I was in Berlin and sleepy, waiting impatiently for Ben to bring coffee. Impatient and restless, excited and sleepy. The myriad mix of things that can only happen when you're hitting day 11 of travel. Or is it 12? Let's see... we're going to the wall today, and after that we still need a spot for lunch, or... I never did find that one coffee shop... ugh, coffeee. I noticed myself foraging the same little pile of favorites as I tried to orient my day. When packing, I hadn't anticipated I'd consider these such a lifeline, yet most days they were either on my body or in the backpack. The four things I used more than anything else in my suitcase. And I'm sharing them with you.
1. Michael Stars Skinny Scarf This got thrown in as an afterthought, really. Then I wore it my first night in Oslo and never looked back. You can wear it long, you can wear it doubled up and tied like a bandana, and you can even wear it when you're on a really scary night train and a scarf around your neck is the next best thing to a hug from your mom (guilty). Anyway, it's super lightweight, provides a little warmth when needed, and it's chic. What more do you want? Moving on.
2. Urban Undercover underwearables Yes, I'm going to talk about undies. But I have work friends reading this so I'll keep it PG: Urban Undercover rules. They are fast-drying for the wash-wear-repeat cycle of long term travel. They are supremely comfortable. And to keep you organized, these fold up into their own little pocket, and then fold a different way when they need to be washed. And that little pocket? Perfect place to store a key, or emergency cash. And they look good. And you'll look good in them. And they also make a sweet bralette. And I'll just end it with this: Have you ever looked at the underwear section of REI? Urban Undercover is a major upgrade. Watch this video to see how it works.
3. Patagonia Ultralight Down Vest This gets an A+ for form and function. Perfect for everything from a day hike hitting new altitude, to a chilly cafe in the shade. I love the look of the shiny ripstop and narrow quilting; you can throw this on over anything and still look good. And besides looking good, it really will keep you warm despite it's lightweight: Elastic at armholes and waist trap heat, and it layers easily under a rain jacket. Bonus: It folds into it's own pocket to create a travel pillow.
4. Josie Maran Argan Oil This little miracle bottle will keep you lookin' good on the go. I don't pack conditioner or body lotion when I travel, only this liquid gold. Run it through the ends of your hair to keep it looking healthy, or put a little in before you braid. When you get out of the shower, put a few drops in your hands and distribute down your limbs while skin is still damp. Put a drop or two on elbows and toes. There's really a million ways to use this stuff. But be warned: A little goes a very long way. Which is perfect.
So that's it! The 4 things I would have died without, and brought everywhere. Auf Wiedersehen!