They registered for gear at REI and Amazon, picked up their packs from Backcountry, and even had relatives give them splurges through TravelersJoy.com. Their big challenge then was not deciding what to spend money on but rather what was worth packing and what was going to provide mostly extra weight.
Here are a few of the useful highlights:
Portable speaker for iPod Nano. Derek checked out a bunch of these and found this JLab one to have the best customer reviews for quality sound.
150-country electrical adapter with surge protection.
Eagle Creek packing cubes. I tend to just roll things and stuff them in my pack, but some travelers swear by these cubes as it helps them keep everything organized.
Convertible travel pants - a must-have to cut down on bulk.
Quick-dry travel towel
Retractable cable lock
Ipevo phone for making Skype calls
The last one only makes sense if you're carrying your own laptop, which Derek is. Carrying a laptop is not my preference when traveling for pleasure only, but he is a digital photography buff and they intend to document their trip through this blog: One Year on Earth.
Here's what's really cool about this couple: they quit real career jobs to go travel the world. Fearful sorts-especially American ones-constantly fret that they are afraid to take off and go traveling because they'll derail their job prospects for the future. For the most part, this is bunk. I know more people who have been out of work for six months just hanging out at home doing a job search after a layoff than I do people who have had a hard time getting a good job after a year of travel.
Derek and Shanna are attorneys. She already has a job waiting for her when she returns--she worked it out in advance. Derek doesn't, but that's the last thing he's thinking about as he goes out and sees what the world has to offer. He knows he'll be fine. They will both return wiser, more educated, and better able to deal with change and adversity. Dream candidates for any organization.