Why I Pack Light and Travel Often

If there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that travel is the one thing that gets everyone going in the right direction. I have been fortunate enough to have visited more than 180 countries — and I’m just getting started. My goal is to travel to every country in the world. Like most travelers, there are a few things I never leave home without.

One is my camera. I’m very interested in photography and I always enjoy photographing wherever I’m visiting. I’ve been around the world from Morocco to Cuba to Kuwait. I recently purchased a mirrorless Nikon and I have not familiarized myself with it, but I will eventually be using that. I also have an iPhone I’ve been starting to rely on more.

I also recommend getting a travel set of jewelry and leaving more valuable pieces of jewelry at home. It’s a great way to express yourself and dress up your clothing without risking losing an heirloom piece or something that would be impossible to replace.

My third tip is to never leave home for a trip without packing a scarf or two. Scarves are such versatile accessories. They don’t just make a fashion statement; they can serve as a head covering in areas of travel where one might be required. Again, I would recommend leaving behind the Hermès and Loro Piana scarves for non-designer ones that you can just relax in.

Over the years, I have also learned the importance of taking a less-is-more approach when it comes to luggage. It’s easy to want to overpack — and trust me, I have a tendency to do it — but as I’m lugging all my stuff around, I remember that it’s just as easy to pack less and purchase anything I might need while I’m on the go. I’ve made a habit of leaving some space in my suitcase to hold clothing and accessories I purchase during my trip.

Having been all over the world, I’ve learned to be totally open-minded and welcoming of other countries and cultures. I think a mistake some American travelers make while visiting foreign countries is they expect these countries to somehow be a mini-version of the United States. Every country and culture is so different and unique and it’s wonderful to absorb all of these new sights and sounds. However, the more I travel, the more I’ve started to realize that we are all inspired by identical emotions and feelings.

Another must-do travel tip from me is not to wing it. There’s nothing more stressful than taking a trip and missing out on what could’ve been experienced due to a lack of proper planning. Research where you’re going and plan ahead so you can make the most of your time in a certain place.

Make sure you leave ample time for wandering around too, and enjoying some of the local food, music, and art. I have made pen pals worldwide by engaging in conversations with people and it’s been such a rewarding experience for me. I’ve gotten to experience other cultures in such an organic way. There is no greater feeling than connecting with someone new in a distant place and realizing you have so much in common.

My advice to the entire planet would be to travel more. We never regret the trips we take — only the journey not taken. This summer, pack your bags with just a few essentials and head out there on your own adventure. Hit the open road on an epic road trip or set sail to a faraway island. Wherever you go, priceless memories will be made. After all, the joy of travel stays with us forever.

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