The major thing I learned about going to Iceland last year?  I brought way too much shit.  Too much.  Clothes I didn’t wear, things I didn’t use (including camera equipment).  Since then, I’ve done personal weekend excursions, traveled all over the country for my previous job, became more familiar and experienced with my camera equipment, and recently acquired a gopro Hero5 Black.

It’s interesting how ill prepared I was for my trip abroad considering how much research I involved myself in for months before actually going.  How to roll your clothes a certain way to save space; what to do if you’re a woman on the rag; books/no books; laptop; schlepping text books for my class since I was gone for a couple of weeks; you get the idea.

Some trouble here is that I am far from being the most organized person.  I’m pretty certain if you asked my family or closer friends, or even take a look in my tote or backpack I’m carrying at the time, the response all around would be “ha ha – woah.”

Several months ago I purchased this thing from Cocoon (not an ad) – and it’s been a bit of a life changer.  I always have my phone charger, fitbit charger, notebook, pen, headphones.  I’m horrifyingly awful at forgetting where I set something, and with this thing, I have been feeling a little unstoppable.  It’s also kept my bags pretty clear of debris, and my cords don’t tangle.

The other problem I found with my travels these last ten months is my backpack doesn’t cut it anymore.  I got a great pack meant for hiking.  Decently water resistant, water bottle holder, comfy to wear.  I could just about squeeze my laptop in it, and throw my camera in there, my wallet, and maybe a sweater.  It has been my go-to carry-on for flying.

But…

I usually bring two lenses with me these days.  My 50mm and 18-135mm.  My 50mm usually stays attached to the camera while traveling, but the 18-135mm is left to jostle around.  I do have a camera bag, but it doesn’t hold my laptop, plus I’ve managed to acquire some more camera stuff (that I do use).

I did my research and purchased a hiking backpack that is a camera bag, and it has a laptop pouch.  My Cocoon organizer also fits in it nicely, and I cut back on the unnecessary amount of clothes I bring and I’ve managed to get myself to one bag counting as a personal item that stays with me on a plane, and my small suitcase counts as a carry-on.  BAM.  I’ve just cheapened my travels and the hassle with too much baggage.  I know some airlines allow one free checked bag and all that – but I’ve bypassed baggage claim.

It’s strange to think a year ago, messy me who wanted to travel sat in front of a computer at work wondering when her life of writing and traveling would begin.

Presently, I’m ready to hit up the Pacific Northwest, writing.  Gushing about organization.

WHO THE FUCK AM I?

High fives for everyone.