After a year of staying put in Sydney, I’m about to embark on an exciting/scary journey in a couple of days. To say it’s exciting is because the whole region is so fascinating, so rich in history and culture that I’ve been wanting to go for a long, long time. It’s also a little scary to me because it’s not a safe area in many people’s eyes and I’m going to travel solo this time (though with a tour).
It took some careful consideration and a lot of self encouragement to finally make the decision to just go. Truth be told, I’m feeling more excited than scared at the moment.
Since it’s going to be a rather long trip and I’m in the progress of being more organized, I did quite a bit shopping to update my travel gears. Here are the main ones on the list:
Twenty one years ago, I spent the equivalent of AU $140 on a travel suitcase in China to come to Australia. It was quite expensive for a suitcase in China back then and it didn’t even have the pull out handle. I still have it in the garage but never ever used it again. Over the years, I’ve bought countless suitcases from different markets and they all turned out to be very bad quality. The worst would be the one I bought in Amsterdam. It was broken after one flight, didn’t even last half a trip.
So this time, I was determined to go for a sleek hard case Samsonite in a very bright color. Think hot pink or bright yellow. With a bit of help, I brought home a navy blue expandable suitcase by local a brand, with due wheels, external pockets, unti-theft double zipper, build in security lock and 15 year warranty. Practicality won in the end! As a matter of fact, I’m really pleased with my purchase and looking forward to using it soon.
Empty travel bottles
In the past, I’d either buy travel sized bottles of shampoos and conditioners or take these large bottles because shampoos in hotels and my hair don’t get along. This year I found those cute little travel sized bottles and tubs in clear toiletry bags from Kmart. Couldn’t help but to bring them home and filled them all up.
I usually just get those inflatable travel pillows to save space but it’s time to get something different more comfortable. After days of searching online a couple of trips to the shops, I bought a memory foam travel pillow with the most comfortable, soft, velvet feel cover. It takes up a bit of space in my carry on backpack but hopefully it’s worth it.
There will be a lot walking involved but buying new walking shoes was not part of the plan. I have a few pairs of walking shoes and I was told not to wear good shoes and clothes for this trip but I went to Skechers to have a look anyway. The moment I tried their working shoes, I couldn’t take them off. These shoes have the most amazing cushions and are light as feathers! Thirty minutes later I walked out of the store with a new pair of slip on walking shoes. They are definitely the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever walked in.
Zipped compression bags
Zippered compression bags are mainly for saving space. I do have lots of space in my new suitcase but this time I want to make it neater. Lots of online articles and YouTube channels are promoting one branded compression bags for travel which are quite expensive but I can’t get it from Australia easily any way. To try those compression bags out, I went to eBay and bought some for a few dollars. They arrived within a couple of days and work well.
I usually borrow J’s camera backpack but it’s time to buy one for myself. I got one online and with a few different compartments to accommodate the camera gear, laptop and everyday items. It’s not big enough for a lot of professional photography gear but since I’m going to take a small Fuji camera and a couple of lenses the most, it’s sufficient for my travel purpose.
Oh well. Thought I’m never going to buy or use a selfie stick but never say never right?
I just can’t go to all those amazing sites and take not even one photo with me in it. I’m also worried if I use a normal tripod and proper camera, someone will come and grab everything. So, selfie stick it is – I’ve tried it and it’s kind of fun. Hopefully it’ll be strong enough to last the whole trip!
I’m be spending the majority of my time in conservative and dusty area so people have told me to just wear baggy clothes. The problem is, I don’t have any really “baggy” clothes. I also thought it’s mainly going to be really hot so there’s no need to bring warm clothes. Luckily, there’s Google. As a matter of fact, temperature in some area is varying from 8 – 25 Celsius right now. 8 Celsius is winter for Sydney. I do need to bring warm clothes!
In searching for “baggy’ clothes, I bought new shirts, jackets, jeans and a few new hats but couldn’t find any suitable loose pants, which actually are on the top of my shopping list. But then again, I don’t normally wear loose pants anyway, so why bother buying something that I won’t wear again (though I do it all the time).
Alright, enough shopping. Time to pack!