2023 Gear Guide and One Bag Travel Redux

I’m not really a stuff guy. I try to keep purchases minimal and to high quality stuff that lasts.

Why might my gear be interesting? I’ve been travelling as a digital nomad now for over a year, living without a real residence and often leveraging hotels and visa stays to bounce between various countries here in SE Asia (Singapore, Bali, Thailand, and now Hong Kong).

Riffing off my one-bag travel post from a few years back and it’s post-covid update, a number of things had changed, including my assumptions about how I would be travelling as a nomad, so felt an update was due.

I can vouch that the recommendations below are good for nomads and long term travellers. I’m often amazed at many (bad) travel posts, so obviously written by daytrippers or aspirational (comped) influencers, rather than people who actually travel and need to do real things (c’mon… two shirts for weeks of travel?!?).

This is what saw me through travelling all through 2023/2022 and what I have heading into 2024.

Here’s the gear:

Bags

Strangely, while not a big bag guy, having something to carry and/or protect your things ends up being a critical part of long-term travelling. You don’t need fancy, but you do need good. I’ve focused on quality and utility here rather than cost, though the Osprey and North Face duffel are very reasonable. if you’re a luggage rather than a backpack person, the below is not going to help you too much. This setup works very well for me to date for every adventure (though I do wonder if I should grow up and start looking at proper luggage sometimes.).

Minaal Carry-On

The current iteration of this bad is at 3.0 but I have an original that’s been good for half a decade now.

I can’t say enough good things about this bag, which is tough, light, roomy, well-designed, and has let me glide off airplanes, through airports, and to transit while other people are still waiting for their bags at the luggage carousel.

It has made being a one bag traveller a no-compromise affair with an almost ideal trade-off on cargo, comfort, and portability/speed. The clamshell design also makes it dead-easy to access anything and pack easily.

An almost perfect bag in every way. I have no complaints.

Worth every penny I paid for it, I am pretty sure this bag will bury me. One of the purchases I’ve been happiest about.

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

This is so light in your pack that I can stuff it in the raincover pocket of my Minaal above, but then expands into what is effectively a lightweight but tough knapsack. It is not of huge capacity, and just big enough to fit in, say my laptop and its sleeve, the portable monitor and then a couple other items (for example, not gym gear… though my gym provides that), but it’s been super convenient for both work and roaming around cities while travelling.

Cons: It offers no padding protection for items inside the bag and is not waterproof, so you should think of this as more of. slingable bag than anything more robust. I have to admit I do love it and have to give a nod to the folks at “Turtle logo” who stopped making the other daypack pouch I used and suggested this one. It’s been pretty good. Would love it if it was waterproof though.

Given one of these as a gift as well to someone who loved the fact it collapses down to less than a fist sized pouch.

Thule 13" Macbook sleeve

Thule’s sleeve is another one of those instance where I’m glad I paid a little more for a laptop sleeve. It’s water resistant and furred/padded inside and has a nice big pouch on top for cables and extras (the Kindle Paperweight slides in there all the time when I’m in motion.). The pocket is just big enough to fit in my Kindle Paperweight, a whack of cables (including a big HDMI), the USB-C tri dongle for monitors, and the little charger puck for the MacBook (as well as stupid British outlet prong). Well designed, protective, and portable, it’s been a very good buy. I can also vouch it provides protection as I accidentally slung my Osprey off a table in Hong Kong, hitting pavement and other than a serious dent in one edge of the Air, the laptop survived.

North Face Base Camp Duffel

If you need more than the above, and do need to check bags or carry cargo for longer term travel moving, I highly recommend the very tough and near waterproof North Face Base Camp Duffel. I’ve been using this for porting long-term snowboard, snorkel and telescope gear (as well as some spare suits) and it’s been great as a supplement if you need special gear that won’t fit one bag and/or need to check stuff. I rarely break it out of the closet these days except when moving between countries, but it’s tough, stuffable, and ridiculously durable. The Patagonia Black Hole duffel here might be a slightly better choice, but the fact I tend to go hard on my stuff means this ends up being my go-to over it (and it has lasted about as long as my Minaal above.). I have the 50L version in bright red (also, handy for spotting on the airport baggage conveyor.).

