Every travel blog and article I have ever read preaches the attitude that less is more. Pack light, then remove half of that before you leave.
While I consider myself somewhat an expert packer these days, it has not always been that way. On my first trip around the world, my failure to heed the advice of others who had gone before me resulted in a few packing faux pas.
My first-aid kit was well-stocked: medicines for diarrhea, cold and flu, allergies, malaria. You name the issue, and I had a pill for it. I had a glass eye-wash cup that must have been from the 1950s, that weighed more than my headlamp. Yes, I had a headlamp. I had over one-hundred bandages. I don’t know what kind of war zone I thought I might be entering. In the previous year, I had only used three bandages. One for a hangnail I had bitten until it bled; one for a cut from a paring knife while dicing carrots; and I believe the third had been doled out for a shaving incident. In my crazy packing-logic I thought even though I’d only used three bandages in the last year, somehow in the year to come I would need over one hundred.
I set them out on a FREE table in a hostel in Turkey after only three months of traveling. Joining the abundance of bandages were various other items that three months earlier had seemed necessities.
One item that every travel blog, every travel book, every seasoned traveler had warned against taking were my jeans. Yes, the warnings are true. They are heavy, they are hard to wash, they take forever to dry, but still I stick to my logic that a girl just needs a cute pair of jeans. Those jeans finally bit the dust on a hiking trip in Wadi Degla, a desert canyon outside of Cairo, Egypt after two years of faithful service.