The 7 MVP's of my Remote Year Suitcase - Among Other Things (The Blog)

The 7 MVP’s of my Remote Year Suitcase

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:

1. Packable backpack

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)


2. Leggings (with pockets)

Ya’ll, the one time I didn’t wear compression pants/workout leggings on an international flight, I was walkin’ around with cankles for a solid 24 hours.

I packed two pairs of these and have worn them on all (17) of the flights I’ve taken thus far in the year. The fact that they have pockets is a total game-changer.

Shop: $59 compression leggings with pockets


3. White sneakers

I only packed three pairs of shoes for my four-month Remote Year program — flat sandals, these slides and a pair of white Nike’s.

While I wear my Madewell mules almost every day, I had to highlight the sneaks since they’re so damn easy to clean.

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.

Quick tip, too: If you’re in the market for a new pair of Nike’s, check out Kohl’s — they have so many more styles than Nordstrom or a similar retailer; they’re cheaper, too!

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


5. Large square scarf

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 scarflike any of these options — that is either satin or silk in texture. Satin ones will be more affordable, and in terms of size it’s the bigger the better. I like these 27″ styles which are only $9.99 on Amazon.

ways to tie a big silk scarf around your head cute safari outfit_3

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 preeeetty positive I’ve used it almost daily ever since. (Here’s a similar $35 option, too.)

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


7. Black jumpsuit

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.

You can never have too many black jumpsuits, though; right? (Nordstrom has lots of options — this one looks just like it and is only $49, though.)

Shop: $49 black jumpsuit | shop black jumpsuits


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