Electronics

Electronics form a key part of travelling since they allow me to bring my life and work to me wherever I am, and making them portable, fit-for-purpose, and reliable is paramount. Strangely, after experimentation with a lot of linux laptops, I fell back to the Apple ecosystem which is a matter of them, frankly, making the best laptops on the planet by quite a margin, also that once you have an iPhone, it’s much more difficult to get other ecosystem to play nice with it (photos, music, files etc.). So, a bit locked in. So, this list might not be so surprising (even boring), but things work for travel and work well. Big addition in the last year is the portable panel (which was a game changer work-wise.).

13” Macbook Air 2020

This has been a fantastic laptop, actually. A worthy successor to the 12" Macbook I had before it (despite my concerns at the time). Portable, silent (fanless), and powerful, I feel like I am running the world from it. I’ll likely upgrade this in 2024 as soon as the rumoured M3 Macbook Airs come out in (rumoured) March, but despite my best attempts to kill or overload it (I bought it maxed out in 2020 with 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD), it’s has had zero problems since I purchased it.

I am a very heavy user and can easily say this machine probably gets a minimum of 12 hours use every day and has been dragged around the globe from temperature and weather and humidity extremes.

I use it to develop on (both compiled and interpreted languages) and often look askance at the corporate guy next to me in the cafe that has a Pro he is clearly just using for emailing or the 50+ tabs he has open in Chrome.

The only issue so far has been me denting it in a restaurant patio gaff, and now having one deformed, lower left dented corner in it. But, to be frank, I thought the machine was done for when the backpack flew across the room, so pretty happy it survived at all, much less with only a cosmetic bump. This is all the computer you need unless you have very specialized requirements. If you’re interested in my software setup, you can read about that here.

Despite trying very hard (at time and expense) to find a linux laptop I could move over to, have stuck with Apple largely because of their great hardware engineering. I might dump OSX for Asahi linux at some point down the road, but have been exceptionally happy with this machine and the trade-offs Apple chose for it. Hoping Apple simply improves the formula rather than tries to change too much when they get to the M3 chipped models.

M10 Thinkvision Panel

While a lot of people travel with a laptop and an iPad as a sidecar monitor, I’ve never really understood the point of two computers and feel that you either have a laptop or an iPad. Both seems silly unless you have specific needs like drawing or using it as a notepad for writing (also, painfully expensive.).

I noticed the longer I travelled was that having a bit of extra screen real estate made a big difference to my productivity, mostly from the look-at-one-thing screen, type-on-the-other screen approach to getting work done. When I was less nomadic, I had a massive Apple Cinema Display (now ten years old) which was fantastic over covid, but obviously not great for longer term travel and dragging place to place.

This panel is cheap, light, powered from the Macbook Air’s USB-C port, and is great for business activities. I find the colours not quite as good as the Macbook’s retina screen (what is?), and I imagine gaming on it might not be up to a twitchers needs in terms of Hz, but for me it’s been a scarily great quality of work life improvement (and saved my CMD-tab the abuse from me constantly switching apps).

Not so tough though. I’ve already destroyed one with the aforementioned restaurant patio accident that dented the Macbook, so replaced it once already. But they’re good, cheap, and slot into both backpacks and your workflow easily. Allows me to be a fixture at the co-working space common area by the cafe (rather than being tied to a monitor in the small common offices.).

