11 things to pack when you’re traveling alone



I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to do without.

a solid memory of hanging out with loved ones

This is for those evenings when you find yourself sitting alone in a cold hostel kitchen eating supermarket-brand bread with some oddly colored cheese because you really can’t bring yourself to part with $24 for a warm dinner (here’s looking at you, Norway).

a waterproof covering for your backpack or purse

Probably the one piece of gear I have used the most.


I get cranky when I don’t feel like myself. It’s simple enough; a long walk outside, a hot cup of coffee or a nice old art museum somewhere are all great antidotes. Now why do I spend hours struggling to remember this every time?

something to write on and something to write with

Even if you only find scribbled addresses or to-do lists at the end of the whole adventure, it will still be a gift.

a good, sensible hippocampus, which will help you remember to send the postcards you spent hours choosing and filling out

Why can I never remember?? I found five written and addressed (but not stamped) postcards from two summers ago in my backpack yesterday. Maybe I’ll send them one day, long after those friends have forgotten all about me.

the ability to remind yourself, Tomorrow will be a whole new day!

It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a great day or a terrible one.

good walking footwear

Maybe rain boots too. These days, I just pretend that my rain boots are comfortable, and that does the trick.

the ability to wake up really early or stay up really late

I am yet to find an experience that is more gratifying than having entire city streets or forest paths all to myself before the rest of the world wakes up. These quiet walks are what I remember most vividly, long after they are past. It’s almost as though the warm solitude and sleepy brightness of early mornings provide the perfect conditions for the formation of crystal clear memories.

extra socks

For puddles, cold moments on the plane and just some added coziness.

a book

Now, this could be any book really. Maybe you have a tablet of some sort, so you can cart hundreds of books around with you, wherever you go. It doesn’t matter how many books you have, as long as you have one that makes you look up every now and then to gaze into the distance, wondering about life and love and everything in between. The thing is, this will remind you of all the times you’ve done that in the past, and gazed upon other views and other days. And you’ll suddenly feel a jolt to realize, I am here right now. Here, and nowhere else. Here.