Brian Shaler

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Gravity is for chumps

Archive for September, 2011

Full-Time Travel: The Gear

photo by @kende

I’ve been traveling full-time for about 9 months now. I imagine many people I’ve hung out with along the way didn’t even know anything was different, because I’m living similarly to how I’ve lived for the last 4 years. However, instead of being grounded in Phoenix 1-2 weeks a month, I’ve replaced that time with “Other.”

While running my business and trying to do exciting and challenging work, I’ve also been couch surfing, short-term renting, and occasionally hotel-living. I probably should have written about all of this along the way, as there are many related topics to cover about the lifestyle.

A popular question for travelers is “what do you pack?” Different types of travel require different packing lists. For most, sites like my friend Alex’s are all you need.

But I do things differently. With full-time work-as-you-go travel, there’s a different set of needs. I essentially need to carry my entire home office with me at all times. Anything I need to run my business needs to be with me, or else I might as well not have it. This prevents me from being able to do anything crazy like going around the world with no bags, or trimming down to just 15 things. For me, it’s not about having as few things as possible; it’s about having everything I need, but only what I need, in as little space and weight as possible.

My home office turns out to be 2 bags, which allows me to travel without checking bags.

Bag 1: Home
21″ rolling luggage; fits in the overhead compartment

  • About a week’s worth of clothing: 9 t-shirts, 3 jeans, and plenty of underwear and socks
  • Toiletries: 75-100ml toothpaste, toothbrush, mustache wax, deodorant, electric shaver, fingernail trimmers, etc.
  • Fitness: Running shoes and gym shorts
  • Misc: Light but warm jacket, laundry bag, swimwear

Bag 2: Office
17″ laptop/messenger bag; fits under the seat in front of me

  • Laptop: 15″ MacBook Pro with SSD
  • Electric: International power adapter, power strip, phone/USB charger, laptop charger
  • Productivity despite babies and (not in!) blenders: Noise-cancellation headphones
  • USB External HDD, for large file storage, virtual machines, etc.
  • Photo/Video: Sony NEX-3 18-55mm with microphone accessory
  • Misc: Pocket umbrella, microfiber cloth, checkbook, receipt folder, envelopes, stamps, mini gorilla/tripod, sunglasses

On my person
Always in my pockets

  • Carrier-unlocked GSM phone (Nexus S)
  • Wallet, money clip, bottle-opener combo: Cash, coins, and cards
  • Passport
  • Notebook & pen

What else do you need?

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