Kindle Paperwhite

I (still) have the first generation Paperwhite and it’s been great: tough as nails, battery lasts near a week reading every day even with backlight, and has a crisp, very readable screen. Despite me dropping it all the time on hard floors when falling asleep reading at the end of the day, it’s been fantastically durable. It slips into the pocket of the Thule, so either carrying it by hand or in the Macbook case, I always have it with me. My biggest beef is how hard it is to get a replacement overseas since Amazon seems to distinguish international versions vs “USA” ones and the backlog to get one delivered seems quite epic.

But, you can also put an entire library on this thing, and having a light, daily carry, dedicated reading device with your booklist on it, will definitely cause you to read more. So, buy one if that’s a 2024 goal for you. It definitely has contributed to me ingraining that habit.

While I loath the Amazon monopoly on the books (since they keep edging up the price), the fact is it seems a small price to pay for the amount of knowledge you get and the reinforcement of reading habit formation (example and low-key flex: I’m on book four this year, last week of Jan at time of writing). If you hate Amazon, you can also mail yourself epubs if you have them and the Amazon service will convert them to Kindle books if you want to avoid the monopoly altogether.

Also, I feel you’re being way more environmentally friendly with a Kindle. Not killing trees to print books, not to mention shipping their hefty bulk via polluting boat or plane overseas, is gentler on your carbon footprint.

Much like concerns with Spotify and Apple Music though, I’m not cool with Amazon “renting” me books and their ability to remove books from my library on some copyright whim I find philosophically objectionable, if not a real concern.

In practical terms, my biggest beef is that Amazon has recently removed the ability for me to buy books for other people via the Kindle, which was one of the killer features (and to be honest, limits the usefulness of Kindles as gifts.).

Still, overall, I find the reading experience massively better than on apps, computers, or the iPhone.

iPhone 13

This phone has been hanging on for dear life the last little while since I managed to get sea water into the charging port on a short longtail trip in Thailand, making it unable to charge via cable (using the contact charger which is kinda nice actually though does not come with it by default.).

So, this needs to replaced very soon. My Apple Genius friend tells me it’s only a matter of time before it dies. I want to get a 15 anyway since I want to move everything over to USB-C cables since I find the proliferation of cables I have to have other than 2 USB-C’s and an HDMI in my bag to be a bit ridiculous (thank you European Union legislators on forcing Apple to do that!).

This is a really good phone though (if outrageously priced). And when I say phone, I really mean camera, since that and messaging/mail is about 90% of what I do with the thing. It takes really fantastic pictures even in light conditions that make me wonder how much is reality and how much machine imputation.

I can’t really complain except for the unreasonable cost driving those profits at Apple (50% margins, I heard). It does feel like you are often double paying for Apple products on the phone side, since now almost all phones require services to be useful and/or safe (ie. iCloud backups for your photos and also paying for Apple Music, plus the monoploy rents forced by devs charging higher prices in the AppStore due to platform fees.).

That all said, I don’t see any Android phones as serious competitors (though it’s amazing how much more prevalent they are here in Asia) and do appreciate the security focus and quality on the iPhones. Until I see an iPhone killer in an Android that will slot it into an alternative linux ecosystem where photos and music work across my devices, I’m a prisoner of Tim Cook.

AirPods

(Yes, too much Apple in this list, I know, but their ecosystem is their lock-in.)

I used to have a fantastic pair of chonky Bose QuietComfort II’s for the longest time: 22 hours of battery life, amazing noise cancellation, and that would keep going on even the longest and noisiest international flights. They were life changing for long-haul flights and their only real problem was the chonk: They took up way, way too much room in my bag (ok, and they made my ears hot after too many hours wearing them).

A friend gifted me a pair of Apple AirPods and even though I was dubious about them, I have to admit they’re pretty great. I do not have the noise cancelling ones (the ear tips on those look frankly weird and I find even the ones I have large-ish in my ears), but the ones I have do an adequate job of drowning out airplane noise when I’m flying and are great for the Zoom-heavy, nomad life I find myself working in.

Also, these are awesome in the gym which is a nice upgrade since I used to wear wired earphones before (and which Bose QC II’s were never good for.).

