I am packing my backpack, and it will sit in the corner of my apartment here in Kara, Togo an always ready to travel bag.
I want an idiot-proof system, the no way to forget system. because only an idiot thinks he is perfect and will never forget needed travel gear.
For the last 15 years of my perpetual travel lifestyle has been easy, just take everything in the hotel room, and somehow stuff into my packpack. Look under the bed, shake the sheets, and check to make sure nothing is on the clothesline outside the hotel room.
The No Luggage Strategy.
15 years ago in Pie de Cuesta, Mexico, a small beach 8 miles north of Acapulo, I met a very secretive man, he always arrived with no luggage. He would leave for a couple of months, then return. My friend Enrique stored a suitcase for him, inside the bag was all the clothes, and things the man would use while living at Pie de la Cuesta, Acapulco. (The rumour was he was C.I.A.)
The means you are going to the same locations.
The Ready to Go Live Abroad Apartment Strategy
This is what I doing here in Kara, I am making an apartment, where I can enter, and live, without luggage, everything I need will already be here waiting.
There are people who rent fully furnished apartments, and after 15 years of travel, I am positive this is just a lie. At the very best, these apartments only have about half of what is needed. Check them, as a rule of thumb, always count the number of hangers in the closet, if there is not 10 more than you could possible need, it is not fully furnished.
If I had five apartments, and never wanted to travel to new cities, then I would never need luggage. However, for me, the joy in travel is the new city, therefore this will never happen.
The Always Ready Travel Backpack Strategy
There are people that have gear they use for travel, and gear they use for living at home. This has always seemed rather stupid to me, travel is efficiency of movement, never wordy, living very effectively and efficient.
The gear I used for travel is very effective, so I use it here in an apartment, I am not stupid, I do not live in an apartment, and live disorganized. All the gear I used for travel, will always be used when not traveling. I used gear that is highly efficient, and I am not in love with travel gear.
I am buying all the gear I need here in Kara, to duplicate what I carry in my backpack, there is no need for a travel gear store.
I Trashed the Swiss Knife 14 Years Ago
I think the Swiss Knife is as stupid as it gets travel gear, unless I want to cut my toenails, and open a beer at the same time. It is perfect for a guy in a trench hole that is leaving in 10 minutes, always ready to get shot.
But the idea is correct, to never forget, to compartmentalize our needs into one place, to make our life simple and idiot proof. But it is not efficient, I can only do one thing at a time with this knife, two people cannot use it at the same time.
And, trust me, everyone wants to borrow a swiss knife to cut their toenails, that alone is a good reason to trash it.
Make your life simple, idiot proof, but do not be an idiot, do not fall in love with travel gear, it is not effective living.