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There are about 3 million logistical things to work out when planning for a year of travel.

And you know which one I spent the MOST time trying to figure out?

How in the world would I get everything I need for an entire year in a single carry-on suitcase and a backpack…

I read SO MANY blogs about this.

The most common theme was that it doesn’t matter what you bring and that you should bring half (or less) of what you think you will need.

A lot of people talked about how much they wish they hadn’t stressed about this.

But that didn’t stop me from stressing.

***Note: I plan to update this blog at the halfway point and end of the trip. I’m sure I’ll be soooooo minimalist by then and say things like “I didn’t need any of this and could have just stuck with 2 outfits and a computer…but probably not”

PART 1: Non-attachment

There’s no way (that I could figure out) to actually pack 4 seasons worth of clothes into this small amount of space.

Therefore, I knew I would have to rotate out my clothes from place to place.

This means being ok with leaving clothing behind from place to place, so I only packed things that I knew I’d need for the whole trip, OR that I was ok with donating along the way.

PART 2: What I’m Actually Packing

Note: I’m including specifics about each item because these were the kind of notes that would have REALLY helped me….


  • Rain Jacket (very lightweight, knee length, and big enough to fit over a sweater)
  • Hooded Patagonia Puffer (black, packs down small, super warm and waterproof)
  • Athleta Tights (2 pairs of black high waisted Athleta tights; since this is what I’ve lived in every day for the past 2 years anyway – I figured it was the most versatile and compact ‘pants’ option)
  • 3 T-Shirts (black, white and gray crop tees by Alo Yoga; they pack down SUUUUPER tiny and are made of a non-pilling material)
  • 2 Long Sleeves (one omni-heat, one lululemon moisture wicking; both pack down small)
  • 3 Tanks (with built-in bras)
    Black Turtleneck (decided this was really versatile because it can be layered for hiking, worn out exploring for the day and also to a nice dinner in the evening)
  • Hoodie (choosing ONE hoodie to bring was the hardest part)
  • Fleece zip up (black, Columbia)
  • Joggers (instead of jeans, which I don’t even wear normally, I opted for black sweatpant joggers as they can be worn inside for comfy time and out around town)
  • Undies (10 pairs)
  • Sports bras (3; one specifically for working out and 2 for everyday)
  • Socks (4 pairs – hear me out – because they take up more space than you think so I’d just buy some extra warm smart wool socks upon arriving in Scotland)
  • 2 Swimsuits (one long-sleeve and one versatile 2-piece)
  • 1 Rashguard (a cheap one from Amazon that I can donate after the sailing trip).
  • 3 ‘Summer’ outfits (also to donate after the sailing trip).
  • Oversized T-Shirt (can be worn as t-shirt dress and double as pajamas)
  • 3 hats (one black baseball cap, one beanie, one red wool beret *I know that doesn’t sound practical but it’s a sentimental item with a good back story and I really want to take it around the world with me).
  • 3 pairs of shoes (Keen replica sandals (which will be donated after the sailing trip), waterproof boots, palladium high top sneakers).
  • Jewelry (Small case with a few necklaces, bracelets and rings to jazz up what will ultimately be a very boring wardrobe)


  • Laptop + Charger
  • iPad
  • Tech case (includes phone charger, back up battery, watch charger, iPen, ink pen)
  • 1 Notebook (it’s got 3 sections; one of which I use as a journal and 1 that I use for work stuff/ task lists etc.)
  • Over-ear bluetooth headphones (for travel / zoom calls)
  • Bose in-ear headphones (for workouts / phone calls)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Travel wallet (with passport, itinerary, back up identification, cash )
  • Small “day pack” backpack
  • Eye Mask
  • Sunglasses (2 pairs)


  • medications
  • deodorant
  • toothbrush + tiny toothpaste + floss
  • tiny soap
  • clothes soap bar
  • face lotion (just enough to get to Scotland)
  • body lotion (just enough to get to Scotland)
  • bobby pins
  • Minimal makeup bag (1 spf 50 foundation, mascara, eyeliner)
  • My favorite perfume roller (clearly not ‘essential’ but one of those small things I think I’ll be really happy I brought along)

What I can’t bring:

I think the top 2 things I’ll miss the most are my aerial yoga hammock and my comfy desk setup (I’ve got a huge iMac I’m used to working from and a standing desk).

I also reeeeeally wish I could bring a yoga mat and a foam roller; both of which obviously would take up way too much space.

Dressy clothes (since I won’t be wearing that kind of thing very often, it’ll be a lot easier to find cute stuff at thrift stores, wear it for a while, and then donate it when I’m ready for something new.)

I’ll be updating this with photos and final notes once our bags are packed!