Here I am back at the airport and today I'm at Dublin Airport in Ireland waiting for my flight to Los Angeles where I'll be spending the next three months. It seemed fitting to share this with you today.
People often ask me about my top travel essentials, which consist mostly of tech products and electronics. I'm not really a light traveller and no matter how hard I try, usually by the time I squeeze in my clothes, toiletries, electronics, chargers and really everything apart from the kitchen sink, I don't have room for much else.
I have always overpacked, I remember once when I was young and travelling with my parents, I was stopped and searched by airport security and they found a torch, batteries and a watch that I had managed to deconstruct and slip into my backpack. I honestly don't know why I put it in there or why I thought it necessary to bring it on a sunny beach holiday at the age of 10 but nonetheless that's what happened and I'm still embarrassed thinking back on it. My parents were red faced and mortified and started to monitor my luggage on future family vacations.
Now that I'm travelling more and more, I have to say that I have improved although another downfall is that I'm Mr Last Minute when it comes to packing. I usually throw on a load of laundry, fire it into my suitcase along with my toiletries and whatever else will fit, all about 3 hours before my flight departure time.
My main essentials when travelling though include my laptop which is an Apple MacBook Pro, my Nikon D3200, iPhone and iPad. I can't live without these and God forbid the battery dies mid-transit on any of these devices, it knocks me off schedule so you'll usually find me curled up beside a wall with leads plugged into every available socket.
On my iPhone, I use various apps including Facebook, Twitter, Squarespace, Instagram and Avary (for all that lovely on the go editing). My iPad is mostly used for indulging in my kindle books when I have downtime. The MacBook Pro has been one of my best and favourite investments to date, I made the switch from Microsoft about two years ago and haven't looked back since.
I purchased the camera on recommendation from a photographer in Paris and use it mostly when I'm on assignment for the website although the camera in my iPhone has been getting more action lately as it's super handy for uploading directly to social media from anywhere in the world.
As for clothes and accessories, that usually depends on the destination. On a recent trip to India I literally wore my favourite Adidas spandex running pants, my Nike sneakers and a basic H&M tee. Yes, I wore it everyday, for three months. Thankfully the fashion police weren't out to get me, I was hiding in the Himalayas. We did have a laundry service though and were practicing yoga everyday so you know, comfort over style and all that malarkey.
Anyway, back on topic. If I'm headed off to a sunny resort I usually bring a few pairs of shorts, some light tee shirts, my Birkenstocks and aviator sunglasses. I buy my sunglasses at H&M at a bargain price and usually buy three pairs every time I'm in store. I usually leave them everywhere I go, marking my territory.
As for city breaks, I'll pack a few tees and something smart to wear for meetings or events. A coat is essential on city breaks as there always seems to be snow or a blizzard when I touch down. It's my Irish luck!
I'll usually travel with my yoga mat if I know I won't have access to a studio while I'm away. Otherwise I'll leave it at home and rent one at whichever class I go to. If you're looking for a great travel mat though you should check out Manduka's range of on the go mats which are lightweight and can be simply folded away into your luggage.
It really doesn't sound like a lot but it's more so the shopping I do at the airport that packs out my luggage. I fall into the traps of those lovely smiling sales representatives at Duty Free and often leave with a bag full of goodies that I don't actually need and will probably never use. Then there's the food, I stock up on snacks like I'm never going to eat again. Haribo and anything with a coating of sugar is my weakness.
Technology is for me is the most important, it's my communication with the outside world and don't get me wrong, I love meeting other people when I'm travelling alone but the thought of travelling without these devices makes me anxious. It's a little sad how dependent we have become on technology but can you really imagine a life without Instagram? No, I can't either.
And so there you have it, my life in a 23kg suitcase.