You don’t even notice the little charging case in your pocket, let alone a backpack. I’d love it if they manage to make their next generation less ear-invasive and more noise-cancelling, but let’s see. These are a pretty great side-grade to over-ear cans. Only beef I have is they konk out at the six hour mark on most flights, which will not take you Trans-Pacific and pales in comparison to the Bose.

Fitbit Inspire 3

One of the bad things Apple does is force a follower versus innovator mentality amongst its competitors. I am not a fan of the chonk or size of the Apple Watch (and big watches in general). I want to minimize the size of jewellery on my wrist (I always have to take things off to type on the laptop). I just want a fitness tracker, really, rather than a double-duty iPhone on my wrist (before you ask, yes I did consider an Ouro ring but it seemed even more foo-foo and the Fitbit was less fussy.).

In fact, I wish Fitbit had gone the other way, packing sensors into a even slimmer wrist profile and just letting my iPhone handle the data and all interface besides, say… time, heartrate, active minutes, and steps. I don’t think I’ve used any other features and if those needed phone pairing, that would be a suitable UX tradeoff from my perspective for a thinner-profiled device.

I did previously have a Charge 5 when my Alta HR died, but felt it was too much bulk, and didn’t need GPS as I always have the iPhone with me (even running). So, replacing it with this slimmer model has been a nice, small incremental improvement. Please Fitbit Google hear this and send this product in the right direction size-wise rather than doing a big Apple Watch clone.

The Fitbit app paired with the device is not great, but does what you need it to, acting as a tracker and prompts you to keep to your goals. Much like with Apple, the other thing I am not liking here is the fact I am not being told I need to move this over to my google account. I do not like companies like Apple and Google holding onto my health/fitness telemetry.

Underwater Camera - Olympus Tough 3

Technically, I’ve not really done any proper underwater exploring or chasing of marine life since the pandemic, with the exception of a so-so trip to Nusa Penida to see the oceanic manta rays so really I just am using my old Olympus Tough 3 here. I only got some not-fab photos due to how turbid the water was.

Nusa Penida Manta Ray

Though this is a much better indicator of the quality you get from this camera:

Menjangen Reef

and this one from just before covid hit:

Hawaiian Turtle

This is still a great camera though a bunch of newer models and competitors in the intervening years really means I need to check out other options (and, well… do a lot more underwater stuff.). Weirdly, when I tried to get the camera out of its bag for Nusa Penida, salt water had corroded the zippers shut which required quite a bit of chipping away before I could open it again (also, the cables on this thing are ridiculous and need to be USB-C direct to camera. It was worse before when you had to pop the battery out to charge it.).

If Hawaii is anywhere in the near term for the PhD or I move someplace with better reefs and marine wildlife I can easily access easily, will definitely be re-looking at a new camera. If you are reading this and have any strong opinions on this front as a serious snorkeller/diver who chases fish and marine mammals, lemme know.

Clothes

With semi-nomading, I’ve basically been travelling with a perpetual week’s set of clothes. Both for travels and actual work, this allows me to not spend precious time wearing dirty clothes or washing all the time. I highly recommend picking hotels with self-service laundry machines (which are much more common now), or ones that have reasonable-ish bulk laundry services. At least here in Asia, it’s usually easy to find a full-service laundry near your hotel to drop your dirties.

It looks a little like this (with one set worn, obviously):

  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 8 t shirts (+2 for workouts though I try to use gyms that provide shorts and tees)
  • 3 pair of pants
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of gym shorts

ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxers**

Yup, still doubling down on these. Comfy, understated, and you can walk around in your hotel room in them. They’re light, breathable, good in hot or cold weather, dry fast when washed, and have an odour guard (though still don’t know what that is). You could most likely travel with far fewer pairs than I do, but I like keeping clean and laundered.

PrAna Men’s Brions Pants

These were a life changer. I secretly wear yoga pants every day. These are cut to look like dress slacks which means these suit for work and socially, especially in black.

