My suitcase


So.  I’ve finally arrived back in Tallinn, Estonia after four months of travelling, mostly in the Balkans.  Had such a great time, and I have a few more blog posts to catch up on.  But I really felt as though there was one that needed to be said.

My version of ‘The things they Carried’.

I walk a fine line between overpacking, and only bringing the necessities with me when I travel.  Or so I thought.  And then I got back to Tallinn, and started unpacking my bag and realized how many completely useless things had made the journey with me.  Completely useless.

But on the flip side of that, almost every person I’ve met on the road has said, ‘wow!  you’ve been travelling for this long, and that’s the only bag you have with you?!’  This is due in large part to my suitcase, Seymour.  Seymour is thusly named because the bag is so awesome it actually allows me to see more.  It is a great bag, that is deceptive in size, holding way more than it looks like is possible.  It has just the right number of compartments to keep things organized without making it difficult to pack, find or deal with any of your stuff.  It is a rolling suitcase, but it also has backpack straps… for those tricky cobblestones and dirt roads.

So now, a visual list of all the things I have in my suitcase that are completely and utterly useless.

I think I should start this off by talking clothes.  I’m a woman.  Stereotypically, we overpack.  I try to buck this trend, but especially on this trip… I’ve failed.  On a summer trip from Estonia to Turkey (four months long, an average temperature of about 90F, 30C) I brought with me:

3 pairs of jeans

5 long sleeve shirts

1 turtleneck shirt

1 hoodie

1 jacket

2 pairs of tights

12 pairs of socks

(Of the actual useful clothes that I brought with me, I had about 15 tee shirts, 5 tanks, 3 pairs of shorts, and 6 skirts, underwear, flip flops…  things that actually work for the summer…)

In addition to the clothes, I brought:
image

A plastic shower cap

Reason: Bike seat cover if it started raining

Time in bag: 19 months

Times used: 0

Status: Still in the bag!!
image

Eraser

Reason: Just in case!

Time in bag: 5 months

Times used: 0

Status: Still in the bag!
image

Jameson’s Whiskey Tasting Certificate

Reason: came in  handy tube

Time in bag: 17 months

Times used: 0

Status: Still in the bag!
image

Two nokia phone chargers:

Reason: To charge my nokia, that only works in Estonia…

Time in bag: 6 months

Times used: 2

Status: One back in the bag, one donated to the hostel!
image

Circus Plasters

Reason: Wanted to use the tin they were in as a wallet

Time in bag: 17 months

Times used: 1 (they don’t stick)

Status: still in the bag!
image

Glowstick

Reason: You Never Know!

Time in Bag: 12 Months

Times used: 0

Status: Still in the bag!!
image

Korean Coffee stick

Reason: delicious instant mocha

Time in bag: 5 months

Times used: 0 (saving it up)

Status: still in the bag!!
image

Postcards from Korea

Reason: to give to couchsurfing hosts as thank you notes

Time in bag: 22 Months

Times used: 3

Status: still in the bag!
image

Sea Glass

Reason: Going to make something out of it when I get home

Time in bag: varies… 4-12 months

Times used: 0

Status: still in the bag!
image

Broken Coffee Cup

Reason: Gift for mom (when it was not broken)

Time in bag: not broken- 2 months.. broken- 2 months

Times used: 0

Status: left behind (sorry mom!  too big!)
image

Korkyra Travel Info brochure:

Reason: rented scooters in Croatia (and printed in 8 languages!)

Time in bag: 4 months

Times used: 0

Status: left behind

And what has to be the most useless thing anyone has ever brought on a backpacking trip:
image

Protractor

Reason: Unknown

Time in bag: 5 months

Times used: 0

Status: Still in the bag!!

And we’ll finish up with the unsung hero award:
image

SpudULike spork

Reason: saved after eating a potato in Belfast

Time in bag: 19 months

Times used: countless

Status: still in the bag!!

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