2017 Travel Bucket List … Kinda

As you know, the first half of my year will be spent traveling with Remote Year.  So in order to plan a teeny bit instead of flying by the seat of my pants which has been my MO (and has turned out completely fine, by the way.  Overplanning is overrated), I drafted a 6 month travel bucket list.  As I used to tell my teams at my old job, this is a fluid document and is subject to revisions and updates at any time.



  • Visit Batu Caves.
  • Eat something weird (as defined by me.  Bull Penis Soup is on the menu for an event on Wednesday and that is not going anywhere near my mouth).
  • Stop having literature ADD and actually finish a book.



  • One week in paradise – lose the watch, forget what day it is.



  • Hike Machu Picchu.
  • Visit Lake Titicaca and message my family Groundhog Day jokes.
  • Make friends with a llama or an alpaca.
  • Set aside time every day to write.
  • Decrease checked bag size to 18 kg.



  • Become a wine snob.
  • Visit Mendoza to achieve ^^
  • Learn to salsa.
  • Buy a pair of fabulous heels in which to salsa.
  • I have two months in Argentina.  Go on a one-on-one date with everyone in Remote Year.



  • Have a 10 minute conversation comfortably in Spanish.
  • See a penguin up close.
  • Stay up all night.
  • Focus on saying ‘See you on the road’ and not ‘Goodbye.’

A Love Letter to My Backpack

Dear Backpack,

I just left you and I miss you.  I dropped you, empty, on the floor, surrounded by what was once inside you: clothes, shoes, plane tickets and restaurant receipts.  I hope you’re not lonely.

I hate to see you empty and deflated in the corner of my room, sometimes doubling as a laundry hamper.  I don’t think that was what you had in mind when I bought you.  When I went to the store three times before choosing you.  You, bright blue, calling to me from across the room.  I looked at a few other packs for show but I knew you were the one.

I think you’re the most yourself when you’re full.  When you’re on my back, in transit.  When I can pack each of your compartments with special items – toothbrush here, electronics in this pocket, passport here.

I think you like to hurt me, hurt my shoulders, pain my back, and even clip parts of my skin when I’m not careful.  But that’s okay, I’m a little rough with you too.  I know I stretch you too thin, pack you too tight, and throw you around as if you don’t matter.

But know that you matter.  Know that you’re keeping me together on long journeys and short, from Morocco to Bulgaria to Greece and our upcoming adventure in Asia.  I’m counting on you to be strong and hold on because I don’t know how I’ll make this trip without you.  You hold everything that matters to me and I can’t and won’t let you leave my side.  See you soon.



Repacking the Suitcase

I went home at the start of July for a bomb wedding and had the opportunity to evaluate the possessions that will stay with me for the rest of my Remote Year journey – unless of course I lose it, break it, or share it.

What I Have Not Used So Far:

  • Sweater
  • Jackets
  • Cold weather clothing of any kind
  • Wedge heels (only wore twice)

What I Rely On:

  • Black maxi dress
  • All of my other shoes
  • Shorts
  • Jeans
  • Patterned tops

My theory in packing was to rely on neutral colors and styles for tops and bottoms.  This, as a theory, makes sense.  I’m wearing the same clothes every other week, so no need to stand out.  However, in practice this does not make me feel cute, attractive, stylish, or fun.  So I’ve swapped my gray, black, and white tops for things with a bit more flair to make me feel GOOD about what I’m wearing.  Because that’s what dressing is all about – to make you feel like a rockstar.

Plus, everyone on this trip is wearing the same clothes over and over.  It’s a non-judgemental group here with Remote Year Magellan, so there is absolutely no reason to be self-conscious about wearing my Oh My God Becky tank top every two weeks.

So, I went through every item in my suitcase (clothes, electronics, tchotchkes) and made hard and fast decisions while holding them a la “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (a great read by the way, if you’re into that sort of thing).  Other items I ditched included my iPad which I never used, the wedge heels, and my hair dryer, curling iron, and straightener.  For those last three, I realized I was wearing my hair wavy every day which is (1) easy, (2) quick, and (3) comfortable — it’s dang hot in a lot of the places I’m going and blasting my face with heat is about the last thing I want to do.  And I reasoned that if I were to ever want to do my hair differently, I have friends who share.

Side note: I’ve used both my spork AND my headlamp in Portugal. I’ll call that a win.


Pile of items left behind. Why did I think I would use a resistance band?!