They stretch where they need to, are surprisingly durable (in fact, I’ve worn them out less than jeans), and clean up easily and dry quickly. They’re very light so not appropriate for colder climes, but weirdly, I find wearing these with a pair of the merino icebreaker thermals under them ends up being all the cold weather gear I seem to need.

Honestly, if you take one thing away from the clothing list I’d suggest it be these. Gave up blue jeans for these. So much better. Buy now.

Uniqlo Supima cotton crew cut tees

Cheap, replaceable and available almost worldwide, these soft, light, and wearable shirts in multiple plain colours are just things I can wear the crap out of and feel comfy and not too unfashionable. Especially living in Asia, it’s hard to find shirts that can fit my frame, so wearing the hell out of these has been an easy choice. Throw a suit jacket over these if you need to go highly formal and you’re fine.

Sadly, Uniqlo seems to have changed from these being an “all you have to wear” option to things they expect you to combine with other items, so their colour choices in the last year or so have been (in my opinion) so lame that my wardrobe is slowly being reduced to greens and blues, but let’s see what they come out with this season. If not, might be looking at other options.

Also, since cotton, if you’re in a very humid clime or very active in one, you will sweat through these like crazy. A big hike I did in Taipei last year had me soaked through completely on these and being stared at when I got down off the mountain. So, choose your active-wear appropriately.

LuluLemon Meta Vent Tech short sleeved shirts

A gift to me, these are super light, comfy, and cool-looking enough that I wear it both socially and for workouts (though, really for running more than gym).

They’re form-fitting, wick away sweat, and move well with my body. Unlike Uniqlo, not so economical but a couple of these have been a nice addition to the wardrobe.

Altra Escalantes Running Shoes

Shoes are the hardest part of travelling light. I try to get combined runners/hikers/business shoes but that is a tall order for any one of those things to work well.

While trail runners were a generally good choice for a few years, I’ve come down on wearing understated (usually black) flat soled running shoes that emulate bare-foot running and walking but provide enough stabilty and support that I’m not wrecking my feet (or causing too much heel striking while running or via over-pronation.). Since I wear them every single day, not too adverse to investing a little extra here. I often end up having to ship these from the States and have literally worn them out completely before replacement (which is not good.).

Prior to these I was rocking a pair of Asics Gel Kayano 29s (wide) I picked up as an emergency situation in Osaka (I really need to replace shoes before they blow out - like perhaps every 6 months considering the triple duty they often do). They were very good too and fairly amazing for running as a trail shoe though a bit heavy. Good option if you need the extra padding or don’t like the flat sole of the Escalantes.Not recommended for heavy lifting in the gym.

Darn Tough ankle socks

Merino wool blended Darn Tough ankle socks are something I’ve been using for quite a while now. Great for both, casual, gym or business wear in black, they’re generally fine for all but the most formal occasions or bitterly cold weather (when I generally switch to the aforementioned Icebreaker long undies, and snowboarding socks.).

Sea to Sky Nylon Belt

It appears Sea to Summit no longer makes this, but honestly, the innovation here is to go with a simple, lightweight mesh belt with a fold-over ballistic plastic buckle mechanism. Super light and unobtrusive, the Sea to Sky has a nice little inside zipper with enough space to fit a couple of folded over bills inside (though I think I’ve used that exactly once, so again, read: nylon mesh belt here).

The best thing about this is you never have to take it off going through airport security. Plus, you can cheaply replace it with any nylon mesh belt. Note this belt only really woks if you don’t tuck your shirts in.

I’ve thought of swapping this out for a woven paracord belt in the highly unlikely case I ever needed emergency rope, but this is probably overkill (even if I get that EMR designation.).

Arcteryx Rush jacket**

In the vein of paying for long-lasting quality, I’ve upgraded my old Alpha and Bravo Arcteryx jacket (mostly because I foolishly left it in Canada last trip) and something more snowboarding-specific (which is what I use a jacket for mostly these days.)

