So you want be a nomad... Well done, we'd like to congratulate you on making a most excellent choice. I'm going to assume that you've read at least 35 blog posts that weigh up the pros and cons of choosing a nomadic lifestyle over a rigid, more corporate lifestyle. You've looked at articles on Forbes that discuss the top 50 companies that support remote working. In addition to this you've looked at numerous testimonials about nomadic living. I imagine also, that because you are seriously serious about doing this, you are probably well on your way to securing a role or building a startup that will support you on the journey. You've told your loved ones who think it's a foolhardy, ridiculously amazing opportunity to be enjoyed whilst you're young (ish) and free. The only thing left to do, is pack a bag and...
What on earth goes in the bag?
I'm sure for you natural born adventurers out there this won't be a difficult question. You know the perfect items of clothing that wash and wear well and can fit nicely in a rucksack. You also know how to pack up a laptop, and which bags are gonna suit you best whilst you live and work in a different location for a month at a time. You'll be reading this article for a laugh so if I miss anything, feel free to comment and help out the baby nomads.
This particular guide will be for the girls; if it's needed we'll do one for the boys soon so don't feel left out. So without further ado, if you're a princess like me and you've never done any serious nomadic adventuring before, don’t you worry ‘bout a thing! I am pleased to announce that I’ve done my due diligence and researched online, called in the nomadic royalty and have come up with a bullet proof packing list that’ll set you up nicely.
So here are our Top Must Haves...
This is not a joke. Don't forget it.
Ah I'm just messing with ya...seriously, don't forget it. If you could also purchase travel insurance, and ensure you have any appropriate visas handy that would also be wise...yes.
2. Appropriate footwear
Get a decent pair of trainers that allow you to look cute (important if you are as vain as me) and explore at the same time. Get a decent pair of flip flops as well, they are comfortable, they won't take up loads of space in your rucksack and they look okay if you decide to go out for dinner with your fellow nomads. DON'T get the cheapest ones or you will be that person who trips over a pavement or falls down a grass verge and arises victorious, but with a completely broken flip flop. The walk of shame will be hard, and it will be long. If you're in a hot country, these two pairs of shoes are all you need. Leave the heels girls...I know I am sorry, buy some when you arrive at your destination if needs be.
3. Clothes! But not as many as that...
Right ladies, you are going to need to fit all your things in a large rucksack and smaller everyday bag to make this thing work. Leave the ball gown honey. Put it down...slowly.
Find three key outfits that work for you with interchangeable items. Pick a colour palette and hold fast baby. Jeans, shorts...jeans shorts... yeah. Don't forget your “activewear” i.e. leggings that you can climb a waterfall in, go for a swim and be practically dry in 20 minutes. Chuck in a nice jersey maxi dress, and a skirt that goes with EVERYTHING. If you plan to travel with the Wifi Tribe, bring a couple swimsuits/bikinis – we have fun so you'll need them. ROLL everything and fold nothing. In terms of tops, vests, lightweight shirts and t shirts are your friends. Enjoy them. You'll need maybe a sweater for cooler nights and a waterproof jacket. All of those items should fit in your larger rucksack.
Don't cry, you will thank us later.
4. MINIMAL Toiletries
The word 'Minimal' has been emphasised because I know firsthand the burden of taking too many toiletries. I went on an adventure to Ghana once and I ended up having to give my toiletries away because it was such a pain and it made my suitcase too heavy to come home. I am not joking, it was awful, they wouldn't let me get on the plane. Take your favourite toothpaste, and toothbrush if you're feeling particular. Take your favourite anti-perspirant, nobody wants to be a smelly nomad. One recommendation from Nomad Queen Britany is to take feminine wipes; she said they go a loooong way to keeping a girl fresh and clean in between showers - she never travels without them! Maybe add in a face wash that you can't be without. Oh for goodness sake and a face moisturiser if you need a specific one that stops your nose falling off. Look, take 5 completely essential items and purchase the rest when you arrive.
SIDENOTE – Cosmetics...leave the foundation, Urban Decay eyeshadow palette, face highlighter, 15 eyeshadow brushes...need I go on. Take an eyeliner, a mascara and your favourite lippy. You'll be sunkissed and beautifully fabulous already so own it! If you're a bubbly but chubby nomad, don't worry about the contour kit, wear your moon face like a badge of honour!
5. First Aid Kit
"Ain't no mountain high enough..."
Self explanatory really and remember to keep it stocked. Don't climb mountains without it. If your Mum has also given you some kind of mystical potion to keep you alive and it fits in a small tub, take that too. If you decide to be hard core and fit everything in a bag no bigger than hand luggage size, remember that all liquids have to be in containers with no more than a 100ml capacity. So if you need any liquids, gels or creams but they don’t come in small containers, decant what you need into a smaller pot. You can buy containers cheaply on Amazon. These one’s that I’ve found come with a funnel...don’t neglect the small funnel...you will be grateful for this humble tool when the time comes. Don't forget Imodium if you’re prone to an upset tum when travelling in new environments.
6. Noise Cancelling Headphones
So we’ve discussed in our previous tips practical stuff like clothing and passports etc but ultimately you aren’t just going on a holiday you’ll be there to work and work hard. So you don’t want to be in a place where you cannot have a comfortable working environment that allows you to be focused. “But wait!” I hear you say, “Isn’t the whole point of this that I am away from working in a conventional office, specifically designed to bore you into doing your work purely because there is nothing else to do?” Well yes that is true, we don’t want to move you from one set of corporate shackles to another set with slightly better scenery. What is important though is ensuring that you’ve got the tools that enable you to create a working sanctuary wherever you find yourself. Noise cancelling earphones are a great way to get this done as they mute out background noises like children screaming, loud lorries and motorbikes and the distraction that is the ice cream van. Popular noise cancelling earphones are made by Bose, Panasonic and Beats. Look out for our upcoming article which breaks down some of our own recommendations. We’ll give you the lowdown on the specs you want and need, as well as an overview of the features we value as fellow nomads so as an added extra it’ll hopefully give you the tools to know how to pick a good set if you don’t fancy the one’s we’ve picked.
7. A little thing that makes you, you
You'll be travelling for at least month, maybe more. Make sure you take something that fondly reminds you of home. A small piece of non-expensive but sentimental jewellery, or a picture of your loved ones. When you're grumpy, it'll make all the difference and bring you comfort when the going gets tough. The grumpy times won't be too many though.
So that's it!
Those are our personal essentials that cover any diva planning to convert to the Nomad Lifestyle. In addition to this, you'll need your 'work stuff' and a day rucksack to store it in; laptops, kindles, tablets, headphones, cables etc..,you know what you need to earn a living. For details of high quality, tried and tested rucksacks large and small see Lauren and Alex's earlier article here.
Keep it real homies and however you decide to pack, travel LIGHT and travel RIGHT.