For six weeks I made my way through England, France, Spain, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the US without carrying so much as a man-purse or a bum-bag. The few items I did bring (including a toothbrush, an iPod, and a few extra items of clothing) were tucked away in my pockets. Along the way I learned a thing or two about improvisation, hygiene, and what is and isn’t necessary when travelling the world….
In addition to the clothes on my back (cargo pants, boots, socks/underwear, T-shirt) I brought a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste, a small deodorant stick, two small bottles of concentrated liquid soap, sunglasses, a small tube of sunscreen, an iPod touch and foldable Bluetooth keyboard, a small digital camera, a small flashlight, a credit/cash card, and my passport. All of these items fitted, along with a change of socks, underwear, and T-shirt, into the inner pockets of a jacket/vest. All told, my total kit weighed less than two kilos.
I love the idea of being able to go around the world with nothing more that what I can carry in my (many, oversized, secret) pockets. I try to pack light, and the idea that a trip with no bags would be a life entirely unencumbered naturally appeals to me. Of course, it appeals in much the same way the country appeals to urban dwellers: as an idealized opposite whose simplicity you believe would be spiritually clarifying. In reality, I probably wouldn’t find it so great, and as Potts himself says elsewhere,
travel anywhere is often a matter of exploring half-understood desires. Sometimes, those desires lead you in new and wonderful directions; other times, you wind up trying to understand just what it was you desired in the first place. And, as often as not, you find yourself playing the role of charlatan as you explore the hazy frontier between where you are, who you are, and who it is you might want to be.