Such a good jacker for snowboarding. All the ratings for it as being great for boarding are, I can confirm, correct. It’s only slightly bigger as a rolled up shell in my bag that the (ridiculously light and thin) Alpha. Matched with good underlayers, it’s industry leading waterprooofing and breathability makes it kinda an amazing snowboarding companion (I would have liked to add, “even in deep powder” but sadly, last trips have not been powder-y, though it did keep me very very well protected from rain in Niseko at the end of my trip last year.).

The main advantages here are a snow skirt at the bottom and venting and ridiculously good weatherproofing (28000mm, know as “extreme” weatherproofing in the industry), plus a hood big enough to fit my noggin with a helmet in it, but it’s a nice, specific upgrade on the previous Alpha shell I had (which was not anywhere near as roomy for moving around in if you’re snowboarding fast). I got an L jacket here unlike my usual M which I think it the main reason it’s bigger in the pack, but it’s been a very good snowboarding jacket. So-so for other uses though light and does double duty well.

If you snowboard in the pow pow, this and the Arcteryx line of snowboarding (and extreme weather jackets) are a good (if pricey) way to go.

Arcteryx Vinton fleece

Along with the jacket above, I still have this old Arcteryx fleece. This thing is fantastic for keeping you warm and a bit fan of it also in “more than tshirt” weather type of situation.

I usually wear this on the plane with me when I’m going someplace colder and it ends up being nice and snug.

My only beef here is the very slim, Nordic-type fits and that the lining around the pockets started to come away recently after a trip (perhaps because I’ve had it in storage too long) so I cut away those but now it looks much less fashionable and slick than it used to.

I’d buy another one of these though if they still made them. Looks much nicer than the hoodie you can get from Arcteryx (even though I do like hoodies).

Quality of Life/Misc Items

Aeropress

While it’s hardly a regular travel carry (probably should be - need to look at the AeroPressGo), but I have to admit to morning routine starting off brewing a cup of coffee every morning before sitting down to write.

The Aeropress has been life changing in this regard. First off, it’s amazing how many places simply have bad coffee. Second, they always give you ridiculous sizes of coffee when you just want a nice, small cup to kickstart your day.

The Aeropress inovation is making one single cup of good, solid coffee nearly flawlessly, every time. Get yourself some freshly-roasted, good beans ground, and carry some of their unobtrusive little round filters and you’ve suddenly got a barista-beating combo for your morning cup.

As a quality of life improvement, and way to stick to a good morning routine, even while moving countries, it’s been really great. Also, I feel these make really fantastic gifts for anyone whose every complained about a bad cup of coffee from someplace.

AppleTV (old HD version)

I mention this merely because it’s been a really nice-to-have travelling. It’s not normally in the backpack when travelling, but ends up being nice when I move place to place for more extended stays.

When I was packing my life away into storage, I held back putting this little hockey puck in there, and stuck it in my duffel. It’s fairly old, but it’s light and unobtrusive and if you do use the Apple ecosystem, this makes it super easy to upgrade your screen watching experience at almost any hotel in the world with only an additional HDMI cable (until all TVs support Airplay).

I don’t use the AppleTV service, Netflix, or others, but this does allow me to stream movies and series direct to the larger screen my hotels always have and get a much nicer viewing experience (either via Jellyfin running on the laptop or casting direct to the AppleTV from Quicktime or Safari. Note: I usually convert mkv torernts to mp4 for this purposes but that’s a nice one liner in bash). It also comes in super handy for technical YouTube videos since I can play them on-screen while coding along.

It’s definitely a nice quality of life improvement. Technically, you could just carryan HDMI cable and get the same effect, but then your computer is tied up playing things, rather than casting them and being able to do other things with the computer (and strangely, I like having background noise like the TV on while coding or writing - for example, writing this in a very busy cafe because I find the background buzz helps me focus.).

