When I was 19 I backpacked through Europe for a couple of months, so I should know what I need more or less. Now I am packing for my Latin America trip that starts tomorrow (yay!) and the differences stand out like the gray hairs among my brown curls:
– The Backpack: At 19 I had a backpack which I carried around — on my back. Now I got one of those wheeled backpacks because my back isn’t what it used to be and lets face it, I’m not trekking in the Amazon.
– The Toiletry Bag: At 19 I had a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, shampoo, deodorant and a hair gel I bought at the dollar store. Now I have 2 different bags — one for daily use with the basics and one for all the extras like special floss picks, sulfate free hair stuff, etc. I am not proud of this.
– The Medicines: At 19 I took a bottle of Advil. At 36 I have a heavy medicine bag with stuff for every illness everyone and his grandmother has ever heard of because what if we do decide to trek in the Amazon???
– The Media: Back in 1998 a book was enough. Now I have a phone, a Chromebook, a Kindle, an MP3 player and an external hard drive filled with stuff just in case, you know, a crazy adventure is not enough.
– The Money: At 19 we had travelers checks (if you are young look it up!) and we carried them with us all the time. There was only one kind of money belt and I didn’t have a credit card. Now… I will not tell you because I don’t want to get mugged 🙂
– The Clothes: For both trips I packed in packing cubes. One for t-shirts, one for bottoms, one for sweaters and one for socks and underwear. But when I was 19 we started in Athens, landed late at night, and had a ticket for the islands really early in the morning. After my first backpacker’s shower I realized I had left behind my underwear cube. All of it. And they didn’t sell underwear in the islands. This time I’m hoping to have underwear.
Having said that, I am as excited now as I was then. Like a kid in a candy store. Shit, I have to buy candy for the flight!!!