How I Pack Light
Text & Video by Raquel Chavez-Nguyen, aka Global Tumbleweed
Photo above by Gale Straub, She Explores
Where I’ve gone: For the last four years, I’ve been forced to limit ALL of my belongings to two suitcases and a carry-on to sustain my wandering lifestyle. My first overseas job sent me on 4-month assignments to Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and Thailand. I then worked for one year in Melbourne, Australia and now I’m on a sabbatical in Revelstoke, British Columbia, working on my snowboarding moves rather than on my sales quota. I’m currently equipping my campervan to travel full-time through the United States and Mexico this summer.
My business travels usually ground me in a city, but whether I’m traveling for work or pleasure, I always make sure I’m ready for an outdoor adventure. Nothing makes my heart soar more than the view from the summit of a mountain or from a beach during a surf check.
So, it’s essential I pack clothing that is versatile in all environments but also functional and stylish. Here is some gear that has lasted years:
My Luggage – Patagonia Black Hole 60L Duffel, LL Bean Extra Large Rolling Duffel (although a rolling suitcase with 4 wheels is easier to maneuver, it may break first)
Essentials – Smartwool socks, Hanky Panky underwear, Lululemon tights, Northface fleece, vintage wool skirt, J. Crew denim button down, Patagonia rain jacket, Timberland waterproof boots, leather flats, Kathmandu packing cell, travel pillow, Klean Kanteen, Billabong surf capsule, polarized sunglasses (I like Native and Ray-Ban)
What I leave at home – hair tools, jewelry (I wear a necklace and ring and don’t take it off)
Tips: I do my best to buy high quality clothing that will withstand a lot of wear and tear, layers well, and doesn’t wrinkle easily. Extra points if I can wear it out in the woods, to the beach, or the office!
Here are some of Raquel’s travel essentials in action.
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