If any Apple engineers are reading this, I’d love it if Apple had an even smaller device than this thing, much like their old Apple Express wifi device which pluggeg directly into a power socket but which provided the ability to stream/cast and perhaps wifi but I believe their services approach makes that very unlikely in the future. I feel this is a missing niche in the market though (then again, it may be just me that’s the market… =] )

Eagle Creek Slim Pack-It Toiletry Bag

I’m not sure this qualifies as anything but miscellaneous, but this little bag is still going strong despite being on its second replacement.

Hard to find, and I believe, no longer made, finding a not-ridiculous-sized dop bag for travelling was much tougher than you’d imagine. Tri-fold and rolling down into a nice compact bundle for packing, this also helps you breeze through most airports (though US TSA tends to be bitchy about it) just by unrolling it into the tray since security can also see all the items in it via the mesh.

It has a nice hook so it hangs nicely in bathrooms from robe hooks, lipped sinks, and towel racks for easy access every morning.

Great product I look forward to someone smarter copying unless you’re a very high maintenance man and need to carry a lot of toiletries.

Improvements

I’m pretty happy with my setup, but as my adventures get less leave-home-and-expedition-y and more continual-nomad-y, the reality of one bag travel even with my drift towards minimalism in most things has me wondering if I’ve got the right mix of stuff now.

Mostly it comes down to specialized gear and travel trade-offs. For example, I carry my snorkel mask and most snowboarding gear (sans boots and board) in my duffel, as well as a pair of suits in case they’re needed, since my travel signature is more about moving to a new place for 3-6 months then perpetual motion.

After having stuff months in storage back in Singapore, wondering if I should be dumping all the extraneous except momentos, triage what makes sense to carry in the “may need” or “sometimes need” category and just having a larger duffel (since checking stuff on the plane in that case anyway). For example, I left behind some rather awesome trail-runners-on-steroids hiking boots, not to mention my good dress shoes (for when I used to wear suits), mostly for volume, weight, and having things which could double-duty reasons.

Rather stupidly (in retrospect, not at the time), I’m also dragging round a big 19kg Celestron 6” telescope with me (yes, you can giggle reading that) since I’d hoped to sharpen my astronomy with ahead of my PhD application when I originally envisioned what I’d be doing a year out moving out of Singapore… but locations and light pollution have made this feel like a rather silly thing to be dragging round with me now compared to actual usage and a pain to deal with when I’m away from a location for any amount of time (as I need to sort storing it and Customs always flags me with it when entering a country as it looks as suspicious AF.

If I end up continuing “slow nomad” style which, to be honest, feels much more amazing than what I’ve seen some other digital nomads and more fulfilling, I also have a few keepsakes (pictures, journals, antiques) back in storage that just make me feel more at home and less like a perpetual, rootless hotel dweller I’d like to keep with me. I do kinda like the way I’m living now, so I think it’s a matter of how that eternal “place for my stuff” question gets answered.

That said, for actual travel and day-to-day, I don’t think there’s anything I’d change in the above till I focus a little more on the “slow” vs “perpetual” nomad question. Very happy with my gear setup and I don’t feel I want for anything. Sure, I’m hardly Mr Fashion, but that only matters to a very thin slice of people whose opinions frankly differ from mine in what’s important in constituting a good life.

Fin

And that’s the list of useful items. This setup works great for me. As with all things, YMMV though I do hope you found something that piques your interest enough to try and that it makes your life better.

That said, I’d love to know about gear people love or that has fundamentally been huge life upgrades for them especially if they’re low footprint and portable.If you think there is something I should know about or try, please ping me. I’m always looking to make life a little better and easier. And always curious to hear more about works for people or brings them a little joy.

So, if this post was useful to you, lemme know via mail or elephant below. Feel free to mention or ping me on @awws on mastodon or email me at hola@wakatara.com.