My Packing List Revisited


Now that I have been on the road almost six months, I thought I would take a look back at my original packing list and share how it has held up.

What have I tossed and what have I replaced?

Here is the packing list I posted back in August as I prepared to depart. I’ve updated it to reflect what I have ditched so far.



  • Jeans – 2 pairs (both replaced in December after they developed holes near the crotch)
  • Nice black pants
  • Running/yoga pants
  • Skirts – 2 1 (tossed one in September when I realized I would never wear it)
  • Khaki shorts
  • Running capris
  • Shorts & t-shirt for pajamas
  • Under Armour dri-fit short sleeve shirts – 2
  • Short sleeve t-shirts – 5 2 (tossed 3 as it got colder to make room for new long-sleeve shirts)
  • Camisoles – 1 black, 1 white
  • Under Armour dri-fit long sleeve shirts – 2
  • Long sleeve t-shirts – 4 (tossed 1 of the originals & replaced with a new one)
  • Black cardigan sweater
  • Fleece pullovers – 2
  • Underwear – 10
  • Bras – 4 (2 regular, 2 sports) (replaced both regular bras in January)
  • Socks – 8 6 pairs plus 1 pair of tights (tossed lighter socks & replaced with wool ski socks in Siberia)
  • Swimsuit
  • Black Marmot rain jacket

New jeans from the Gap in Warsaw




  • Running shoes (tossed after the Tallinn Marathon)
  • Patagonia Bly Hemp walking/hiking shoes
  • Black ballet flats
  • Nike flip flops
  • Isotoner terry ballet slippers (tossed after I finished my Eastern European homestay swing)




  • Lush shampoo bar (lasted barely 30 days and never felt like my hair was clean – replaced w/ my regular Pantene shampoo)
  • Spray conditioner (used up in the fall, replaced w/ regular Pantene conditioner)
  • Face soap (have replaced twice)
  • Body soap (have replaced twice)
  • Acne cream
  • Deodorant (have replaced once)
  • Razors
  • Cotton swabs (have replaced once)
  • Pumice stone
  • Nail clippers & file (lost both & replaced)
  • Hair binders and headbands (2)
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush/paste/floss (have replaced brush once, paste & floss twice)
  • Tampons (have bought more along the way, they’ve been everywhere so far and not too expensive)
  • Eye drops




  • Asus netbook
  • Kindle 3G
  • Blackberry
  • iPod
  • Samsung HZ30W camera (replaced with the Samsung WB700 after I developed mold on the lens)
  • My old Canon point & shoot (now using my old Samsung as a backup, even w/ the mold spot)
  • Extra memory cards & camera batteries
  • Western Digital portable hard drive
  • 2 USB flash drives (sent one home w/ a backup of my first 5 months of photos & bought another one)
  • Adaptor/converter set
  • Travel size hair dryer
  • Garmin watch (sent home after marathon)
  • Wireless antenna (lost)




  • Prescription medications
  • Aleve (replaced w/ ibuprofen after running out in January)
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Band-aids
  • Neosporin
  • Hydrocortisone cream




  • Travel towel
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Plastic folder for various documents
  • Jewelry (sent home one necklace & earrings that I never wore)
  • Makeup
  • Steripen
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Packets of Woolite, a sink stopper and a travel clothesline
  • Russian phrase book
  • Eyewitness Top Ten guides to Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Moscow (donated to various hostels when I left town)
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Extra Zip Lock bags
  • Extra padlocks for hostel lockers
  • Laminated cards in Finnish, Estonian, Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Uzbek explaining my gluten intolerance
  • Extra copies of passport
  • Extra passport photos for obtaining visas along the way
  • List of US embassy information for each country I’m visiting
  • List of bank and credit card company contact information

How cute is my new shoulder bag?


What have I acquired along the way?


  • Winter jacket
  • Winter boots (tossed in January after I realized they were the cause of my severe foot pain)
  • Gloves (a total of 3 pairs – I lost the first, then decided the second weren’t warm enough to hike in Siberia and bought a third pair)
  • Fleece hat & neck warmer (replaced with a knit hat & scarf in Warsaw)
  • 2 lightweight sweaters
  • Long underwear
  • Russian grammar book (sent home after Russian classes ended in Kiev)
  • Purse (to replace my shoulder bag when the zipper broke).
  • Shoulder bag (to replace the purse when I got sick of it and realized it wasn’t as practical as I thought)

When my volunteer stint in Armenia ends in mid-April, I plan to lighten my load by sending home or discarding most of my winter gear. At the same time, my parents will be sending me some warm-weather clothes from home: capri pants, a skirt and a few tank tops. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I am ridiculously excited for that – I just hope they all still fit!

What do you think? Any surprises?

5 thoughts on “My Packing List Revisited”

  1. I can understand that you’re excited to have “new” clothes sent to you by your parents. It gets exhausting wearing the same few outfits over and over. I had a much smaller bag and mostly only needed warm weather clothes, but I still only ever had about 5 or 6 shirts at most.

  2. How has your Asus netbook not crashed yet? I’ve had one for only a year and a half and have had major problems with it twice (one within 3 months of purchase). I’m such a Mac girl 🙂 I hope for you that it lasts!

    1. Haha, I don’t know, lucky I guess? Hopefully I didn’t just jinx myself. 🙂

      I’m aging myself here, but my introduction to Macs was that they were the crappy computers in the computer lab in college that no one ever wanted to use because they always crashed or nobody could use because they weren’t working. Because of that, I have had a lifelong aversion to Macs. 🙂

  3. Did you pack all that into just the duffel bag and backpack shown in the first photo? Must be mighty efficient packing (I count 13 long/short-sleeve shirts alone to start).

    Also, my first thought was that the first four electronics were redundant. Couldn’t the Kindle functionality have been provided on your netbook or an iPad (also replacing the iPod)?

    1. Yep, everything fits into the two bags shown at the top. I use packing cubes which help organize it all and make it really efficient.

      I don’t think the electronics are redundant at all. I use the Kindle first for reading – something I definitely wouldn’t do on my laptop. It serves as a nice backup with the 3G connectivity when I can’t access free wi-fi, but the internet capabilities are very limited – I can check email, Twitter and Facebook and that’s about it. My iPod is a nano so it’s incredibly small and I brought it with mainly to use when I run – I wouldn’t want to carry anything bigger. I also hate using touchscreens so I will never be an iPad user. 🙂

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