It was a full moon out. Gorgeous and in awe of nature. Our days were spent walking from 7am until 5pm on our 800 km trek in Palawan, Philippines. Every day, locals would approach us, wondering where we’d been. Our backpacks, the sign of an adventurer, gave us away. And villages were small enough for people to know, we weren’t from around here.
Each day, a local would take us in and host us for the night and then send us on our merry way by morning. You couldn’t get this kind of treatment in the city, but in the province, people were friendlier. They didn’t have to rush in city time. Things were slower in the province. People had time to stop and talk to eachother.
That night was no different. We had just stopped at a beach town and a fisherman took us in.
“Be aware of your surroundings,” Joemar told me. “Just be careful.” It was the first time he had mentioned caution in our surroundings for the past week we had walked together. I was getting nervous. Was this the night I’d face a serial killer?
The thought briefly entertained my mind. After all, we were in the middle of nowhere, and unlike the other locals who had taken us in, he lived alone… Blood was on my mind and then it happened… That familiar, uncomfortable feeling in my pants. The blood of red flow.
My friend had known I was on my period before I knew I was about to start, and tried to warn me. I was completely unprepared.
Traveling essentials for women are naturally different than men. Because I’m actually gearing to travel very soon (as in, less than a week from now), I’ve got to get my packing check list together, and I can’t forget my lady necessities this time!
Here’s a list of my top 10 travel ‘essentials’ that I can’t forget to pack:
1. A jumprope: I’m cleaning out my room before I leave and just found a jump rope. I’ve decided I want to pack this for a good, lightweight exercise tool perfect for the location independent traveler, and gym on the go. Jump roping is one of those underrated exercises that is really good for you, and it’s important for me to stay fit.
2. Virgin coconut oil: This stuff is the best for everything! It’s amazing. Coconut is a superfood so it’s really healthy for you. For cooking, for green smoothies, for your coffee, for your hair, for your skin and yes, even for lube. And that’s what i’m talking about. Its antifungal, antibacterial properties make it gentle on your skin and genitals (giggle).
3. Condoms. Regular and XL (you know, just to cover all our bases). In all likelihood, I’ll probably just buy this in SE Asia (well, except for XL, that might be harder to find. So damn, I need to buy these soon.), but as a female single traveler, it’s not a bad idea to carry around birth control and STD prevention. Safe sex or no sex! I’ll take the former, please.
4. Vibrator. Specifically my purple vibrator because it’s the only one I can find right now… It’s my first vibrator and the most reliable. My Hitachi magic wand has yet to show itself, and somewhere around here I also have Hello Kitty. To be honest, I’ve never traveled with my vibrator(s) before, but I’ve decided I want to treat myself, and I’m expecting alone time in Thailand.
5. My laptop. AKA my lifeline (along with wifi, that is). I work online and that’s how I make my monies. It’s got everything I need to read Kindle books so I don’t have to bring physical books. And it has workout videos and everything else for on-to-go exercise. I love my 13″ Retina Macbook Pro.
6. External harddrive. I use this to store all my important work files, and music, and ebooks, and all those things that I also couldn’t live without.
7. Flip-flops and Vibrams. This is the only form of footwear that I ever need. I just bought my first pair of Vibram five fingers for minimalist ‘barefoot’ running and I love it! It’s the most comfortable shoe (or un-shoe) I’ve ever had, and flip-flops are essential for SE Asia, where I’ll be floating around.
8. Clothing. Shorts and t-shirts. Pants, yoga pants, workout pants, sports bras, leggings, push-up bra, panties, g-strings. G-strings are great for those tight leggings so you don’t have pantylines. And they’re so uncomfortable, like a perpetual wedgie, that I just want to get more comfortable wearing them. I’ve been making the effort since I always hated wearing them before, but it secretly makes me feel sexy (as does a good push-up bra). I don’t care if no one sees it, but wearing awesome underwear is the best instant confidence boost!
9. Toothpaste & toothbrush & feminine product. This is about the only ‘essential’ I have when it comes to hygiene and toiletries. I use feminine napkins, not tampons, because I grew up using them, even though I know that tampons are the popular choice in North America. You can only order tampons over-the-counter at the pharmacy in the Philippines. I’d rather not bother… But if I was really put together, I’d really rather use the Diva cup, which is a reusable earth-friendly solution, perfect for swimming and active lifestyle too. Hand sanitizer, tissue, hand wipes, make-up… those are extra bonuses that you really don’t need. I’m fine sporting au naturale. And I don’t care what you think, I don’t wear deodorant either.
10. Camera. It’s important for me to be able to take pictures so I have memories of the places that I’ve been. It’s also great for uploading on Facebook so people can get updates, and posting on my blog for travel-inspired writing. My camera also doubles as a video camera so it’s perfect for future youtube videos. Watch out, world!
Those are my travel essentials. And as far as essentials for travel destination, sun, nature and beach are my requirement. No, I don’t have a swimsuit, but I’ll buy one when I land SE Asia!
What are your travel essentials for your chosen travel destination(s)?