I’ve been living out of a suitcase for nearly three months — here’s what I wear almost daily.
The idea for this post came to me about two weeks ago as I was settling into Taghazout, a sleepy coastal village about three hours from Marrakech (and my favorite Moroccan town to-date).
As you can see, I didn’t pack much — I’ve been learning to travel very light.
When I initially decided to work and travel the world through Remote Year last year, “What the hell are you supposed to pack?” was something I’d struggled with leading up to my December departure date.
I’m normally a carry-on-only kinda gal, but because I knew I’d be traveling through Africa and Europe for four months (now six months), a carry-on just didn’t seem realistic.
I’m more than two months into my Remote Year program this year (here’s my first month recap/reflections) and there’s a handful of clear cut essentials and sartorial life-savers that have since emerged — plus, a handful of things I’ve since shipped home (since I hadn’t worn or used them once).
I’ll go into greater detail about what I packed for my entire Remote Year trip in another post; but in the interim, I wanted to tell you about items I wear, need, use and rely on the most.
So without further adieu…The seven things I wear most on Remote Year:
Packable backpack: This is — hands down — the best investment I packed to use on Remote Year. I carry it everywhere: On weekend side-trips, beach days, sunrise hikes — you name it. Better yet, it weighs next-to-nothing and takes up virtually zero space in my checked bag (as it folds up into itself). And at less than $13, I wish I’d have bought it in black, too.
Shop: $13 packable backpack (in various colors)
Above is what they look like at the moment — and trust me, I’ve put them through the fuckin’ ringer. I’ve worn them for every single hike I did in Cape Town, across the Sahara desert, all over Morocco and even on a South African safari. I actually can’t believe how white I’m able to keep them just tossing them in the washer.
Shop: $59 Nike sneakers (lots of colors) | more white Nike’s here
4. Denim jacket
Four months of travel has taught me just how versatile a good jean jacket can be.
I wear mine as a jacket — duh — but also knotted around my waist as a makeshift belt, as something to style my dresses differently, etc.
Shop: Madewell denim jacket
Large square scarf: For those that have been following along on Instagram, you had to have seen this one coming. I’ve never really been a headscarf kinda gal until this year (or until Remote Year, really) — but it seriously changes the game.
These silky (square) scarves are affordable (under $10!), can dress up virtually any outfit and fool-proof even the worst of hair days.
The trick is to get a large square scarf — like any of these options — that is either satin or silk in texture. Satin ones will be more affordable, and in terms of
Shop: $9.99 square headscarf
The last two items I actually bought my first week in Cape Town (back in January), but since I’ve used or worn them so regularly ever since, I wanted to mention ’em:
6. Belt bag
I bought a cognac-colored belt bag just like this one in Cape Town earlier this year and I’m
It’s particularly useful on travel day (for storing important documents, headphones, my phone, etc) and on weekends when I’m just out exploring the city. Make sure you invest in one you can wear around your waist and cross-body for an added element of functionality.
Shop: $68 belt bag | $35 belt bag
Man, had I known just how much mileage this thing would get I’d have packed the one I have at home that looks just like it.