I’m flying out to Seoul, South Korea, at the end of the month to meet up with my best bud, JT White, and thought this might be a good time to tell you what I’m taking with me. This will actually be my first trip alone overseas, and since Faye is not coming with me (she usually wants to bring everything but the kitchen sink! haha) I can get away without having to check-in luggage which will save me time when I make my connecting flight at Heathrow. With only a 10kg weight limit though, travelling light is the order of the day.
First things first, apologies for the terrible photos. I don’t do product photography and have zero interest in learning how.
My bag is made by Targus and it’s called the ‘Seoul’ backpack – yes, the model name really is ‘Seoul’. I just use normal backpacks. A proper camera bag with all the padded compartments seems a bit overkill for a Ricoh GR. I’ve had this bag for about a year and love it. I carry it with me everywhere I go, so it was a natural choice for my trip as it will double up as my day pack while I’m out there. There’s a main compartment with padded sections for a tablet and laptop, and a front section for all my knick-knacks. There’s also a hidden zip pocket that sits under your back when you’re wearing it, useful for important stuff like passport, plane tickets and money. I also plan on taking a waterproof rain cover to keep my bag dry in the event of a downpour – apparently, it rains quite a bit in Korea during July.
My camera. Obviously, this is the most important bit of packing after the passport and plane tickets. I’m taking my Ricoh GR II in a Pelican 1020 Micro dust-proof case, Dsptch Sling camera strap, spare batteries and a charger. I always get external chargers for my cameras. I hate having the camera out of action while it’s charging. It’s certainly overkill, but I have 6 batteries for the GR.
I’ll be taking my phone, the iPhone SE – I’m hoping to get a Korean sim card so I can use data while I’m there to keep in touch when I’m out and about. I’m not taking a laptop (I don’t have one) but I’ll be taking my Google Pixel C tablet, mainly for watching movies on the long flight. Of course it’ll come in useful for browsing the web, reviewing photos and blogging while I’m there. I’ll also be taking a keyboard – the Vortex Core – it’s a 40-key mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches. It’s a joy to type on. I could probably live without this, but I don’t want to.
My headphones of choice are a recent edition to my bag. The Beyerdynamic Byron in-ears. They’re not quite as good as my previous headphones. I really liked my 1st-generation Marley brand in-ears, but having bought a replacement pair after Faye stole mine it’s pretty clear that the company has completely lost its way. Their new headphones are complete shite – not recommended. The Beyerdynamic Byrons have decent sound for the price and have a little carry case to keep them neat when stowed in the backpack. I actually have a pair of Sennheiser PX 100-II on-ears I prefer but they won’t be good on the plane; in-ears will block out the engine noise better.
I have a universal USB charger that can run a number of devices at once, so that will save space in the bag. I also have a powerbank that can charge the Pixel C twice and my iPhone several times without needing to plug in to a power socket – useful for the long plane journey. It can also be used to charge my camera in a pinch.
My trusty notebook also goes everywhere with me. I usually use a Rhodia Webnotebook with my fountain pens, but fountain pens and planes don’t mix well. The pressure changes cause the ink to exit the pen and into your pocket or bag – not so desirable. Having collected way too many pens over the years, the next best alternative is the Uniball Signo RT 0.38 with a ruled Moleskine. Can you tell I’m also a stationery geek!?
Being a bit of a foodie, I’ll also be taking a copy of ‘Eating Korea’ by Graham Holliday. I won my signed copy in a giveaway on Instagram – the cover photo was actually taken by JT. I promised Graham I would let him know what I thought of the food. I can’t wait to try some Korean cuisine, assuming my delicate British constitution holds up. I almost always get ill on holiday; I think it’s a mental thing.
The key to travelling light is to dramatically cut down on the amount of clothes you take.
– Quick Dry Merino Wool Socks x2
– Quick Dry Uniqlo Airism Boxers x2
– Quick Dry Uniqlo Airism T-Shirts x2
– Quick Dry Montane Terra Trousers x2
– Light Weight Berghaus Fleece x1
– Montane Breathable Waterproof Jacket x1
– Snapback Cap
– Vans Old Skool Trainers
One pair of trousers doubles up as shorts. Zip-offs sure aren’t fashionable, but they are practical. With quick dry gear you can wash it at the end of each day and it’ll be dry by morning. In a pinch you can even wash it the same day, wring it out, put it on damp and it’ll be dry in half an hour. Most of my clothes are black to hide any stains I might pick up.
The fleece will be worn in the evenings when it cools down. The waterproof jacket is breathable Gore-tex and packs into a little sack to save space. When it’s packed up it can double as your pillow on the plane.
Of course, I will be wearing half of the clothes I am taking when I go to the airport so that in itself saves a bunch of space.
You gotta have a cap to keep the sun off your head and the rain out of your eyes. It doubles as an eye mask if you want to nap on the plane or in the airport. A cap means you never have to worry about how bad your hair looks and saves space in your bag cos you don’t need to take hair products (bonus!).
Sunglasses are another essential item.
I’m planning on doing a lot of walking so a comfy pair of shoes is essential. For years now, my shoe of choice has been Vans Old Skool trainers. They’re so comfy and have pretty thin uppers so your feet don’t get too sweaty.
The only other essentials are earplugs, toothbrush, and deodorant. Anything else I need I can get while I’m there.
Jeez, a thousand words for one bag of stuff.
In other news, I’m hoping to write a few blogs whilst I’m away, and I might do a live video or two.
Bye for now, I’ll see you on the other side of the world.